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Save the Date    1  2 3     The Season-PB 

Carnegie Hall




New York Premiere of John Williams’ On Willows and Birches Features
BSO Principal Harpist Ann Hobson Pilot

Pianist Evgeny Kissin Joins Orchestra for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2


Carnegie Hall opens its 2009–2010 season with a gala benefit concert featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra and music director James Levine on Thursday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The program includes the New York premiere of John Williams’ On Willows and Birches, for harp and orchestra, with BSO principal harpist Ann Hobson Pilot as featured soloist. Mr. Williams has written this piece to honor Ms. Pilot who is retiring after a 40-year career with the orchestra. Also on the program is Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor with pianist Evgeny Kissin—as a prelude to the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth in 2010—as well as Berlioz’s Le Carnaval romain Overture and Debussy’s La mer.

The Opening Night Gala of Carnegie Hall’s 119th season is co-chaired by Susan and Ed Forst and Myra and Robert Kraft. The Opening Night Gala Sponsor is PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The benefit for Carnegie Hall’s artistic and education programs includes a Gala Dinner at The Waldorf=Astoria’s Grand Ballroom following the concert. Gala benefit tickets—priced at $5000, $2500, and $1250—include premiere concert seating and the post-concert dinner at The Waldorf=Astoria. Benefit tickets, priced at $800, include the concert and a pre-concert cocktail reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in Carnegie Hall’s Rohatyn Room. All gala benefit tickets are available by calling 212-903-9679.

A limited number of concert-only tickets, priced at $59 and $94 are now available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website,

Throughout the 2009–10 season, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and James Levine return three more times following this Opening Night appearance, including an all-Beethoven program on Monday, November 2 at 8:00 p.m. On Monday, February 1 at 8:00 p.m. pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard joins the Orchestra for Elliott Carter’s Dialogues, for Piano and Orchestra and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, and BSO principal violist Steven Ansell is featured in Berlioz’s Harold in Italy. In the final performance, soprano Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko, and bass-baritone Shenyang are featured in Mendelssohn’s Elijah on Monday, April 5 at 8:00 p.m., along with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Artist Information
Pianist Evgeny Kissin was born in Moscow in 1971. He came to international attention in March 1984 when he performed Chopin's piano concertos in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic under Dmitri Kitaenko. Since Mr. Kissin’s first appearances outside Russia in 1985, he has played with all of the leading orchestras and conductors and in recital in many of the world’s greatest halls. In 1992, Mr. Kissin performed on the Grammy Awards and in 1995 he became Musical America's youngest Instrumentalist of the Year. Mr. Kissin’s recordings have received numerous awards, including a Grammy, the Edison Klassiek, the Diapason d'Or, and the Grand Prix of La Nouvelle Academie du Disque.

Ann Hobson Pilot is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music. She became principal harp of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1980, having joined the BSO in 1969 as assistant principal harp and principal harp with the Boston Pops. Ms. Pilot also has had an extensive solo career; she has performed as a soloist with many American orchestras, as well as with orchestras in Europe, Haiti, New Zealand, and South Africa. She has several recordings available on the Boston Records label, as well as on the Koch International and Denouement labels.

James Levine became Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2004. He is the orchestra’s 14th music director since the BSO’s founding in 1881 and the first American-born conductor to hold the position. Mr. Levine is also Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, where, in the 38 years since his debut there, he has developed a relationship with that company unparalleled in its history and unique in the musical world today. Mr. Levine also appears at Carnegie Hall this season with The MET Orchestra on December 20 and January 24 and the MET Chamber Ensemble on December 6 and January 10.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Hall season in Boston takes place September 23, 2009–May 1, 2010. Highlights of the 2009–10 season include three world premieres and three American premieres, a concentrated cycle of the complete symphonies of Beethoven conducted by Music Director James Levine, October 22–November 7, 2009, and a wide array of distinguished guests, including violinists Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, and Mira Wang; pianists Evgeny Kissin, Marc-André Hamelin, and Emanuel Ax, vocalists Renée Fleming, Gerald Finley, and Matthew Polenzani; and conductors Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Bernard Haitink.  Now in its 129th season, the BSO gave its inaugural concert on October 22, 1881.  Since then, the orchestra has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, South America, and China, and also reaches audiences through its performances on radio and television, its highly successful web platform at, and its many recordings, including four new recordings released by the BSO and James Levine last February. The BSO plays an active role in commissioning new works from today’s most important composers and offers a wide variety of educational programs, including the Tanglewood Music Center, the orchestra's prestigious summer music academy at Tanglewood, the BSO's summer home in Lenox, MA.  For further information, visit

Program Information
Thursday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

James Levine, Music Director and Conductor
Evgeny Kissin, Piano
Ann Hobson Pilot, Harp

HECTOR BERLIOZ Le Carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
JOHN WILLIAMS On Willows and Birches, for harp and orchestra (NY Premiere)

Opening Night Gala Sponsor: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for the sixth consecutive season

Tickets: $59, $94 (limited availability)
Gala Tickets: $5000, $2500, $1250, $800


To list an upcoming event please contact


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