The first half of the third program of our season features one of the world’s most famous and respected Mozarteans, pianist and scholar Robert Levin. Mr. Levin astonished the music world with his masterful completion of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem when he was barely out of his teens, and has gone on to a stellar career as pianist (on both the fortepiano and the modern piano) while deepening his international stature as scholar and teacher in the ensuing decades. This local luminary – he teaches at Harvard – is returning to the Boston Philharmonic after too long an absence with one of Mozart’s greatest works for the keyboard, the magisterial Piano Concerto in C Major, K. 503.
Bruckner symphonies have not appeared often on BPO programs, but every performance of one of them has proved to be a major and unforgettable event. The Philharmonic’s performance of the Fifth Symphony several seasons ago is still talked about in Boston’s musical community. The incomparably lyrical Seventh Symphony has always been the most popular of the Bruckner symphonies – the symphony guaranteed to make converts out of people who think they don’t like Bruckner. It is filled with yearning, joy, and love. And heartache, too, in the sublime slow movement, which contains a memorial to Wagner, who died during its composition.