The Philadelphia Orchestra will present the New York premiere of composer Tan Dun’s “Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women,” a multi-media work featuring harpist Elizabeth Hainen, during its 2014 summer season at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Other highlights for the Aug. 6-23 residency include performances by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Jeremy Denk and trumpeter Alison Balsom; an American Songbook on opening night; and a Broadway extravaganza with Tony Award nominees Stephanie Block and Andrew Rannells.
Philadelphia Orchestra Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin will return for his second season and share the podium with a cast of guest conductors that includes Bramwell Tovey, Cristian Macelaru, Steven Reineke and Stéphane Denève.
“Each August when The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to its summer stage at SPAC, we have the privilege of hosting one of the world’s greatest orchestras in one of the world’s greatest settings,” Marcia J. White, SPAC president and executive director, said in a press release.
“Yet, the story of each season is written by the programming; that unique combination of conductor, repertoire and soloist that, at its best, can engage the audience in an experience they will never forget. Each and every evening of our spectacular 2014 season has been curated with that goal in mind,” White said.
On Aug. 20, Perlman will make his first SPAC appearance since 2007, performing the dual roles of soloist and conductor. First, he will perform Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor. Then, Perlman will conduct Weber’s Overture to his English-language opera “Oberon” and Brahm’s much-loved Symphony No. 1.
Along with Denk and Balsom, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglic, pianist Alain Lefèvre and pianist Denis Kozhukhin will perform for the first time as soloists at SPAC.
On opening night, Aug. 6, “The American Songbook” will celebrate American composers Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. Led by Grammy Award-winning conductor Tovey, the orchestra will take audiences on a musical journey through the composers’ iconic works. Tovey, an accomplished pianist, will step down from the podium to perform Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
On Aug. 15, Nézet-Séguin will lead the orchestra and harpist Hainen in the “Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women.”
Tan Dun, an Academy Award-winning composer, was commissioned by the orchestra to create the work for a 2013 Micro-Festival.
“Nu Shu” is a dramatic song and 12-movement symphony piece accompanied by images that bring to life the ancient secret language shared only by women in the remote area of Tan Dun’s home province of Hunan, China.
On Aug. 13, “POPS: On Broadway,” with New York Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, will celebrate music from Broadway’s most beloved shows. Joining Reineke and the orchestra will be singers Block and Rannells. Block is best known for her portrayal of Elphaba in Broadway’s “Wicked.” Rannells’ role as Elder Price in Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon” earned him Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League award nominations. He currently stars in HBO comedy series “Girls.”
Ticket prices start at $24 for lawn seats; inside seating ranges from $32 to $85.
The Kids in Free program offers children 12 and under free lawn admission for orchestra performances.
The Student Discount program allows students of all ages to purchase lawn admission for $10 or inside seating at a 25 percent discount.
Tickets go on sale online at spac.org on Tuesday for members and March 18 for the public.
Box office and phone sales begin on May 15.
Aug. 6: Opening night, “The American Songbook,” Bramwell Tovey, conductor. Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland.
Aug. 7: “An Evening on the Rhine,” Bramwell Tovey, conductor; Jeremy Denk, piano. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and “Egmont” Overture, Mahler’s “Blumine” and Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier Suite”
Aug. 8: “An Evening with Yo-Yo,” Bramwell Tovey, conductor; Yo-Yo Ma, cello. Delius’ “Song of Summer”; Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” and “Andante Cantabile”; Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.
Aug. 9: “Cirque de la Symphonie,” Cristian Macelaru, conductor; “Carnival Overture, Opus 92,” “Spanish Dance” from La Vida Breve, “Ritual Fire Dance” from “El Amor Brujo,” “Flight to Neverland” from “Hook,” “Danse des Bouffons” from “The Snow Maiden.”
Aug. 13: “POPS: On Broadway,” Steven Reineke, conductor; Stephanie Block and Andrew Rannells, vocals. Selections from Broadway hits including “West Side Story,” “Carousel,” “Ragtime,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Wicked,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”
Aug. 14: “Yannick Returns!,” Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Alison Balsom, trumpet and Miloš Karadaglic, guitar. Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 (“Pathetique”).
Aug. 15: “Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women,” Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Elizabeth Hainen, harp. Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.
Aug. 16: “Celebration of an Artist,” Christian Macelaru, conductor; Alain Lefèvre, piano. Balakirev’s “Islamey,” Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F.
Aug. 20: “An Evening with Itzhak Perlman,” Itzhak Perlman, conductor; Perlman, violin. Bach’s A minor Violin Concerto; Weber’s “Oberon” Overture; Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.
Aug. 21: “An Evening with Alisa Weilerstein,” Stéphane Denève, conductor; Alisa Weilerstein, cello. Berlioz’ “Roman Carnival” Overture, Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto, Rossini’s “William Tell” Overture, Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.”
Aug. 22: TBA, Stéphane Denève, conductor
Aug. 23: “Tchaikovsky Spectacular!,” Stéphane Denève, conductor; Denis Kozhukhin, piano. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3; Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” Selections and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.