Dan Ettinger conducts his first Stuttgarter Philharmoniker concerts of 2020, beginning with three Children’s Concerts on January 15, 16 & 18. The performances focus on the story of one of Beethoven’s most-loved works about a day in the country, his Symphony No. 6, known as his “Pastoral.” Jorg Schade will play the role of Beethoven, with Lina Oppermann as a young concert goer, and Carl-Herbert “Charly” Braun as her father.

On January 24 at the Liederhalle Beethovensaal, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan, hailed by The New York Times as one the “most admired pianists of his generation,” makes his debut with the ensemble, playing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto under the baton of Mr. Ettinger. Also on the program are two venerated works by Debussy: his epochal masterpiece Prélude à l’après-midi d’ un faune, and his Trois Nocturnes. Following, on January 25 at the Gustav-Siegle-Haus, the orchestra presents their thrilling “Sitting in the middle of the orchestra” concert, where concert-goers can experience how the conductor and orchestra collaborate up-close. For the program, Mr. Ettinger leads Tchaikovsky’s powerful Fourth Symphony.

Concluding the month, Mr. Ettinger leads the ensemble and Japanese jazz pianist, Makoto Ozone, and mezzo-soprano Edna Prochnik in a concert on January 31 and February 1. Two prolific works of American music bookend the program: Barber’s famous Adagio for Strings, and Bernstein’s moving First Symphony “Jeremiah,” featuring Ms. Prochnik. Makoto Ozone interprets Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, a work heavily influenced by jazz, which Ravel had encountered on a concert tour of the United States in 1928.