June 8, 2021, NEW YORK—Carnegie Hall today announced programming for its 2021–2022 season, sharing plans to reopen its landmark concert venue to the general public in October 2021. The new season will consist of more than 100 performances presented on Carnegie Hall’s three stages and across New York City, plus a wide range of music education and social impact programming created by the Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Presented from October through June, the season will include appearances by many of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles encompassing classical, jazz, and popular music.
Programming highlights include exciting Perspectives series curated by two renowned artists—pianist and composer Jon Batiste and violinist Leonidas Kavakos; and the appointment of MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe to hold the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. The Hall’s next citywide festival—Afrofuturism—will take place in February–March 2022 with festival programming to be created by Carnegie Hall and leading cultural organizations from New York City and beyond.
Carnegie Hall has been closed to the public since March 13, 2020 due to COVID-19. As New York City reopens and with general health conditions continuing to improve, the Hall is assessing whether further additions can be made to its fall concert schedule. Details about Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala festivities in October and any other programming updates will be announced later this summer.
2021-2022 Season Overview
Curated concert series by three celebrated musicians are major programmatic focuses in 2021–2022. Oscar-winning composer, pianist, bandleader, and cultural ambassador Jon Batiste will curate a multiconcert Perspectives series showcasing his tremendous versatility as an artist, including performances at Carnegie Hall and at venues throughout New York City. The series will include the world premieres of two new works by Batiste, including his large scale, genre-melding American Symphony, commissioned by Carnegie Hall.
Acclaimed violinist Leonidas Kavakos performs three concerts as part of his Perspectives series showcasing his dynamic virtuosity in recital, orchestral, and chamber music settings; collaborations with musical friends, including Yuja Wang, Yo-Yo Ma, and Emanuel Ax; and the New York premiere of a new work by Unsuk Chin, performed with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Julia Wolfe is holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for the 2021–2022 season. At the center of Ms. Wolfe’s Carnegie Hall residency will be three Zankel Hall performances in spring 2022, featuring three of her seminal works that explore the theme of “unsung histories”—Steel Hammer, Cruel Sister, and Anthracite Fields—plus other musical selections.
From February–March 2022, Carnegie Hall will present its next citywide festival, inviting audiences to take a journey through the world of Afrofuturism, a thriving aesthetic movement that looks to the future and imagines alternate realities through a Black cultural lens, intersecting music, visual art, literature, politics, science fiction, and technology. The festival’s line-up, to be announced in fall 2021, will include concerts at Carnegie Hall that cross musical genres including jazz, funk, R&B, Afrobeat, hip-hop, electronic music, and more, plus thought-provoking events at more than 40 leading partner organizations across New York City and beyond.
Additional highlights of Carnegie Hall’s 2021–2022 season will include concerts by some of the finest orchestras from around the world including Valery Gergiev with both the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Mariinsky Orchestra; Andris Nelsons with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin with both The Philadelphia Orchestra and The MET Orchestra; and Franz Welser-Möst with The Cleveland Orchestra, plus four performances by the New York Philharmonic with Music Director Jaap van Zweden and conductor Susanna Mälkki in her Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage debut, and the return to the Hall by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time in 25 years, led by Music Director Vasily Petrenko. In addition, pianist Mitsuko Uchida continues her multi-year exploration of Mozart’s piano concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, leading the ensemble from the keyboard.
In March 2022, the Galilee Chamber Orchestra makes its Carnegie Hall debut with Music Director Saleem Abboud Ashkar in a concert that features violinist Joshua Bell. Founded in 2012, the ensemble is a program of Polyphony Education whose work aims to bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel through classical music education, performance, and dialogue.
In April 2022, the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra makes its Carnegie Hall debut under the direction of Michael Morgan with a program that includes the world premiere of a new work by Jon Batiste, who also appears as piano soloist. Based in Rochester, New York, Gateways Music Festival aims to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent. Its Carnegie Hall concert will be the centerpiece of a four-day residency by Gateways musicians with events held throughout New York City.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s appears twice next season with Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, including a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion during Easter Week, featuring soloists plus La Chapelle de Québec and the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, and music by J.S. Bach and Felix Mendelssohn with countertenor Reginald Mobley and violinist Augustin Hadelich, respectively.
Also featured in the 2021–2022 season will be a return visit this fall by the Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra featuring alumni of the renowned Sphinx Competition; and the Hall’s traditional Christmas Eve concert with the New York String Orchestra conducted by Jamie Laredo.
The English Concert and Artistic Director Harry Bicket return in spring 2022 as part of their multi-year Handel opera/oratorio project at Carnegie Hall, performing Handel’s Serse with mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo singing the title role, joined by soprano Lucy Crowe (Romilda), bass-baritone Neal Davies (Ariodate), and mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack (Amastre). Other early music highlights include performances by Jordi Savall; Jupiter, led by Thomas Dunford; and Grammy Award-winner Apollo’s Fire, conducted by Jeannette Sorrell.
In addition to new works by Jon Batiste and concerts curated by Debs Composer Julia Wolfe, contemporary music offerings next season include the New York premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time, performed by members and collaborators of Silkroad Ensemble; as well as new works co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, performed by Sō Percussion, American Composers Orchestra, Ensemble Connect, Kronos Quartet, and more.
Among a wide variety of vocal and instrumental recitals and chamber concerts next season: soprano Renée Fleming makes a triumphant Carnegie Hall return with narrator Uma Thurman, the Emerson String Quartet, and pianist Simone Dinnerstein for the New York premiere of Previn / Tom Stoppard’s Penelope and more; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is joined on stage by Il Pomo d’Oro and conductor Maxim Emelyanychev; and tenor Jonas Kauffmancollaborates in recital with pianist Helmut Deutsch, all in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage.
An array of the world’s leading pianists appear in recital, including Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Igor Levit, Denis Matsuev, Gabriela Montero, Víkingur Ólafsson, Beatrice Rana, Sir András Schiff, Daniil Trifonov, and Yuja Wang.
Chamber music highlights include a Zankel Hall performance by the Danish String Quartet, launching their “Doppelgänger” project in which they will perform music by Schubert alongside new music specially co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, DSQ, and others over the next four seasons; violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and Friends perform a US premiere by Jörg Widmann plus works by Haydn and Beethoven; and siblings cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason return in recital.
Global, jazz, and popular music offerings include innovative trumpeter and composer Theo Croker in a performance blending post-bop, funk, and electronic music; Grammy Award-nominated singer Jazzmeia Horn in an intimate Zankel Hall concert; Broadway star Jessica Vosk making her Carnegie Hall headlining debut with a program honoring her favorite singers and composers, joined by special guest Kristin Chenoweth; two Zankel Hall performances with singer-songwriter Michael Feinstein; three concerts with Steven Reineke and The New York Pops celebrating music from Broadway plus holiday classics; and Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter Youssou NDOUR who returns for an evening featuring his high-voltage brand of Sengalese pop.
In a special highlight of the season: superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and legendary composer-conductor John Williams will present Across the Stars: The Music of John Williams, a gala evening of Williams’s beloved film music and his new violin concerto written for Ms. Mutter, performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra in a special one-night-only April concert benefitting Carnegie Hall.
Carnegie Hall’s New Look
With today’s announcement of its 2021–2022 season, Carnegie Hall has also unveiled a new fresh look, reflective of the Hall’s magical and visionary spirit. Developed over the past two years in partnership with New York City-based Champions Design, the Hall’s new visual identity system includes a new logo inspired by the distinctive stained-glass lettering atop the poster cases outside the Hall. A new monogram to accompany the logo has been adapted from embossed lettering on an original beam of Carnegie steel that was discovered during the 2014 renovation of the Hall’s upper floors. For more information, visit carnegiehall.org/brand.