As part of its 2009-1010 season, the Dallas Symphony will be travelling to Europe — for the first time in seven years — and will present two world premieres as well as eight DSO premieres. Its new season, which the DSO announced yesterday, will be the 20th in the Meyerson Symphony Center and the second for its new conductor, Jaap van Zweden — one stop on the European tour happens to be van Zweden’s native city of Amsterdam.
The two world premieres are by composers with Dallas connections. Christopher Theofanidis was born here, while Margaret Brouwer lived here. Theofanidis’ Songs of Love and Gratitude was composed for guest cellist Nina Kotova (above), while Brouwer’s Viola Concerto was commissioned by the DSO’s principal player’s fund for Ellen Rose who has been the DSO’s principal violist since 1980.
Of course, much of the repertory is familiar — although van Zweden has begun programming more German music, as promised (Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana). But there is also a notable “concentration” of 20th century composers, beyond the DSO premieres of Blue Cathedral by Jennifer Higdon and Wolfgang Rihm’s Memoria, among others. Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto No. 1 will be performed, for example, and although it doesn’t qualify as 20th century music, the complete cycle of Smetana’s Ma vlast, for example (best known for its second symphonic poem, Vltava or the Moldau), is alsop scheduled, something of a rarity.
As for guest performers and conductors, these include Sir James Galway and his wife, Lady Jeanne, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (right, who will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Samuel Barber’s birth with conductor van Zweden), pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (who will perform on the same evening as the DSO’s premiere of Rudolf Escher’s Musique pour l’esprit en deuil) and Meadows Symphony conductor Paul Phillips from SMU.