Music, Like No Other, In Miami

Ana B. Remos

Some tips to take full advantage of the marvelous season ahead of us.

In a recent interview in London, the brilliant Joyce DiDonato told a truth that felt like a bombshell: “Stop apologizing, stop trying to sell our music by dumbing it down; sell it for what it is: there isn’t anything like it in the world.” These wise words from the extraordinary American mezzo-soprano went “viral.” They serve as the perfect prologue to this selection of not-to-be missed musical events of the 2013-2014 season in Miami.

The New World Symphony opens the season under the baton of its director Michael Tilson Thomas with the famous pianist Yuja Wang (Oct 5-6), in what promises to be a year of undeniable Hispanic presence: the exquisite pianist Javier Perianes playing Chopin (Nov 23-24), the venerable director Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and his sensational young colleague Pablo Heras Casado from Granada, together with the impressive Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta in Elgar’s Concerto (March 22-23), are only some of the highlights of a season that will also feature Hillary Hahn (Jan 11), Emanuel Ax (Oct 25-27) and Garrick Ohlsson (March 28-30), culminating with Mahler’s Seventh Symphony directed by Michael Tilson Thomas (May 3-4).

The season also brings two very different but spectacular operas: Nabucco (Jan 25-Feb 8) and Mourning Becomes Electra (Nov 16-23). Verdi’s patriotic fervor in the epic story of the Israelis enslaved in Babylon is expressed with great passion in Va Pensiero, a coral piece that has become the unofficial anthem of freedom. The wrath and hatred that characterizes Greek tragedy emerges in Eugene O’Neill’s version of Marvin Levy’s opera, whose fascinating plot takes place during the American Civil War. Two fierce divas will leave their mark on the South Florida stage: Maria Guleghina in Nabucco and Lauren Flanigan, in the role of Electra. They will be directed by Ramón Tebar, in charge of the Florida Grand Opera season, which also includes Tosca (March 29-April 5) and the debut of Eglise Gutiérrez as the courtesan in Thaïs (May 3-17). The Cuban-American star will also present a recital in St. Hugh-Steinway (Sept. 27) in a series that includes Elizabeth Caballero (May 16) and María Aleida Rodríguez (Dec. 13).

Yuja Wang

Super diva Deborah Voigt sets in motion the Ziff Classic Series at the Arsht Center (Nov. 15), which will later host Olga Kern as guest soloist with the Detroit Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin (Feb. 28), plus two other celebrated musical ambassadors: the Academy of Saint-Martin in the Field, with Joshua Bell as soloist and director (March 15), and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Zubin Mehta who will direct Bruckner’s monumental Eighth Symphony.

The Cleveland Orchestra in its winter residence (January-March) is a very attractive offer. Always outstanding, violinist Gil Shaham joins conductor Franz Welser Möst in the Korngold Concerto (Jan. 24-25). You will also hear Stravinsky‘s Rite of Spring (Jan. 31); works by Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak (Feb 21-22), and the anticipated debut of the great British baritone Simon Keenlyside interpreting songs by Poulenc and Strauss (Jan. 31-Feb 1). The series will close with an audiovisual presentation of The Planets, by Holst.

Other notable events will be The Miami Symphony with Eduardo Marturet and an eclectic program that will delight subscribers with artists like Angel Romero (Oct. 20), Néstor Torres and director Alondra de la Parra in compositions by Brahms, Prokofiev and Rodrigo (Feb. 15-16), as well as several world premieres.

Zubin Mehta

But there is more: the sublime choral ensemble, Seraphic Fire, nominated for the Grammy Award (Oct. 16-May 11); stars like Benjamin Grosvenor (May 6), Valentina Lisitsa (Nov. 19), the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson trio (Feb. 9), the great pianist Richard Goode (March 16) and the rising mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (May 18), at Gusman Concert Hall.

Three vocal oddities you should include in your agenda: The Seven Deadly Sins by Kurt Weill (March 7), Vlieger’s arrangement of Tristan and Isolde as an “orchestral adventure” for the New World Symphony (Dec. 14-15) and the existentialist cocktail, NO-EXIT by Andy Vores, for Florida Grand Operas’s Unexpected Opera-Unexpected Places (Feb, 27-March 1).

These are more than enough reasons to go to the theater, and prove that Joyce DiDonato was right when she said: “there is nothing like our music on the planet”.


© | 2019