Next season, the New York Philharmonic will give the American premiere of “Fin de Partie,” the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag’s acclaimed opera based on Beckett’s “Endgame,” in a fully staged production conducted by its music director, Jaap van Zweden.
The Kurtag opera promises to be one of the highlights of the Philharmonic’s 2020-21 season, which was announced Wednesday.
The orchestra will also perform new works by Joan Tower, Jessie Montgomery, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Melinda Wagner, Angélica Negrón, Du Yun, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Caroline Shaw. Those pieces are part of Project 19, the Philharmonic’s multiyear initiative commissioning 19 works by women to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which barred the states from denying women the right to vote.
The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth will participate in several programs over two weeks in February. And the jazz pianist Chick Corea will be the orchestra’s artist in residence, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, with his own cadenzas, and writing a trombone concerto.
The new season is not as ambitious as the one unveiled recently by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which has the largest annual budget of any American orchestra. But Deborah Borda, the New York Philharmonic’s president and chief executive officer — and the former leader in Los Angeles — said it would present the work of important artists and composers in meaningful ways.
“I think that what we’re providing, in terms of New York audiences, is really vibrant, and really different, and living up to the thought of being in New York City and in our time,’’ she said in an interview.
Here are some of the events that writers for The New York Times are looking forward to.
A Balanced Program (Sept. 24-29)
Conducted by Mr. van Zweden, this may be one of the season’s most well-balanced programs: It opens with the premiere of Ms. Montgomery’s piece for Project 19 (prepare with “Banner,” her stirring and cleverly political deconstruction of the national anthem); continues with Lisa Batiashvili in Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a mercurial thrill ride that she has previously played with astonishing mastery; and concludes with Dvorak’s familiar yet irresistible Seventh Symphony. JOSHUA BARONE
Tchaikovsky, With a Spark (Oct. 8-13)
I never would have imagined getting excited over a program offering two overplayed Tchaikovsky works: the First Piano Concerto and “Pathétique” Symphony. But the performers here make all the difference. The conductor is Manfred Honeck, who has been winning acclaim for bringing fresh vitality and insight to repertory staples as the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. And the soloist in the concerto is the brilliant and probing young Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, in her Philharmonic debut. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Malkki Returns (Nov. 12-17)
Susanna Malkki is simply one of the most exciting conductors of the day. Each of the three programs she has offered so far with the Philharmonic (starting with her 2015 debut) has been exceptional. For her next, she leads two works by her Finnish forebear Sibelius: “The Oceanides” and the visionary Fifth Symphony. And it should be fun to hear what she makes of John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto, featuring the impressive Branford Marsalis. ANTHONY TOMMASINI
Eun Sun Kim’s Debut (Dec. 30-Jan. 5)
The fast-rising conductor Eun Sun Kim’s appointment as the next music director of the San Francisco Opera made history — she will be the first woman to hold the post at an American opera company of its size and stature — so I’m eager to hear her Philharmonic debut. She will lead the pianist Alice Sara Ott in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, in a program that also features Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3 and the New York premiere of Texu Kim’s “Dub-Sanjo.” MICHAEL COOPER
Blomstedt and Levit (Jan. 21-23)
Herbert Blomstedt will be going on 94 — among the oldest musicians working but undiminished and ever perceptive — when he returns to the Philharmonic to conduct Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5, which hasn’t been heard since 2014, during Alan Gilbert’s enlightening Nielsen survey. Joining for the Schumann will be Igor Levit, no stranger to New York but finally making his debut with this orchestra. JOSHUA BARONE
A Thorvaldsdottir Premiere (Feb. 10-13)
Some of the Project 19 commissions feel like they’re thrown randomly into traditional programs. Not so with this more coherent bill, in which the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu leads an evening that includes two touchstones by Sibelius, as well as the American premiere of a new work by the Icelandic Ms. Thorvaldsdottir. The non-Nordic odd man out is Rachmaninoff, whose First Piano Concerto will be played by Yuja Wang. SETH COLTER WALLS
Roomful of Teeth Sings Shaw (Feb. 18-23)
The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth collaborated memorably with the Philharmonic in a 2018 run of Berio’s “Sinfonia.” This time, the group will help deliver the premiere of a work by one of its members: the Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning Ms. Shaw. I’ll be listening for how the usually hard-charging Mr. van Zweden approaches this composer’s subtle and surprising methods of building propulsion. SETH COLTER WALLS
Berg, Brahms and Wagner (April 29-May 1)
For all its pathbreaking 20th century daring, Alban Berg’s elegiac Violin Concerto — dedicated to “the memory of an angel,” Manon Gropius, who died at 18 — has a strongly emotional, Romantic core. So it will be interesting to hear Mr. van Zweden conduct it, with the violinist Renaud Capuçon, on a program that pairs the concerto with music from Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. MICHAEL COOPER
Gaffigan and Americana (May 21-25)
Though he conducted the Philharmonic in parks concerts in 2018, James Gaffigan returns to the Geffen Hall podium this season for the first time since his superb subscription debut in 2015. He’ll introduce the orchestra to Dvorak’s American Suite, which he recorded (shiningly) several years ago, on a program that also includes Samuel Barber’s bombastic, soaring Symphony in One Movement and Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” Symphony, with the ever-suave pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist. ZACHARY WOOLFE
‘Fin de Partie’ (June 10 and 12)
When it had its premiere in 2018 in Milan, Mr. Kurtag’s first opera captured the paradox of its composer’s best music: a sense of unsettled serenity. Perfectly wrought in gnomic scenes, it treats Beckett with spare, sometimes stark delicacy. The Philharmonic brings it to the United States for the first time and just two performances — conducted by Mr. van Zweden, directed by Claire van Kampen and starring Laurent Naouri, Rod Gilfry and J’Nai Bridges. ZACHARY WOOLFE