NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich announces details of new season 2016/2017


Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich announces details of new season 2016/2017

This will be Lionel Bringuier’s third season as Principal Conductor and Music Director.  Next season’s Artist in Residence will be Austrian percussionist Martin Grubinger; Creative Chair will be Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös.

The orchestra on tour

In October (2016) Bringuier will take the orchestra on a grand tour of South America, taking in Buenos Aires (10th and 11th), Montevideo (13th), Rio de Janeiro (15th) and Sao Paolo (16th and 18th). Soloists will be Nelson Freire and Lisa Batiashvili and the main orchestral works will be Mahler’s 1st and Shostakovich’s 6th. In Spring 2017 the orchestra will tour Switzerland with concerts, apart from Zurich, in Geneva (31st May) and Berne (1st June). They will also visit the International Classical Music Festival in the Turkish city of Bodrum (25th and 26th August 2016).

Concert highlights

Highlights of the concert season include:

  • September 2016: Bringuier conducts the Rite of Spring, with Martin Grubinger in the first half performing Avner Dorman’s percussion concerto “Frozen in time
  • September 2016: Bringuier brings us Shostakovich’s 6th symphony
  • October 2016: Bringuier and Mahler, Symphony No. 1
  • October 2016: Donald Runnicles and Anja Harteros serve up Richard Strauss songs and bleeding chunks from Götterdämmerung
  • November 2016: John Eliot Gardiner brings his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique to Zurich with Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto and Schubert’s 5th
  • December 2016: Haitink returns with Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto (Andras Schiff) and Bruckner’s 9th symphony
  • December 2016: Paavo Järvi conducts Prokofiev’s Cello Concerto and Schumann’s 3rd symphony
  • January 2017: Dohnanyi returns with Schubert’s 9th symphony, Bartok’s Music for strings percussion and celeste as opener.
  • January 2017: Benjamin Grosvenor plays Brahms 1st piano concerto, followed by Schoenberg Pélleas et Mélisande. François-Xavier Roth conducts
  • February 2017: Dutoit conducts Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony, Julia Fischer performs Bartok’s 2nd violin concerto in the first half
  • March 2017: Conductor Emeritus David Zinman makes his now annual return visit and brings Mahler’s mighty Symphony No. 6 –book early to avoid disappointment, as they say
  • April 2017: Bringuier with more Ballet Russe: Firebird. Lang Lang in the first half with Rachmaninov’s 2nd
  • May 2017: Herbert Blomstedt on the podium with Beethoven 8 and 7
  • June 2017: Jakub Hrůša conducts Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin Suite and Janáček’s In between Isabelle Faust plays the Schumann violin concerto

High profile soloists

Other high profile soloists include Teo Gheorghiu, Lisa Batiashvili, the Labèque sisters, Leila Josefowicz, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Igor Levit, Vilde Frang, Gil Shaham, Leonidas Kavakos and Martin Helmchen.

Notable singers include Cecilia Bartoli, Barbara Hannigan (who will also conduct) and the Kings Singers.

Tonhalle shuts for three seasons – hopefully

The Tonhalle building is well over 100 years old and showing its age. It needs urgent and extensive renovation, scheduled to start in the summer of 2017 and last three years. Back of stage dressing rooms for the orchestra, conductor and soloists require complete modernisation, foyer areas need refurbishment and stucco work in the hall is a health and safety hazard. Ventilation needs updating, and a new Congress Centre, which is to be attached to the hall, will provide new refreshment areas with views of Lake Zurich and the Alps beyond. If the burghers of Zurich agree to the substantial costs (as usual, here in ultra-democratic Switzerland, by referendum), the orchestra will move to a purpose-built timber-frame hall inside an existing industrial warehouse in the trendy (formerly light industrial) area north of Zurich’s main station. A chance one hopes to gain some new young concert-goers, at the risk of losing some of the older subscription-takers.

For further details, go to the orchestra’s website:

John Rhodes


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