July 10–August 10
Annual Mostly Mozart Festival Features Internationally Acclaimed Staged Productions Plus Premieres, Concert Performances, and Extraordinary Artists from Multiple Disciplines
The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and Louis Langrée welcome violin soloists Joshua Bell, Vilde Frang and Pekka Kuusisto; pianists Martin Helmchen, Pierre Laurent-Aimard, and Steven Osborne; guest conductors Gianandrea Noseda and Andrew Manze, and other guests
The New York production premiere of Komische Oper Berlin’s sensational staging of Mozart’s The Magic Flute as reimagined by directors Suzanne Andrade, Barrie Kosky and animator Paul Barritt, with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra conducted by Music Director Louis Langrée
A world premiere from Mark Morris Dance Group set to Erik Satie’s Sports et divertissements
The U.S. premiere of Under Siege, a stunning Chinese dance-theater work from Yang Liping Contemporary Dance with scenic design by Oscar winner Tim Yip
The New York premiere of The Black Clown, a music-theater adaption of the epic Langston Hughes poem by bass-baritone Davóne Tines and composer Michael Schachter
A special return engagement of Blak Whyte Gray, the electrifyng dance-theater work from East London company Boy Blue
A Little Night Music expands to nine late-night cabaret performances, with appearances by Brooklyn Rider, Michael Brown, Nora Fischer, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, and soloists from Festival Orchestra concerts, among others
International Contemporary Ensemble premieres Dai Fujikura’s Shamisen Concerto as part of their ninth annual festival residency
Special guest ensembles include Takács Quartet with Jeremy Denk, and Iván Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra
Ancillary activities include documentary and feature films, panel discussions, pre-concert chamber music, and free concerts and events in the David Rubenstein Atrium
NEW YORK (March 19, 2019) — Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced this summer’s Mostly Mozart Festival, running from July 10 through August 10, 2019. Harnessing Mozart’s innovative spirit as its inspiration, the 2019 festival builds upon the expanded scope established last summer with groundbreaking, international multidisciplinary productions, acclaimed artists of all genres, introductions to emerging creative voices, commissions and premieres, and the presentation of new work and ideas. American Express is the lead sponsor of the Mostly Mozart Festival.
“When we think of Mozart, we think of a creative genius whose imagination and ingenuity pushed the boundaries of every art form he touched,” said Jane Moss, Ehrenkranz Artistic Director. “Mozart continuously challenged himself and those around him to propel forward: to test and grow, to innovate and transform. The Mostly Mozart Festival takes its inspiration from those qualities, and with New York City as its setting, has evolved from its roots as a summertime music event into a vibrant, international arts festival known for its presentation of visionary new work across disciplines and its fresh, dynamic approach to the classics.”
International, multi-disciplinary productions have become a hallmark of the Mostly Mozart Festival, and, in 2019, Lincoln Center presents five artistically distinct, large-scale productions, each bringing new perspective and interpretation to classic stories and traditional work. Opening the 2019 festival is the intrepid Mark Morris Dance Group bringing time-honored works from their repertory as well as a world premiere set to whimsical music by Erik Satie. Mozart’s The Magic Flute as reimagined by co-directors Suzanne Andrade, Barrie Kosky, and animator Paul Barritt has its New York production premiere. In this spectacularly vivid production, inspired by the era of silent film, the opera’s characters interact with animated hand-drawn illustrations projected on a massive set. Another New York production premiere, The Black Clown, comes fresh from its autumn 2018 premiere by the American Repertory Theater. The music-theater work, an adaptation by Davóne Tines and Michael Schachter of Langston Hughes’s epic poem of the same name, depicts the experience of a 1930s era Black man and his resiliency against a legacy of oppression.
Celebrated Chinese choreographer Yang Liping’s dance troupe performs the U.S. premiere of Under Siege, the story of an ancient Chinese battle that fuses contemporary dance with martial arts, Chinese folk dance, hip-hop, and gymnastics set within an intensely beautiful visual landscape created by Oscar winner Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). And, Blak Whyte Gray, which had its sensational U.S. premiere at Lincoln Center’s 2018 White Light Festival, returns for an encore performance, a riveting work by East-London-based Boy Blue that fuses hip-hop dance with African-iinspired grooves and an electronic score.
The heart of the festival is the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra (MMFO), led by Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée, and the music of Mozart and his close contemporaries has provided its framework since the beginning. Under Langrée’s leadership, the orchestra has expanded the scope of its repertoire, incorporating works of the Baroque era as well as fast-forwarding to the music of our time. Programs this summer run the gamut from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons to Alfred Schnittke’s Moz-ART à la Haydn, with Handel, Haydn, Shostakovich, Bartók and others woven in for good measure. A special highlight this summer is the continuation of Langrée’s four-summer exploration of the Brahms symphonies. Following the MMFO’s first performances this summer at the David H. Koch Theater as part of The Magic Flute, the orchestra moves back to its David Geffen Hall home, welcoming an array of acclaimed soloists and guest conductors for six pairs of concerts. Among them are returning artists and longtime friends of the festival including Joshua Bell, Martin Helmchen, Pierre Laurent-Aimard, Andrew Manze, Gianandrea Noseda, and Steven Osborne. Making their Mostly Mozart Festival debuts are Vilde Frang, Pekka Kuusisto, and Knut Erik Sundquist. MMFO concerts are complemented by pre-concert performances, many of which are thematically paired. Pre-concert talks and lectures provide further glimpses inside the music.
“Mozart’s music delivered a universal message,” said Louis Langrée. “He had an insatiable curiosity, studying the music of the ancient masters who came before him, and he traveled extensively, absorbing diverse cultures and continuously incorporating fresh ideas into his music. The experimentation he embodied continues to stir the imagination and has influenced generation after generation of composers to take artistic risks. The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra’s programs are about uncovering the fascinating connections among composers, demonstrating their ingenuity, and illuminating the creative process.”
The intrepid International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), in its ninth year as festival artists-in-residence, has three programs concentrating on diverse works by global composers of our time. The first, at the David Rubenstein Atrium, features works by the Icelandic composers Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Bergrún Snæbjörnsdóttir and American Ashley Fure; another features contemporary works for traditional Persian, Hungarian, American, and Japanese string instruments; and the third shines a spotlight on Iranian women composers.
“A Little Night Music,” the popular series of intimate late-night performances in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, has expanded this summer to nine presentations, many of which have artistic links to the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra concerts occurring earlier each evening. Pekka Kuusisto, Knut Erik Sundquist, Martin Helmchen, and Steven Osborne will all perform late-night recitals following their MMFO concerts. Pianist Michael Brown performs Beethoven’s “Eroica Variations” in response to the MMFO’s performance of the “Eroica” Symphony; Nora Fischer’s and Marnix Dorrestein’s fresh approach to simple, Baroque songs follows a folk music-inspired program; soprano Susanna Phillips sings songs of Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel, and Alma Mahler following a rare performance of Clara Schumann’s cadenza to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, K.466; and, Brooklyn Rider performs after Joshua Bell’s performances of the Dvořák Violin Concerto (as well as for the pre-concert recital).
The festival continues its tradition of presenting celebrated artists, guest ensembles, and rising stars at venues across the Lincoln Center campus and beyond. The Budapest Festival Orchestra and their music director Iván Fischer perform Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony and Handel arias, with soprano Jeanine De Bique making her festival debut. The esteemed Takács Quartet joins forces with pianist Jeremy Denk for a program of Mozart, Beethoven, and Dohnányi at Alice Tully Hall. There will be free concerts at the David Rubenstein Atrium with violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Michael Thurber and the International Contemporary Ensemble. And, wind players from the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra will perform Mozart’s Serenade for Winds in B-flat, the “Gran Partita,” conducted by Louis Langrée at St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan.
This summer’s film screenings in the Walter Reade Theater lend fuller perspective to two of the festival’s major productions. Peter Bogdanovich’s The Great Buster: A Celebration pays tribute to Buster Keaton, an inspiration for Barrie Kosky’s interpretation of the Papageno character in The Magic Flute. Yang Liping’s Under Siege draws upon the same historic events that informed the film Farewell, My Concubine. And, Tim Yip, who is the mastermind of the Under Siege set and costumes, won an Oscar for Best Art Direction and Screen Design for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
“American Express is pleased to continue our support of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and its acclaimed productions of dance, theater, and music,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “Our support of this New York City cultural icon is one of many ways American Express supports shared cultural experiences for this generation and the next.”
Now in its 53rd year, the Mostly Mozart Festival is one of several annual summer events offered by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts that activate the campus’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Midsummer Night Swing (June 25—July 13) brings top bands from around the world, dance instructors, and New York’s social dance community to Damrosch Park for three weeks of dancing under the stars. Lincoln Center Out of Doors (July 25—August 11) presents a wide array of free performances, including music, dance, spoken word, film, and more, reflecting the diversity of New York City. The David Rubenstein Atrium’s robust calendar of free events, including world-class performances, illuminating conversations, dance parties, kids’ programs, and more, also continues through the summer.