Warren-Green Unveils the 83rd Seasn, His Fifth as Music Director
Music Director Christopher Warren-Green has announced the Charlotte Symphony's 2014-2015 Classics Series, laying out a season that will tell symphonic stories of adventure, celebrate the anniversaries of composers Richard Strauss and Jean Sibelius, generously showcase beloved pieces from the piano repertory and present the North Carolina premier of a Concerto for Pipa, a four-stringed Chinese instrument, to be played by reigning pipa virtuoso Wu Man.
Other 2014-2015 highlights include Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 "Eroica, Schubert's "Tragic" Symphony, A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms, Tchaikovsky's "Little Russian" Symphony No. 2, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber and, finally, Dvorak's "From the New World," for which a Sunday Mother's Day Matinee has been added as a third performance to close the season.
A special sprinkling of music by Richard Strauss and Jean Sibelius throughout the season celebrates the 150th anniversaries of their 1864 and 1865 births, respectively.
In addition to Finlandia, the Symphony will also present Sibelius' Symphony No. 5, but his Violin Concerto in D Minor is not to be overshadowed: the young and versatile Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, considered the premier Sibelius interpreter by Warren-Green and other experts, will feature as soloist.
Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) and Don Quixote add tales of adventure to the season, but Strauss isn't the only composer getting in on the hero theme. Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," will be featured in January, as will Rossini's Overture to William Tell, and Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland will be part of an all-American Ulysses Festival program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.
Lovers of piano music will not be disappointed: long-renowned Lebanese composer and pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha will play "Emperor" (Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5) in October; the commanding young Lukas Vondracek will return to perform with the Charlotte Symphony for Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in February; In April, the most recent winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition, Yulianna Avdeeva, will delight with Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2; and finally, in May, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 will be presented by the dynamic Natasha Paremski.
Beyond the pianists, other 2014-2015-Season soloists include Gary Hoffman performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto in B minor, cellist Julian Schwarz representing Strauss' Don Quixote, the Charlotte Symphony's talented concertmaster Calin Lupanu on the Barber Violin Concerto and, of course, Wu Man and Pekka Kuusisto.
The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte will feature in Brahms' A German Requiem in November and again in March for the all-American program of Copland, Barber and Bernstein.
Christopher Warren-Green will conduct eight of the ten programs scheduled for the 14-15 Classics Season. Rising female conductor Mei-Ann Chen will take the podium for October program featuring the Pipa Concert. Gerard Schwarz, former Music Director for Seattle Symphony as well as New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, will conduct the January Don Quixote program featuring his son, cellist Julian Schwarz.
All concerts take place at the Belk Theater in the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
In addition to the usual 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night concerts, the Symphony has added 7:30 p.m. Thursday performances to its Classics III and Classics IX programs in hopes that music lovers who cannot make it to the Symphony on weekend nights will be able to join the audience.
Season subscriptions make for a substantial savings over single ticket prices and offer the best seats among other subscriber benefits. Renewing subscribers are given first priority; new subscribers can create and purchase their packages starting March 3. Single tickets will go on sale this summer.