This month, Joyce DiDonato joins the National Youth Orchestra of the USA on tour with Sir Antonio Pappano, for four performances of Berlioz’s six ravishing love songs: Les nuits d’été. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz. Although not known primarily as a composer of song, he wrote more than fifty, many of them prime examples of his gift for melody.

The concert appearances will include August 9 at Usher Hall, part of the Edinburgh International Festival; August 11 at Royal Albert Hall, part of BBC Proms (broadcast available via BBC Four on Friday, August 16); August 13 at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; and conclude on August 14 at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (live stream available on August 14 via the Elbphilharmonie).

Led by conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, the orchestra will also perform, Strauss’ Alpine Symphony and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, plus works by NYO-USA’s two apprentice composers: Tyson J. Davis (Delicate Tension – world premiere) and Benjamin S. Beckman (Occidentalis). Tyson J. Davis’ Delicate Tension was commissioned by the U.S. Embassy of Berlin in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and is inspired by the Kandinsky painting of the same name.