BO HUANG Canadian Brass

If you’re bored in Boston, it’s your own fault.

Clearly you haven’t been opening your email from the Celebrity Series of Boston, whose 79th season program was announced early yesterday morning and offers more opportunities for cultural experiences of all kinds than, well, insert your own metaphor.

Try this: Alvin Ailey. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax. The LA Philharmonic. Josh Redmond. And acrobatic pianist Yuja Wang.

And that’s just about 3% of the upcoming season. As they say in the infomercials, but wait…there’s more.

The Celebrity Series of Boston is the city’s longest running, most popular, and best-rounded series of performances of all kinds.

This coming season, you can choose among two orchestra performances, 13 ensembles, four piano recitals, five instrumental recitals, three vocal recitals – I’m getting tired just writing this – 12 jazz and popular song performances, seven dance companies, and three spoken-word performances.

One of the aforementioned spoken-word performers is Rob Kapilow, whose incredibly popular “What Makes It Great?” returns to Boston twice, once to shine the spotlight on Mozart’s 40th Symphony and again to celebrate Boston born Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday.

The Celebrity Series has been a launching pad for careers of countless formerly unknown artists over the years; its subscribers trust that the performers chosen for debut performances will be stars in their own right before long.

For young artists, to be chosen as a Celebrity Series performer is a huge notch in their belts, and one that attracts bookers’ attention worldwide.

The Debut Series continues for the 6th year at Longy School of Music with a metro-soprano, a string quartet, a violinist, a pianist, and another soprano.

At the other end of the spectrum you’ll find the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel on April 25 at Boston’s Symphony Hall. The LA Phil will perform the Boston premiere of a new work by Esa-Pekka Salonen, its former conductor.

Did I mention the Canadian Brass? The Doric String Quartet, Britain’s leading classical Fab Four? The return of the Takács Quartet playing Mozart, Shostakovich, and Beethoven? How about pianist Emanuel Ax? Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman performing Bach, Mozart, and Bartók in Symphony Hall?

If you still have the energy, there’s always the St. Thomas Boys Choir, established way back in 1212, making it the only boys choir older than Boston’s Durgin-Park Restaurant.

A ukulele orchestra.

The Huayin Shadow Puppet Band.

Mandolinist Chris Thile, host of NPR’s Prairie Home Companion.

And here’s something you won’t see anywhere else – playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner and author Sarah Dowell examining the work and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln at Sanders Theater at Harvard.

And then there’s always Ira Glass from This American Life, Broadway star Audra McDonald, jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri, Winton Marsalis…

In addition, Celebrity Series will return to Boston’s communities with its neighborhood arts program, offering more than 90 workshops and classes with 17 concerts at schools and community venues in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End.

You’ve also got a 5-day dance extravaganza called Let’s Dance/Bailemos Boston!, one of the largest, free outdoor music and dance parties in Boston’s history.

Get your tickets early, and then once you do, get plenty of rest. With all those cultural fireworks set to go off in the upcoming Celebrity Series season, you’ll need it.

MATTHIAS-KNOCH Thomanerchor Leipzig


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here