Concert halls around the world are programming Beethoven this year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth. So it is perhaps fitting that the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center decided to focus next season on one of Beethoven’s greatest admirers: Schubert.
“The Magic of Schubert,” a festival next winter that will offer performances of Schubert’s sonatas, quartets, dances, octets and lieder, will anchor the Chamber Music Society’s 2020-21 season, which was announced on Tuesday.
The festival will include four Schubert-heavy concerts — with a lineup of artists including the pianist Alessio Bax, the soprano Joélle Harvey and the Escher String Quartet — followed by a fifth exploring Schubert’s legacy through works by Mendelssohn, Liszt, Previn, Ernst, Mahler, Prokofiev and Korngold.
In the new season, the society will also continue its New Milestones series, which explores more recent work. The series will give the New York premiere of “A Song by Mahler,” by Marc Neikrug, as well as of a new work that the society commissioned from Zosha Di Castri. And it plans to present the New York premiere of “Abgang and Kaddish” for clarinet, violin, cello and piano by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, who was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for composition.
The season, the society’s 51st, will feature some 130 different artists, including performances by the Miró Quartet, the Calidore String Quartet and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Many events will be streamed online.
As the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center debate whether or not to put a pipe organ back in David Geffen Hall when they renovate it, the Chamber Music Society will have the organist Stephen Tharp give the 4,192-pipe Alice Tully Hall organ a workout on a Dec. 6 program of Bach works.
And a “Carnival of the Animals” program will pair Saint-Saëns’s familiar “Le carnaval des animaux” with animal-inspired works by Biber, Handel, Haydn, Copland and Debussy.