Thursday, March 17, 2011

Serkin, Abbado, BSO at NJPAC

The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs 8 p.m. tomorrow night, Friday, March 18, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. Sadly, James Levine will not be conducting, as he retired from the orchestra for health reasons earlier this month. But the substitute is Roberto Abbado and the program is a pretty exciting one: Bartok's Concerto No. 3 with Peter Serkin as soloist, Haydn's Symphony No. 93 and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. All of these pieces are heard regularly in orchestra concerts--the Beethoven is, of course, overplayed. But the combination, with Serkin and Abbado, should make for a great evening.

Abbado, by the way, is the nephew of Claudio Abbado, the famous conductor, but by now has his own long international career with top orchestras. Interesting to note the pairing of this conductor with Peter Serkin, who has also stood throughout his career in the shadow of his father, the great pianist Rudolf Serkin. But amounts to little more than an interesting coincidence. The concert will be splendid without any more thought to Claudio or Rudolf.

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