Download the 2016-2017 Concert Guide

Oct 2016


Friday, October 7, 2016 - Sunday, October 9, 2016

The HSO kicks off its 2016-2017 season with a program of music with global flair! Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol is one of the most famous orchestra showpieces, a vividly brilliant composition based on Spanish folk melodies. Inspired by the collection of Middle Eastern and Indian tales “The Thousand and One Nights,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade brings to vibrant life the story of the young wife of a Sultan who tells tales to her husband to forestall his plan to kill her. Rodrigo’s extraordinarily beautiful Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra is unquestionably his best known work, and established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the 20th century.

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Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton explores the collaborative relationship between music and storytelling, and its importance in the filmmaking process. Composer Danny Elfman and visionary Hollywood filmmaker Tim Burton have created a unique concert experience, blending music and visuals to celebrate the three decades-long partnership of two of Hollywood’s top creators. This live concert features Danny Elfman’s celebrated film scores brought to life on stage by orchestra and choir, enhanced by the stunning visuals of Tim Burton’s original sketches, drawings, story boards, and film clips rendered in exquisite detail on the big screen. Featuring music from Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland, and many more!

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Mozart and Man Ray

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Taking inspiration from The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs, this Sunday Serenades season opener reflects the intimacy of portraiture, the beauty of the natural landscape, and the brilliance of human creativity with Mozart’s elegant playful Trio in E-flat Major, K. 498, “Kegelstatt,” Adams’ travel-inspired Road Movies, and Hummel’s whirling Grande Sérénade en Poutpourri, No. 1, Op. 63. Featuring HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal and leading HSO musicians.

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Nov 2016

Bewitching Brahms

Friday, November 11, 2016 - Sunday, November 13, 2016

The HSO celebrates one of the most captivating masters of musical form with a full program of Johannes Brahms’ music. His Hungarian Dances No. 5 in G minor and No. 7 in A Major are lively, evocative and among his most popular works. The Concerto for Violin in D Major is a favorite of virtuoso violinists – the technical demands are formidable, with lyrical melodies and rich orchestration. And Brahms’ final symphony is a monumental, complex and powerful piece with nods to Beethoven.

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Dec 2016

Merry Mozart

Friday, December 9, 2016 - Sunday, December 11, 2016

Usher in the winter months with works by Mozart, Mackey and the return of guest violinist Sirena Huang! Mozart’s Don Giovanni is recognized as one of the greatest operas of all time, and its overture, with comedic and melodramatic elements, was completed just hours before the opera’s premiere in October, 1787 – not atypical for that time period. Back by popular demand, violinist Sirena Huang first graced the HSO stage as a young child. Her return with composer Steven Mackey on electric guitar for his Four Iconoclastic Episodes will be…electrifying! The program concludes with Mozart’s exhilarating and transcendent “Jupiter” symphony. Mozart’s final symphony was given its nickname in tribute to the ancient Roman god of sky and thunder, also known as the King of the Gods. Plus, don’t miss a holiday musical surprise!

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Holiday Cirque Spectacular!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

It’s Hartford’s family holiday concert tradition! Enjoy your favorite seasonal music, as Carolyn Kuan conducts the HSO, while Cirque de la Symphonie performs on and above the stage. Breathtaking aerialists, mind-boggling contortionists, and jaw-dropping jugglers will have you awestruck. Experience the magic of this ultimate holiday extravaganza!

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Jan 2017

Beethoven and Ravel

Friday, January 20, 2017 - Sunday, January 22, 2017

Celebrate the new year with the HSO! Come hear why a German critic described Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge as “incomprehensible, like Chinese” and “a confusion of Babel.” Today, the work is considered one of the composer’s greatest achievements! Ravel’s exuberant and soulful Piano Concerto in G Major was influenced by jazz, which he called “a very rich and vital source of inspiration.” Like Brahms’ final symphony, Franz Schubert’s thrilling magnum opus, Symphony No. 9, “The Great C Major,” pays tribute to Beethoven’s Ninth and is an extraordinarily complicated piece for its time period.

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Feb 2017

Symphonic Love Potions

Friday, February 10, 2017 - Sunday, February 12, 2017

It’s a symphonic love extravaganza! Celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with Carolyn Kuan and the HSO as it performs music inspired by romance. R. Strauss’ passionate Don Juan tells the tale of the great lothario Don Juan and his quest for ideal love. Dorman’s double percussion concerto Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! mixes elements of Western, Arabic and Indian music, and refers to three substances that are both appealing and dangerous. From the most romantic love story of all time, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture – Fantasy introduces the dramatic and achingly beautiful tale of doomed young lovers. Plus, some of the world’s most romantic jazz ballads are given new life with lush orchestrations for the HSO and special soloists. Feel the love!

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Snow, Moon and Flowers

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade, Op. 2, D. 118, Takemitsu’s haunting Between Tides, and Debussy’s light and elegant Piano Trio in G Major offer a musical relfection of Utamaro’s Snow, Moon and Flowers series from the Edo period, on view together for the first time since the early 20th century. Featuring HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal and leading HSO musicians.

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Mar 2017

A Faust Symphony

Friday, March 10, 2017 - Sunday, March 12, 2017

Faust makes a deal with the devil, Mephistopheles, to trade his soul for the devil’s services on Earth. But when Faust seduces the attractive Gretchen with Mephistopheles’ help, his world falls apart and Gretchen’s life is shattered. Hungarian composer Franz Liszt brought these characters to life in his three part character study A Faust Symphony, written almost 70 years after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s iconic drama. This new adaptation will bring spoken word, drama and action to the HSO stage, infusing Liszt’s character sketches with elements of the theatrical storyline. Come see, hear and imagine the yearning, scheming, agony and ecstasy of man’s desire to improve his lot – ultimately to his own downfall. Sponsored by the Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming.

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The Music of U2

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and a full rock band take a musical journey spanning four decades of monster hits including “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Desire,” “One” and many more. Formed in 1976 in Dublin, Ireland, U2 quickly climbed the charts and became one of the premiere rock bands of all time, selling more than 150 million records worldwide and earning 22 GRAMMY® Awards — more than any other band. Singer Brody Dolyniuk and conductor Brent Havens lead the band and the HSO through a classic night of U2 performed as you’ve never heard it before!

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Apr 2017

The Planets: Different Worlds

Friday, April 7, 2017 - Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vaughan Williams once described Holst’s The Planets as “the perfect equilibrium” of the mystic and the melodic sides of the composer’s nature. Inspired by the astrological character of each planet, this enduringly popular work also bears the richness and emotional warmth of humanity. Ingram Marshall’s Kingdom Come was written in the mid-1990s in memory of his brother-in-law, who was killed while working as a journalist in Bosnia. Taped components of the composition were collected years earlier, during services at a Croatian Catholic Church and a Serbian Orthodox Church. Bates’ Liquid Interface was inspired by his time living on Berlin’s enormous Lake Wannsee, and watching the metamorphosis of the water through the seasons. The result is a unique blend of acoustic orchestra with electronic sounds not to be missed..

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Save the Date! - Bravo! Gala 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Join us for an elegant evening in celebration and support of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

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May 2017

Amistad @ 30: Songs and Spirituals

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Programmed around the celebration of The Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s 30th Anniversary exhibition, this concert features Walker’s captivating Lyric, Volans’ White Man Sleeps, Burleigh’s Songs and Spirituals and Dvo?ák’s Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81. Featuring HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal and leading HSO musicians.

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Russian Intensity

Friday, May 12, 2017 - Sunday, May 14, 2017

The spotlight is on HSO’s own concertmaster, Leonid Sigal, in this concert featuring the works of Russian composers. Alexander Borodin died before he finished his Prince Igor opera; it was Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov who completed the work for him after he passed, with Glazunov composing much of the Overture. Glazunov’s Concerto for Violin in A minor was written at the height of the composer’s fame, while he was spending time at his summer home in Oserki. The pastoral setting inspired the lyrical mood of the concerto, which is superbly imagined and vivacious. Tchaikovsky’s great Symphony No. 4 was dedicated to his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck; he claimed she would find in it “an echo of your most intimate thoughts and emotions.” With the theme of Fate running throughout, Symphony No. 4 is emotionally and musically complex.

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Playing with Dogs

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Get ready for a fabulous night with our favorite furry friends! Conducted by HSO Assistant Conductor Adam Kerry Boyles, Playing with Dogs brings together music and mutts like you’ve never seen before. Featuring pups and handlers from the HSO audience and the World Canine Freestyle Organization, you will enjoy a night of heartwarming tales of man’s best friend, as well as dazzling choreography and amazing tricks – all set to music inspired by our very special love of dogs!

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Jun 2017

Choral Fantasy and Mystical Songs

Friday, June 9, 2017 - Sunday, June 11, 2017

HSO Assistant Conductor Adam Kerry Boyles leads his first complete Masterworks concert! Brahms’ sparkling Academic Festival Overture was composed as a musical “thank you” to the University of Breslau for awarding him an honorary doctorate. A curmudgeonly joker, Brahms created a “boisterous potpourri of student drinking songs.” This program also explores the unique relationship of teacher and student – Haydn and Beethoven as well as Ravel and Vaughan Williams. Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” combines grandeur and lyricism, with a foreshadowing of his “Ode to Joy” from the Ninth Symphony. Inspired by the Anglican Church, Williams’ meditative Five Mystical Songs sets four poems by poet and priest George Herbert to music, concluding in a triumphant hymn of praise.

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