Be Transformed: Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces 2015-2016 Masterworks Series

HARTFORD, April 9, 2015 – Hartford Symphony Orchestra President & CEO David Fay and HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan are pleased to announce the programming for the HSO’s 2015-2016 Masterworks Series that will be presented at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT.

“We invite you to experience life with live music,” said Fay. “Next season, you’ll hear masterworks from Bach, Beethoven, Dvo?ák, Gershwin, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and more.  In addition, our Masterworks season will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning and contemporary composers, dynamic guest artists and HSO principal musicians.  Our patrons will also help us select a new Associate Conductor when finalists guest-conduct as part of the selection process.”

Ticket Information: Current Masterworks subscribers will receive their renewal information in April. New subscriptions will be available in June. Single tickets will go on sale in August. For information on subscriptions, please call 860-987-5900.  More information about subscribing is available at www.hartfordsymphony.org.

All artists, dates, and locations are subject to change.


October 1-4, 2015
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Adams Shaker Loops
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Dvo?ák Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World
The season opener features composers who were inspired by diverse musical traditions and genres to create visionary new works.  John Adams’ score for string ensemble was named for both the sound of the strings “shaking” as they oscillate between notes, and the imagery of Shakers dancing to energetic music as they worship.  Bruch’s most famous composition remains one of the most frequently performed of all violin concerti. The “New World” – Dvo?ák’s most popular symphony (and the recording Neil Armstrong took along for the first moon landing) – was influenced by the melodies of Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the rhythms of African-American spirituals.

November 5-7, 2015
William Eddins conductor and piano
Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op.93
Back by popular demand, guest conductor William (Bill) Eddins returns to conduct the HSO in an all-Beethoven program.  The overture, inspired by von Collin’s play Coriolan and Shakespeare’s tragedy Coriolanus, contrasts a warrior’s bold resolve as he is about to invade Rome with the tender pleadings of his mother to desist.  Beethoven’s third piano concerto pays homage to Mozart’s 24th in its melodies, rhythmic gestures and phrasings.  His eighth symphony is light and humorous, contradictory (and perhaps conciliatory) to the composer’s circumstances during the summer of 1812, when he ended a romantic relationship in a famous letter written to his “Immortal Beloved.”

with The Hartford Chorale
December 3-6, 2015
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Hartford Chorale
Richard Coffey, music director
Higdon Blue Cathedral
Fauré Requiem in D minor, Op. 48
Handel Excerpts from Messiah
Let joyous music warm your heart and lift your holiday spirit, as the masterful musicians of the HSO are joined by the magnificent voices of The Hartford Chorale.  2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon describes the muse for her composition as being “blue like the sky, where all possibilities soar…and a cathedral, a place of thought, growth and spiritual expression.”  Created almost certainly as a musical tribute to his father, Fauré’s Requiem is noted for its calm, serene and peaceful outlook.  Handel’s oratorio Messiah is the most powerful telling of the Passion story – a soaring celebration of salvation and rebirth!

January 21-24, 2016
Three finalists will conduct the HSO as part of the selection process for the new Assistant Conductor position!
Edward Rozie double bass; Robert McEwan vibraphone; Leonid Sigal violin
Bottesini Bass Concerto No. 2 in B minor, 2nd & 3rd Movements
Sejourne Concerto for Vibraphone and Strings, 1st Movement
Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28
Mozart Overture to Die Zauberflöte. K. 620 (The Magic Flute)
Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun)
Borodin Polovtsian Dances
Here’s your opportunity to hear, see and play your part!  After the performance, you’ll have the opportunity to voice your choice for Associate Conductor, a new position that will assist Music Director Carolyn Kuan to extend the HSO’s community and educational outreach.  During the first part of the program, each candidate will conduct an orchestral show piece, featuring HSO principal musicians.  Each candidate will then conduct the full HSO in a tour-de-force, showcasing the orchestra’s might and delicacy under his or her leadership.

February 11-14, 2016
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Wagner Tristan und Isolde, Prelude & Liebestod
Bach Concerto for Violin & Oboe in C minor
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, “Quasi una fantasia” (“Moonlight Sonata”)Additional orchestral works to be announced
Musical love tales and beautiful choreography take center stage in this program that will include Pas de Deux selections with featured dancers.  Wagner’s transcendent opera will have you spellbound.  Reminiscent of many couples in love, Bach relished the challenge of writing for two dissimilar instruments, emphasizing their qualities in common and making harmony of their differences. Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” was likened to the romantic effect of the moon shining upon Switzerland’s picturesque Lake Lucerne.  Bring your loved one – and share your own love notes – for a special Valentines’ night out!

March 10-13, 2016
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Prokofiev Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op.100
Carolyn Kuan and the HSO interpret the red-hot and icy-cool works of two iconic Russian masters!  Inspired by his conducting studies of Haydn and Mozart, Prokofiev’s first symphony is known as the “Classical” and remains one of his most popular and beloved works.  Written while in a Soviet safe haven during World War II, Prokofiev described his fifth symphony as “a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit.”  One of the best-known violin concerti in the repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s is widely considered as one of the most technically difficult works for the instrument.  THE KOSKI MEMORIAL CONCERT

April 7-10, 2016
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Gluck Orpheo ed Euridice (Orpheus & Eurydice)
The HSO transforms Gluck’s most famous opera with a dramatic concert staging of sumptuous sights and sounds.  Orpheus & Eurydice is the exhilarating account of the mythical Greek hero’s descent into the underworld to rescue his true love.  Its exceptional libretto and music – evocative choral passages, imaginative ballets, dramatic duets, and the hero’s famous lament – convey a timeless message of love’s power to triumph over all.

May 12-15, 2016
Guest conductor and pianist to be announced
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor
Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
Wrote Sergei Rachmaninoff, “I try to make my music speak simply and directly, that which is in my heart.”  The public was already familiar with Rachmaninoff’s second and third piano concertos before he revised his first, begun at age 18. Using an acquired knowledge of harmony, orchestration, piano technique and musical form, he transformed it into a spirited work that maintains its youthful freshness.  Rachmaninoff’s second symphony combines the intense emotions of opera with the luscious sounds of a full symphony orchestra.   Although written more than 100 years ago, its sweeping melodies still speak to the hearts of audiences today (pop singer Eric Carmen even borrowed the melody for his hit, “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again!”).

June 9-12, 2016
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Kayhan Kalhor kamancheh
David Krakauer klezmer clarinet
Christina Pato Galician bagpipe
Michael Ward-Bergeman accordion
Gershwin An American in Paris
Golijov Rose of the Winds
Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
Our season finale is a “world-wind” tour of exotic international sights and sounds featuring our woodwind section!  Symphonic Dances was Rachmaninoff’s last completed composition and is a stunning virtuoso showpiece for orchestra, combining energetic rhythmic sections with lush harmonies.  George Gershwin’s jazz-influenced symphonic poem evokes the energy he witnessed in Paris during the 1920s, and remains one of his best-known and most beloved compositions. Osvaldo Golijov’s Rose of the Winds is a “bold yet seamless melding of musical resonances from Christian, Arabic and Jewish traditions, with ear-catching instrumental sounds and colors representing numerous points of the compass,” said the Chicago Tribune.



Hartford Symphony Orchestra 2014-2015 Season Sponsor: Travelers

Masterworks Series Sponsors: MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation

POPS! Series Presenting Sponsor: United Technologies

HSO programs are funded in part by the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra: Marking its 72st Season in 2015-2016, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is Connecticut’s premier musical organization. The Hartford Symphony is the second largest orchestra in New England and is widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. We believe passionately in the performance of live symphonic music and its value in the community. To that end, the mission of the HSO is to perform live orchestral music of the highest quality for ever-expanding audiences and to increase, through its educational programs, the understanding and enjoyment of that music by residents of Connecticut. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra named Carolyn Kuan as its tenth music director in January 2011; she is the first woman and youngest person to hold this title. She began her tenure with the HSO in the fall of 2011. The HSO presents more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, Jazz & Strings, Lincoln Financial Discovery Concerts, Symphony in the Schools, Neighborhood Concerts, Musical Dialogues, Musical Connections, and more. In addition, the HSO presents the popular summer series, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival in Simsbury.


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The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106