Philadelphia Orchestra will host favorites, newcomers this summer at SPAC

Conductor Charles Dutoit has programmed a summer season for the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Sarato
Piano phenom Yuja Wang will perform on Aug. 22 with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Piano phenom Yuja Wang will perform on Aug. 22 with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Conductor Charles Dutoit has programmed a summer season for the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center that includes popular soloists such as pianists Emanuel Ax, Martha Argerich and Jean-Yves Thibaudet and a few stars people may know less about, including violinist Sergey Khachatryan and new phenom pianist Yuja Wang. The season even includes a guest appearance by a bluegrass/jazz group.

These are only a few of the many artists that will entertain beginning Aug. 6 when the three-week season opens with pianist Andre Watts. Other notable guest artists will include three on one night. On Aug. 8, the Capuçon brothers (Renaud Capuçon on violin and Gautier Capuçon on cello) and pianist Argerich will combine their talents to play Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Violinist Gil Shaham will be the guest soloist for two works on Aug. 13 when he plays a Mozart concerto and a Sarasate showpiece. Also noteworthy, that night will see Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducting the Philadelphians. Alsop, the first woman to be appointed music director of a major U.S. orchestra, is no stranger to the Capital Region. Her parents have a summer home in Saratoga and have been involved with the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Russian violinist Vadim Repin returns (Aug. 21) and brings his pal, pianist Nicolai Lugansky (Aug. 20). Lugansky thrilled the crowd last season at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s own Time for Three — an improvisational bluegrass/jazz group — will be part of the grand finale (Aug. 23), which will also include Orff’s “Carmina burana.” The trio, composed of Zachary De Pue on violin, Nicolas Kendall on violin and Ranaan Meyer on double bass, will play Higdon Concerto 4-3. The season will end that night with one of the most accessible choral works in classical music. The Philadelphia Singers Chorale will join the orchestra for “Carmina burana.”

And what has become a SPAC tradition, a full program of Tchaikovsky, featuring cannons and fireworks, is on tap for Aug. 16. The showpiece, of course, is “The 1812 Overture.”

Besides a full array of classic works, a program of movie music is part of the lineup, featuring the music of John Williams on Aug. 7. Guest conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the Philadelphians in pieces based on the movies of Superman, Harry Potter, “The Wizard of Oz,” “How the West Was Won” and “Dances with Wolves.”

CHAMBER FESTIVAL

As in the past, many of the guest soloists with the orchestra will also be performing in The Saratoga Chamber Music Festival in the Spa Little Theatre. The series, under the direction of Chantal Juillet, will celebrate Olivier Messiaen (Aug. 12), present a Stravinsky one-act chamber opera (Aug. 10), show off Argerich and the Capuçons (Aug. 11), Repin and Lugansky (Aug. 19) and Time for Three (Aug. 24).

OPERA LINEUP

Also back for another summer will be The Lake George Opera. The company will transform the Spa Little Theatre into unexpected locations, including Las Vegas in an updated “La Traviata”; Cornwall, England in “Pirates of Penzance”; and Florence, Italy, for the two one-acts: “Gianni Schicchi” and Opera Memphis artistic director Michael Ching’s “Buosco’s Ghost.”

Categories: Life and Arts

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