After launching the new year in Europe, Alan Gilbert returns to the States for a pair of major guest-conducting engagements, joining the Boston Symphony for Sibelius, Debussy, and John Adams with Leila Josefowicz (March 1–3) and the Cleveland Orchestra for Dvořák and Barber with Alisa Weilerstein (March 15–18).
It was at the New York Philharmonic that Alan commissioned John Adams’s Scheherazade.2, a “dramatic symphony” for violin and orchestra, written, like Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite, in response to the Arabian Nights. In 2015, when Alan and the orchestra premiered the work with its dedicatee, Leila Josefowicz, the New York Times applauded her “dazzling and inspired performance, backed by the glittering, rhapsodic and supremely confident playing of the orchestra under Mr. Gilbert.” Now the conductor and violinist reunite to reprise the four-movement work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, concluding a program that opens with Alan’s leadership of Sibelius’s En Saga and Debussy’s luminously orchestrated Jeux.
Next, Alan returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, where more than two decades ago he launched his career with a two-year apprenticeship as assistant to Christoph von Dohnányi. Celebrating the orchestra’s centennial season, they reconvene for performances of Barber’s Cello Concerto with MacArthur Award-winner Alisa Weilerstein, bookended by Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony and Carnival Overture.
Photo: Chris Lee