After several increasingly safe and unexciting seasons, the San Francisco Symphony got me excited this year with programming that compelled me buy tickets for more than half the season. Berg,
and a whole lot more made the current season significantly more interesting than the past few and so far there have been many great moments in Davies this year.
So it was with a real sense of excitement that I waited for the announcement for next year's programming. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. It looks like they tried- lots of premieres, lots of new commissions, some really great guest artists, but compared to this year I don't see too much to get excited about.
I only see two or three subscription concerts- including the Lulu Suite and Yo Yo Ma playing Shostakovich's 2nd cello concerto that I consider "must see," and about another 1/2 dozen that I want to see, along with the special appearances by the L.A. Phil and Berlin Phil that I will try to see if tickets are available.
There are new commissions by people I'm unfamiliar with (my fault, no doubt), guest orchestras and artists I have zero interest in seeing (the Mariinsky, Lang Lang) and overall, the programming just seems tired and predictable.
But all my kvetching aside, there is little in life that leaves me feeling more exhilarated than a great symphony performance so I'm still going to buy my tickets, and I'm sure there will be moments of great surprise in store. I think I'm just feeling bitter that Los Angeles' programming is much more exciting than ours, and they have Dudamel and Disney Hall to boot.
Ever the optimist, here are the concerts I plan on attending:
September 16-20 2009: Susan Graham sings Rückert-Lieder, Mahler's 1st
October 22-24 2009: John Adams' Slonimsky'sEarbox, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák
November 6-8 2009: Rachmaninoff's The Bells, Rachmaninoff's 2nd
November 12-14 2009: DetlevGlanert, Schumann, Sibelius' 5th
November 20-21 2009: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
January 14-16 2010: Ravel, George Benjamin, Messiaen
January 20-23 2010: Yo-Yo Ma plays Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 2
April 1-3 2010: Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, Shostakovich's 8th
April 29- May 1 2010: Schumann's 4th, Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony
May 10-11 2010: Los Angeles Philharmonic
June 10-13 2010: Mozart, Berg, Beethoven
If the symphony discounts tickets again mid-season, as they have in the past two years, I will probably attend more.