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Washington Performing Arts Society announces star-packed 2010-11 season

Looks like the Washington Performing Arts Society will be batting a "Thousand" during its 2010-11 season. The lineup includes a performance in October of Mahler's Symphony No. 8 -- the one nicknamed "Symphony of a Thousand" because of the forces required -- conducted by Valery Gergiev, leading the Mariinsky Orchestra and Choral Arts Society of Washington. This is bound to be one hot ticket (speaking of which, WPAS season subscriptions go on sale Friday).

Another Russian orchestra is on the schedule, this one led by the man who gave Gergiev his first big break years ago -- Yuri Temirkanov. Remember him? He has canceled so many guest-conducting engagements in the States in recent years, including with his former orchestra in Baltimore, that he seems quite the stranger now. But he's likely to be at the helm of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic when it performs Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 (with Alicia Weilerstein) and Brahms' Fourth at Strathmore for WPAS in April 2011.

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And speaking of missing maestros, there's

James Levine, whose health issues have forced him to cancel a slew of performances this season. But, if all goes well, he'll make his first WPAS appearance as music director of the Boston Symphony at the Kennedy Center in March 2011, leading a Mozart-Schumann program.

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Other orchestras on the series: Dresden Staatskapelle, conducted by Daniel Harding (Kennedy Center); NHK Symphony Orchestra of Japan, Andre Previn conducting (Strathmore); Philadelphia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit conducting (Kennedy Center).

It looks to me like the list of WPAS recitalists for 2010-11 is about as starry as it could get these days:

soprano Renee Fleming; mezzo Joyce DiDonato; pianists Evgeny Kissin (all-Liszt program), Maurizio Pollini (playing the last three Beethoven sonatas), Emanuel Ax, András Schiff, Marc-André Hamelin, Till Fellner, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Simone Dinnerstein; violnists Anne-Sophie Mutter (playing the three Brahms sonatas), Hilary Hahn (Baltimore's own, as we like to call her, and she's including works by Ives on Antheil on her program), Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman; cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Amit Peled (another Baltimore connection -- he teaches at Peabody).

There's much more, including chamber music and jazz, to round out a very impressive collection of talent.

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