James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (617.266.1492) continue to make the best kind of news. The maestro will be here for Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and the world premiere of Jonathan Dawe’s The Flowering Arts (January 12-14 + 17), then Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with an all-star line-up: Deborah Voigt, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Ben Heppner, and René Pape (January 19-21). He’ll also be conducting and playing the piano with the BSO Chamber Players in his Beethoven/Schoenberg series, with tenor Matthew Polenzani singing Beethoven’s An die ferne geliebte cycle and legendary soprano Anja Silja reciting Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire (January 22).
He’ll be back for a Beethoven program with violinist Miriam Fried, pianist Jonathan Biss (Fried’s son), and cellist Ralph Kirshbaum in the Triple Concerto (February 9-12 + 14) and a program of Schoenberg — Five Orchestral Pieces, Variations for Orchestra, Pelleas und Melisande — (February 16-18 + 21) and then another blockbuster, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, with Hunt Lieberson, soprano Karita Mattila, and tenors Johan Botha and Paul Groves (February 23-25). Levine ends his spring stay with Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 and the Beethoven Ninth (March 1-4).
BSO guest conductors include Kurt Masur (January 5-7 + 10); Bernard Haitink (with pianist Richard Goode, January 25-28 + 31; and leading Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, February 2-4); David Robertson (with Yo-Yo Ma in an Osvaldo Golijov premiere, March 15-18); Yuri Temirkanov (with violinist Joshua Bell, March 29-31 and April 1); Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (Mozart with violinist Gil Shaham, April 6-8 + 11; and the Berlioz Requiem with Matthew Polenzani, April 13-15); Robert Spano (a Beethoven/Finnish-composer program with pianist Piotr Anderszewski, April 19-22 + 25); and Christoph von Dohnányi (with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, April 27-29 + May 2; and Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, May 4-6).
The Bank of America Celebrity Series (617.482.2595) starts the New Year with a home-town guy, pianist David Deveau (Jordan Hall, January 14). Lovers of music as well as dance wouldn’t miss Mark Morris’s choreographing of Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, with Craig Smith conducting Emmanuel Music (Wang Theatre, January 20-22). Also on tap are cellist Matt Haimovitz (Sanders Theatre, February 3), German flutist Emmanuel Pahud with pianist Yefim Bronfman (Jordan February 4), Daniel Barenboim at the piano and conducting the Staatskapelle Berlin (Symphony Hall, February 10), contralto Ewa Podles (Jordan Hall, February 17), Italian chamber orchestra I Musici with pianist Stephen Hough (Symphony Hall, March 5), the St. Lawrence String Quartet with pianist Menahim Pressler (Jordan Hall, March 11), Kurt Masur leading the London Philharmonic (Symphony Hall, March 24), the hot new-music group eighth blackbird (Sanders Theatre, March 26), and pianist Murray Perahia (Symphony Hall, March 31).
Violinist Vadim Repin collaborates with pianist Nikolai Lugansky (Jordan Hall, April 8); they’re followed by the Emerson String Quartet (April 21). Superstar violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zuckerman (who also plays viola) are sure to fill Symphony Hall (April 26); so is pianist Maurizio Pollini (April 30). Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky closes the Celebrity Series season (Jordan Hall, May 13). I’m especially looking forward to NPR’s Terry Gross interviewing NPR’s Ira Glass (Symphony Hall, April 9).