—Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director, announced Carnegie Hall’s 2018–2019 season featuring approximately 170 performances by many of the world’s leading artists and ensembles in classical, pop, jazz, and world music, plus a broad range of innovative education and social impact programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, serving audiences in New York City and beyond.

Major programming highlights in 2018–2019 include Migrations: The Making of America, a citywide Carnegie Hall festival in spring 2019 presented in collaboration with more than 35 cultural partners from across New York City; two Perspectives series curated by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Yuja Wang; and the season-long appointment of Chris Thile to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair.

“With so many creative programs showcasing the world’s finest artists, Carnegie Hall’s 2018–2019 season invites concertgoers to choose their path to new musical discoveries,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “Our citywide festival—Migrations: The Making of America—offers listeners the chance to explore the musical legacies of people throughout history whose movement to and within this country helped shape what we consider to be American arts and culture today. Specially-curated series by our Perspectives artists and Debs Composer’s Chair provide audiences with greater insight into these remarkable musicians, opening the doors to both new and familiar music. We hope our concerts spanning musical genres—from early music to new works written today—alongside the wide variety of imaginative education and social impact programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, will inspire people to make deep and enjoyable connections with music.”

2018–2019 Carnegie Hall Season Overview

Migrations: The Making of America
Citywide Carnegie Hall festival traces the worldwide journeys of people
who helped shape and influence our American cultural heritage

Debs Composer’s Chair: Chris Thile
Composer, vocalist, and mandolin virtuoso leads
season-long residency featuring songs written for his public radio show Live From Here,
new music commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and performances with
longtime collaborators including Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers

Perspectives: Michael Tilson Thomas & Yuja Wang
Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas curates seven-concert series
including performances with the National Youth Orchestra of the USA,
San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and New World Symphony

Pianist Yuja Wang featured in five-concert series, including performances with
Leonidas Kavakos, Gautier Capuçon, Martin Grubinger,
Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony,
and an evening of musical comedy with Igudesman & Joo

Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala
2018–2019 season kicks off on October 3 with celebratory Opening Night Gala concert
with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony
joined by vocalists Renée Fleming and Audra McDonald

Carnegie Hall’s 128th season launches on Wednesday, October 3 with a festive Opening Night Gala concert by the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas with program to include Gershwin’s Cuban Overture and An American in Paris, and Ravel’s La valse. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the orchestra will be joined on this celebratory occasion by renowned soprano Renée Fleming and Broadway superstar Audra McDonald for songs, arias, and duets from the worlds of opera and musical theater.

This Opening Night performance is part of an extended Perspectives series curated by Mr. Tilson Thomas throughout the 2018–2019 season with programming reflecting his multifaceted career as a conductor, composer, and educator. The series features seven concerts with four orchestras—the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New World Symphony—featuring music by composers he has long championed, including Mahler, Ives, and Stravinsky as well as the New York premiere of one of his own recent compositions, and collaborations with musical friends, including pianists Igor Levit and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and soprano Measha Brueggergosman.

Grammy Award-nominated pianist Yuja Wang will curate a five-concert Perspectives next season highlighting her eclectic interests, technical prowess, and musical versatility. The series opens in October when Ms. Wang shares the stage with a percussion quartet headlined by Austrian star multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger. Her Perspectives includes performances with frequent recital partners Leonidas Kavakos and cellist Gautier Capuçon, and a night of lighthearted musical comedy with virtuoso instrumentalists and jokesters Igudesman & Joo. Ms. Wang’s series concludes with a performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with fellow Perspectives artist and mentor Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony.

Carnegie Hall has appointed composer, vocalist, and mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for the 2018–2019 season. Thile has curated a five-concert residency that focuses on his performance and compositional skills, revealing the unique art of a performing composer as well as the evolution of collaborative composition. His residency kicks off in October when he is joined by singer-songwriters Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, for Chris Thile: The Song of the Week Show featuring musical selections written for his weekly public radio show, Live from Here. The series continues with two back-to-back solo recitals in Weill Recital Hall to include an original piece commissioned by Carnegie Hall; Chris Thile and Friends: My Love in America an exploration of the evolution of traditional Scots, Irish, and American folk music that opens Carnegie Hall’s Migrations: The Making of America festival; and a concert featuring Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers, acclaimed acoustic groups that both feature Thile as a founding member, in their first-ever double bill performance together.

From March 9–April 15, 2019, as a programming anchor to the season, Carnegie Hall presents Migrations: The Making of America, a citywide festival that traces the movements of people, both to and within North America, from different origins and backgrounds who helped to shape and influence our American cultural heritage. The festival will celebrate their many contributions with musical programming at Carnegie Hall and multidisciplinary offerings at leading cultural institutions across New York City.

At Carnegie Hall, concerts will celebrate the American musical traditions that flourished as a result of three specific migrations: the crossings from Scotland and Ireland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the immigration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe between 1881 and the National Origins Act of 1924, and the Great Migration—the exodus of African Americans from the South to the industrialized cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1917 into the 1970s. With performances of bluegrass, old-time, klezmer, Yiddish musical theater, the Great American Songbook, blues, jazz, and more, highlights include an evening of traditional Scots, Irish, old-time, and bluegrass music with Chris Thile; a special double bill with Scottish songwriter and poet Karine Polwart and banjo player-songwriter Kaia Kater; American klezmer clarinetist and bluegrass mandolinist Andy Statman and his trio; and From Shtetl to Stage: A Celebration of Yiddish Music and Culture. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton traces the path of African rhythms from their arrival in the Caribbean through their journey to New Orleans and throughout the United States. Jazz pianist Jason Moran and mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran draw upon their own family lore and the historical record of the Great Migration with a roster of guest artists.

The festival celebration will extend beyond Carnegie Hall through performances, exhibitions, and events at more than 35 prestigious festival partner organizations in New York City to highlight aspects of these three migrations as well as others—from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and more—that have contributed to American culture today. A complete festival schedule will be published later in 2018.

Carnegie Hall continues its strong focus on new music entering the fourth year of its five-year 125 Commissions Project, an initiative through which at least 125 new works are being commissioned by Carnegie Hall from today’s leading composers. Commissioned composers in the 2018–2019 season include Louis Andriessen, Kinan Azmeh, Harrison Birtwistle, Terence Blanchard, Valerie Coleman, Donnacha Dennehy, Hannah Lash, David Lang, Andrew Norman, Chris Thile, Jörg Widmann and Julia Wolfe, among others.

Additional highlights of Carnegie Hall’s 2018–2019 season include performances by seventeen leading orchestras from around the world, including the return of Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra presenting the annual Isaac Stern Memorial Concert; the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, play-conducted by pianist Mitsuko Uchida; and the 50th anniversary of the New York String Orchestra, led by Jaime Laredo and joined by soloists pianist Yefim Bronfman, violinist Joshua Bell, and NYSO alumni from the past five decades.

The English Concert and Artistic Director Harry Bicket return in spring 2019 as part of their multi-year Handel opera/oratorio project at Carnegie Hall, presenting a concert performance of Handel’s Semele with outstanding American soprano Brenda Rae singing the title role. Other early music presentations include the return of Jordi Savall with Le Concert des Nations, Bach Collegium Japan with Masaaki Suzuki, and Bernard Labadie with his La Chapelle de Québec and Les Violons du Roy.

Also next season, among a wide variety of vocal and instrumental recitals and chamber concerts: tenor Jonas Kaufmann performs German operetta and film music from the 1920s and 1930s with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; pianist Igor Levit, recent winner of the prestigious Gilmore Award, returns to Carnegie Hall; the Hagen Quartet makes two appearances, including the US premiere of a Carnegie Hall-commissioned clarinet quintet by Jörg Widmann with the composer on clarinet; the subscription concert debut of Decoda, and four performances by Ensemble Connect, including the New York premiere of a Carnegie Hall-commissioned work by Gabriella Smith.

Popular and world music highlights next season include the return to Carnegie Hall of Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and activist Youssou N’Dour in his first headlining performance since his own Carnegie Hall Perspectives in 2005-2006, plus A Night of Inspiration with acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew leading uplifting music from diverse traditions; and Steven Reineke and The New York Pops with their remarkable five-concert series celebrating America’s popular music from Broadway to film scores, early rock and roll to holiday classics.

Alongside Carnegie Hall’s 2018–2019 line-up of performances, the Hall also announced that a wide range of innovative music education and social impact programs created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) will serve close to 600,000 people in the coming season in New York City, across the US, and worldwide.

Highlights of WMI’s season include the launch in summer 2018 of NYO Jazz, a new program that will bring together the best teen jazz musicians from across the country for an intensive training residency before sharing America’s music with audiences in New York City and as part of an international tour. For NYO Jazz’s inaugural season, trumpeter Sean Jones will serve as artistic advisor and bandleader for debut concerts at Carnegie Hall and in Europe. Also in summer 2018, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) enters its sixth season with a return trip to China and debut performances in Taiwan and South Korea, and NYO2 travels to Miami Beach for the first time, partnering with the New World Symphony for a six-day residency, conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto. All three ensembles will perform at Carnegie Hall over two exciting weeks in July, showcasing the very best young players from across the US.

Link Up, Carnegie Hall’s music education programs for grades 3-5, continues to grow in 2018–2019, reaching approximately 450,000 students and teachers through partnerships with more than 110 orchestras across the country and around the globe, while WMI’s Music Educators Workshop connects hundreds of teachers from throughout the US to share best practices and cultivate a strong community through professional development during the school year and at an intensive summer program, open to educators from throughout the US, at Carnegie Hall. Grassroots music education organizations nationwide will also be supported through PlayUSA, a grant program that supports fifteen innovative local groups working with low-income and underserved K–12 students.

Here in New York, teens will collaborate, tell their stories, and develop their artistry through the Future Music Project and NeON Arts, and men who are incarcerated will write original music, build instrumental skills, and perform as part of Musical Connections, an ongoing creative residency that has been offered at Sing Sing Correctional Facility for the past ten years. Pregnant women, new mothers, and their families will also continue to write personal songs through the Lullaby Project, a movement that is now spreading across the country and internationally through the help of partner artists and organizations. In 2018, Decca Gold (Universal Music Group) will release Hopes and Dreams, an album of original lullabies written by Lullaby Project participants and performed by leading artists, including Lawrence Brownlee, Joyce DiDonato, Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and the Brentano String Quartet, among others.

Among WMI’s series of masterclasses and workshops for young professional musicians, soprano Renée Fleming will launch The Song Studio, a program that will bring leading musicians and other performing artists together to mentor emerging singers and pianists, explore innovative approaches to the art song repertoire, and invite new audiences to engage with the art form. The Song Studio builds on the remarkable legacy of supporting young singers that Marilyn Horne created and sustained over the last two decades through The Song Continues.

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato also returns to Carnegie Hall’s Resnick Education Wing for her annual series of public masterclasses for professional young singers focusing on opera repertoire.

Carnegie Hall and WQXR 105.9 FM in New York will partner for an eighth consecutive year to produce Carnegie Hall Live, an engaging nationwide live broadcast and digital series featuring performances from throughout Carnegie Hall’s season. This year’s series launches on October 3 with Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala performance featuring the San Francisco Symphony led by Michael Tilson Thomas and joined by Renée Fleming and Audra McDonald. The full 2018–2019 broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Bank of America will be Carnegie Hall’s season sponsor for the fourteenth consecutive year. “Carnegie Hall and Bank of America have a shared belief in the power of arts and culture to strengthen our communities and to connect people with one another,” said Clive Gillinson. “We thank Bank of America for their continued partnership which plays a central role in bringing extraordinary musical experiences to New York audiences at Carnegie Hall and beyond. We deeply appreciate their loyal support of the Hall’s programming, and their strong commitment to arts and culture worldwide.”

“Bank of America is pleased to return as season sponsor of Carnegie Hall,” said Rena DeSisto, Global Arts and Culture Executive for Bank of America. “This partnership is emblematic of our longstanding commitment to be a leader in supporting the arts around the world. We believe strongly that the arts matter and that cultural organizations, like Carnegie Hall, help economies thrive, help individuals connect with each other and across cultures, and educate and enrich societies.”

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Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

United Airlines® is the Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.

Breguet is the Exclusive Timepiece of Carnegie Hall.

Mastercard® is the Preferred Card of Carnegie Hall.

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