Hartford Symphony Orchestra presents second installment of Masterworks In-Depth with Carolyn Kuan November 6-8

Join the Hartford Symphony Orchestra November 6-8, 2020 for the second program in its new free, monthly series, Masterworks In-Depth with Carolyn Kuan – a deep dive into the classical works originally programmed for the 2020-2021 HSO Masterworks season.

HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan will host this online conversation, which will focus on the works scheduled for our November Masterworks program, including Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and “Italian” Symphony as well as Kevin Puts’ Flute Concerto.

Special guests include composer Kevin Puts, and flutist Adam Walker, who was scheduled to appear with the HSO for the November performances.

Visit hartfordsymphony.org/masterworks-indepth to view the conversation any time between 8 pm on November 6 and 5 pm on November 8.  Subsequent programs will be monthly on the days and times originally scheduled Masterworks concerts. Check hartfordsymphony.org for information.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra presents the online East Coast premiere of the film The Bowmakers October 1-4

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce that it will host the online East Coast premiere of filmmaker Ward Serrill’s feature-length documentary, The Bowmakers, October 1-4, 2020. The Bowmakers explores the world of the bow and the extraordinary masters who make them. A live, online Q&A with the filmmaker and special guests will take place on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 7 pm.

Presenting sponsors are The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, and the Richard P. Garmany Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Additional sponsorship comes from NBT Bank.

Tickets are on sale now through hartfordsymphony.org. Buy your tickets now and save $5! Advance tickets may be purchased for $30 per household, and $35 per household after September 30. The film will be available to view from the comfort of your own home at the time of your choice between October 1-4. You will be sent a link to view the film when you purchase your ticket.

On Saturday, October 3 at 7 pm, join HSO Concertmaster Lenny Sigal for a free, live, online Q&A with filmmaker Ward Serrill.  The discussion will be moderated by HSO Associate Concertmaster Lisa Rautenberg, and will include bowmaker Robert Morrow, HSO guest artist Gareth Johnson, and violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, founding member of the Dover Quartet, who is featured in the film.   Advance registration is required to attend the Q&A and discussion. Register here.

To create a special evening, make it a dinner and a movie! To help our downtown restaurant partners, the HSO encourages all to enjoy a special prix fixe “Bowmakers” special dinner created by our partners, Sorella and Salute. Meals are available for pickup only and can be ordered by phone the night of your viewing by contacting the restaurants directly.

 About The Bowmakers

The story of the most important instrument you’ve never heard of.

The Bowmakers explores the world of the bow and the extraordinary masters who make them.

The bow is the Cinderella of the orchestra—the overworked and overshadowed ally to its more glamorous partners. Few people, even among lovers of classical music, think of the bow as an instrument in its own right, but players of stringed instruments see them differently. To musicians, the bow is as essential to expressing the soul of the music as the violin or cello.

The film follows the journey of the “silent servant” of the music world—from the workshops of the virtuosos of the trade, to the birthplace of the bow in France, and to Brazil, home to the imperiled tree from which the world’s finest bows are made.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces musician, staff furloughs

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra announced today that, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the extension of related governmental executive orders limiting large-scale events, the HSO management team and Board of Directors made the difficult decision to furlough the musicians of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as of September 28, 2020, for an undetermined amount of time.

Additionally, on September 1, 2020, three members of the HSO administration staff were furloughed and one position eliminated, and the remaining staff took a significant compensation reduction.

Although regularly scheduled large-scale concerts are not currently possible, the HSO is committed to staying engaged with its audiences and working collaboratively with its musicians to create alternative programming opportunities that will allow individual and small groups musicians to perform virtually as well as potentially in-person, depending on gathering restrictions. A number of these programs are already in development and will be announced soon.

“We can’t emphasize enough how appreciated the work of our musicians is, how valued they are as individuals, and how painstaking this decision-making process has been,” said HSO Executive Director Steve Collins. “The only constant throughout this period of crisis has been the uncertainty of our future on a global, national and local scale.  While this uncertainty may continue, so will our resolve in protecting the HSO and providing for a bright, adaptive future.”

Hartford Symphony Orchestra cancels Masterworks and POPS! performances through December 2020  

Hartford Symphony Orchestra cancels Masterworks and POPS! performances through December 2020  

As Connecticut faces continued uncertainty about when large groups will be permitted to safely gather, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra has made the difficult decision to cancel the first three Masterworks concerts of the 20-21 season: Bernstein & Copland (October 2-4, 2020), Mendelssohn’s Italian (November 6-8, 2020), and Tchaikovsky & Grieg (December 4-6, 2020).  The October 30, 2020 POPS! performance of The Empire Strikes Back in Concert has also been cancelled.

All additional, regular HSO programming and concert series will be evaluated as restrictions regarding indoor events evolve.

Patrons who hold tickets to the cancelled performances have the following options:

  • Receive a credit for a future HSO performance
  • Donate the value of your tickets back to the HSO as a tax-deductible gift
  • Request a refund

The HSO Box Office can be reached by sending an email to tickets@hartfordsymphony.org (preferable method) or by calling 860-244-2999.

Although residents cannot gather in large numbers, the HSO is working to develop compelling alternative forms of fall programming, with details to be announced after Labor Day. Our hope is that fall 2020 will also feature several exciting subscriber and donor-exclusive events, including both virtual experiences and intimate, in-person performances.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Hartford, CT (July 31, 2020) – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra believes passionately in making diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our organization not only a priority but a core value.  This value is born of the conviction that inequity, particularly regarding racial and ethnic diversity, is an unacceptable barrier to effective and lasting community engagement, and artistic vitality.

Inspired by the tragic events in our country that have exposed deep and painful divisions, the HSO is making key commitments in five essential areas to bring our conviction to life and effect systemic change, which can also be found here.

“The Symphony’s leadership intends, with Board support, to press forward and make our commitments to diversity and inclusion a reality,” said Edwin Shirley, Chair of the HSO’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.

Representation and Recruitment

  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity within the orchestra:
      • Goal: Reform how we recruit, hire and train HSO musicians to ensure greater racial diversity and better matching of skills and experience to position requirements, beginning with currently open positions.  Additionally:
        • Provide travel assistance and local housing for auditioning musicians of color, if needed.
        • Pay AFM initiation fees and first year dues for new musicians of color, if needed.
        • Prioritize racial and ethnic diversity within the roster of musicians who perform with the HSO on an occasional or supplemental basis (i.e. the “sub list”).
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity within the Board of Directors:
      • Goal:  Fill no less than 50% of open and new positions with African American, Latinx or other ethnic minority individuals during the next five years.
      • Goal:  Within five years increase racial minority representation from 17% to no less than 30%.
  • Increase racial and ethnic diversity within the administrative staff:
      • Develop specific recruitment strategies to attract racially diverse candidates in partnership with industry experts and best practices.
      • Goal:  Strive to ensure that 50% of all applicants interviewed in person, for all open and newly created positions, are racial minority applicants during the next three years.

Training 

  • Invest in implicit bias training for the HSO Board of Directors, staff, and orchestra:
  • Provide training annually for no less than three years, beginning with a financial commitment of no less than $15,000 in the 2020-21 season.
  • Require all newly hired employees, (administration & orchestra), and Board members to complete an introductory anti-racism and implicit bias training session.

Programming

  • Prioritize racial and ethnic diversity within all HSO programming, and most urgently, increase racial diversity within the Masterworks concert series to the following annual minimum representation: 
  • 2 guest soloists of African American, Latinx or other ethnic minority background (there are 8 total guest soloists in a typical season)
  • 1 guest conductor of African American, Latinx, other ethnic minority background (there are 3 total guest conductors in a typical season)
  • 6 composers of African American, Latinx, Asian, other ethnic minority background (there are 9 concert programs in a typical season)
  • The 2020 summer season and 2020-21 concert season will be reprogrammed, when concerts resume, to consolidate racial and ethnic diversity, including a minimum of one African American or Latinx soloist, guest conductor or composer in each program (number of programs to be determined).
  • Online programming will feature greater racial and ethnic diversity among guest artists and collaborators, beginning with projects featuring pianist Michelle Cann and violinist Randall Goosby in July and August 2020.

Equity and Access

Transparency and Communication

  • More effectively communicate DEI work internally and to the public:
      • Create pages within the HSO website no later than August 15, 2020 detailing our action plans and milestones.
      • Share our progress internally at all Board of Directors meetings, orchestra town hall meetings, no less than quarterly at staff meetings, as well as in written Executive Director’s Reports (at least four times per year).
      • Consistently share our progress with the public via social media and other HSO digital communications.
      • Watch our Confronting Anti-Black Racism in American Orchestras Panel 

The HSO issued this statement on June 3, 2020: The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is saddened and outraged by the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of those who should have protected him, and by the widespread oppression that has taken the life, liberty and dignity of so many African Americans.  We recognize the gap between our mission to serve every member of our community and our history of inaction in effectively confronting systemic racism and implicit bias.  In solidarity with our Black and brown neighbors, we are committed to look inward, and we acknowledge our responsibility to be a catalyst for change including staff and orchestra training, seeking out diverse talent, and developing more inclusive programming.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra presents: HSO Summer Splash! Series

Hartford Symphony Orchestra presents
HSO Summer Splash! Series

First of five concerts to be held at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center
on July 30 

Hartford, CT (July 24, 2020) – Revive your spirit with live music performed by HSO musicians! The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce the HSO Summer Splash! Series, a series of hour-long chamber ensemble concerts to be performed in and around Hartford during July and August.

The first concert in the series will take place on July 30 at 6:30 pm at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Boulevard, Simsbury. This performance will feature the fabulous HSO Brass Quintet. featuring guest Gene Bozzi.  Bring a picnic and your blanket or chairs, and enjoy a summer night with the HSO! Gate opens at 5 pm. Rain date is August 4. Ticket registration is open now.

Additional concerts will take place on the following dates, with tickets available at 10 am on July 28:

*August 12 at 12 pm at Wadsworth Atheneum lawn, 600 Main Street, Hartford (Rain date August 14) Featuring the HSO Jazz Quartet and Mosaic Trio.

*August 12 at 6:30 pm at Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington (Rain date August 13; gate opens at 6). Presented in partnership with Hartford Stage. Featuring the A Piacere String Quartet.

*August 20 at 6:30 pm at Hill-Stead Museum, 35 Mountain Road, Farmington (Rain date August 31; gate opens at 6) Featuring the HSO String Quartet.

*August 25, 6:30 pm at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Boulevard, Simsbury (Rain date August 26; gate opens at 5) Featuring the HSO Jazz Quartet and Mosaic Trio.

These concerts are free and open to the public, but you must register for tickets in advance of the event. No walk-up will be permitted. Visit hartfordsymphony.org to register and for additional information.

By reserving a ticket, you acknowledge you have read the HSO COVID WAIVER and that you assume the risks of and waive liability to Coronavirus/COVID-19. 

Important Information

Attendees are required to wear masks unless they are in a designated seating area with household members. Seating areas are marked and are a minimum of 6 feet apart at all performances. CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) social distancing measures are required for these events. Restrooms will be available at Simsbury Meadows and Hill-Stead Museum performances. Free parking on site at Simsbury Meadows and Hill-Stead Museum; street parking for Wadsworth Atheneum. Capacity for the Simsbury Meadows events is 300 people. Capacity for the Hill-Stead Museum and Wadsworth Atheneum events is 100 people.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra to host online panel discussion on racism in American orchestras on July 7

Hartford Symphony Orchestra to host online panel discussion on racism in American orchestras on July 7

Hartford, CT (June 30, 2020) – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will host an online panel discussion, “Confronting Anti-Black Racism in American Orchestras” on Tuesday, July 7 from 4-5:30 pm. Click here to register for the event: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_s8izZs2mSoOIiydduxiSww

The discussion will also be streamed on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/hartfordsymphony.

In light of the current Black Lives Matter movement, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is committed to examining its history of inaction to effectively confront the racist systems and structures that have long oppressed and marginalized Black musicians, composers, and communities. This process starts with listening to the lived experiences of Black artists who have faced such racism both on and off the stage.

Join renowned violinist and recent HSO guest artist Randall Goosby, along with other nationally-recognized artists and arts administrators, for a wide-ranging discussion on the Black experience in the orchestral field, and for an exploration on how the HSO can help make our art form more equitable and inclusive. The conversation will be moderated by HSO Education and Community Engagement Manager Timothy Brown.

Panelists include: 

Aaron Flagg: Chair and Associate Director, Juilliard Jazz; Secretary of the board and chair of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee for the League of American Orchestras; Former dean and professor at The Hartt School, the University of Hartford

Randall Goosby: Violinist Randall Mitsuo Goosby (23), has appeared as guest soloist with numerous orchestras throughout the United States since winning First Prize at the Annual Sphinx Concerto Competition in 2010 at age 13. He appeared with the HSO in January 2020 for The Four Seasons. 

Angela Griffin: K-12 Director of Music & Performing Arts for the Simsbury Public School District; Member of the HSO Board of Directors

Calida N. Jones: Assistant Director Education & Engagement at The Hartt School; Managing Partner CNJ Associates

Jolie Rocke, DMA: Soprano; arts educator; founder and partner, Equity Arts Enterprises LLC; former Hartford music teacher; former visiting professor Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University; member Alumni Board of Directors and Chair of Alumni of Color Taskforce for University of Hartford

Carlvin Sanon: Production and Library Manager, Juilliard School’s Jazz Studies Department

The HSO issued this statement on June 3, 2020: The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is saddened and outraged by the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of those who should have protected him, and by the widespread oppression that has taken the life, liberty and dignity of so many African Americans.  We recognize the gap between our mission to serve every member of our community and our history of inaction in effectively confronting systemic racism and implicit bias.  In solidarity with our Black and brown neighbors, we are committed to look inward, and we acknowledge our responsibility to be a catalyst for change including staff and orchestra training, seeking out diverse talent, and developing more inclusive programming.

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces the winners of the 42nd Young Artists Competition 

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces the winners of the
42nd Young Artists Competition 

Annual student competition pivoted to virtual competition in spring 

HARTFORD, CT (June 16, 2020) – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce the winners of the 42nd Young Artists Competition! The first, second, and third places winners are (respectively): Matthew Hill of West Hartford (violin), Tyler Tan of Cheshire (violin) and Maggie Slap of West Hartford (cello).

“I was extremely impressed by all the phenomenal musicians who competed in this year’s HSO Young Artists Competition,” said HSO Education and Community Engagement Manager, Timothy Brown. “Their years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance were evident in each performance. I am beyond grateful to our sponsors, judges, and especially to the families for their support of our virtual competition and these talented young musicians.”

This season’s Young Artist Competition was launched in November. To be eligible, students must be Connecticut residents in grades 9-12 during the 2019-2020 academic year and cannot be a previous first place winner of the HSO’s Young Artists Competition.

The live semi-final and final rounds were originally scheduled to take place in May at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and The Bushnell. Maintaining the Young Artists Competition in the face of Covid-19 required innovation and improvisation. The HSO did not want to deprive the young musicians of the opportunity to be recognized for their extraordinary discipline and hard work, especially now, when so many other opportunities were taken from them.

 

By the early spring, the competition field was narrowed to 11 semi-finalists. In isolation, many students were continuing to practice their art, continuing their studies through virtual music lessons and daily discipline.  To give them the opportunity to showcase their hard work, the HSO offered each the choice of using their original submission or submitting a new recording of the required works, which would be the basis of the final round of competition. Of the 11 semi-finalists, nine chose to submit a new recording.

The submissions were presented to our panel of judges, made up of HSO musicians: Lenny Sigal (Concertmaster), Jia Cao (Assistant Principal cellist) and Barbara Hopkins (Assistant Principal flute). All 11 of our young artists received important feedback and comments from each of the judges. Congratulations to all!

About the Winners

Matthew Hill (First Place) is a senior at Conard High school in West Hartford. He has been Concertmaster of I Giovani Solisti, the Connecticut All State Orchestra, and has attended the All National Honors Orchestra. A multiple prizewinner at the Musical Club of Hartford, Matthew has also won the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and Hamden Symphony Orchestra Young Instrumentalist Competition. He has been a member of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and recently graduated from Juilliard Pre-College where he was a student of Sheryl Staples. He will be attending the University of Michigan in September to pursue a double major in Violin Performance and Composition.

Tyler Tan (Second Place) is a rising junior at Cheshire High School and currently studies violin under Mr. I-Hao Lee at the Juilliard Pre-College Program. He has been playing the violin since the age of 5. Every summer since 2018, Tyler has been selected to represent Connecticut in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. He is also a scholarship recipient for UCONN’s Jorgensen Outreach for Youth Program and a performer for the Back to Bach Project. In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing soccer and golf, as well as learning about science.

Maggie Slap (Third Place), age 15, lives in West Hartford and is a sophomore at Conard High School. She has been playing the cello for 11 years and studies with Jeffrey Krieger. Her previous awards include winning the 2018 Young Musicians Concerto Competition with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra, winning the 2019 Honors Chamber Music Competition with her quartet (The Sixteen Strings), and receiving first place in the 2020 Hartford Musical Club High School Competition. Maggie is a member of the Connecticut Youth Symphony, the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and I Giovani Solisti.  

The 2019-2020 Young Artists Competition is sponsored in part by the Jean Sterling McRae Fund. 

Additional support comes from the following donors: David Cass & Karen Saunders, Ruth Ann C. Davis, Hollis G. Dorman, Rona B. Gollob, The Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, Arnold & Beverly Greenberg, Wendy M. Haller, Laura R. Harris, Jeffrey & Nancy Hoffman, Donald & Helen Hughlett, Lois & Charles Koteen, Claire & Jan Kennedy, Irene Loretto, Lois Muraro & Carl J. Elsishans, Frank & Mary Petras, Michael & Genevieve Pfaff, Dara Ribicoff, Eliane Sandler and Lawrence Zemel, Joseph Spada, and Diane & Gary Whitney.

HSO programs are funded part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra cancels 2020 Talcott Mountain Music Festival 

Hartford Symphony Orchestra cancels 2020 Talcott Mountain Music Festival 

Hartford, CT (May 18, 2020) – In response to the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, and the current state-mandated limitations on social gatherings of more than five people, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra has made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Talcott Mountain Music Festival, which was to be the Festival’s 25th anniversary season. 

During this unprecedented time, the HSO’s top priority is to conform with federal, state and local regulations regarding public gatherings, crowd size, social distancing, and all related factors to ensure its employees’ and the public’s safety at all HSO events. This is the first time in the organization’s history that the entire festival has been cancelled. 

“We know how disappointing this cancellation is to our Talcott audiences, the Simsbury summer business community, and beyond. This summer’s festival, our planned 25th anniversary, was particularly meaningful and celebratory, featuring a stellar lineup of concerts and guest artists,”” said Steve Collins, Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director. 

“While this loss stings, rest assured we will reschedule the 25th celebration season in summer 2021, regulations permitting, and in grand style,” he continued.  “Looking forward, our hope is that we are able to provide outdoor community concerts featuring HSO chamber ensembles later this summer.”

Updates on HSO programming can be found on hartfordsymphony.org. 

Hartford Symphony Orchestra to hold virtual gala, Reimagine Joy, on May 2; online auction now open

Hartford Symphony Orchestra to hold virtual gala, Reimagine Joy, on May 2; online auction now open

Hartford (April 20, 2020) – In the spirit of enduring optimism and creativity, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra has announced that its 2020 Bravo! gala, IGNITE JOY, has been renamed REIMAGINE JOY, and will be celebrated virtually on May 2 at 7 pm. The virtual gala will feature music performed by HSO musicians and much more. All are welcome to this free online event. A link to the gala will be available on www.hartfordsymphony.org/bravo at that time.

An online auction opened at noon on Monday, April 20 – visit hartfordsymphony.org/bravo to bid on one-of-a-kind items and experiences, including:

·      Custom-Made Suit from Costanzo Clothing

·      Stunning, 14K Gold and Diamond Bracelet

·      Wine packages to satisfy every palette and price point!

·      Virtual cooking and bread-making classes led by our multi-talented HSO musicians!

·      One month of Unlimited LIVE Virtual Barre/Pilates Group Sessions

And, if community members are in a position to Fund the Inspiration, they are needed now like never before. Visit www.hartfordsymphony.org/bravo to make a tax-deductible donation to support the HSO musicians and invest in innovative, remote education programming.

Each year, the HSO’s gala raises critical funds for its education and community engagement programs, and this year, there is an added imperative: urgently needed funds to support HSO musicians.  These talented artists are working with the HSO to develop new online learning tools to engage students, teachers, seniors and families, now and in the future. 

“This amazing orchestra has brought joy into this community for 76 seasons. As we all are determined keep a firm grip on joy and hope, the symphony’s role is more important now than ever before,” said HSO Director of Development, Ruth Sovronsky. “ For that reason, HSO’s Virtual Gala is free to everyone  – so that we can all focus on the positive, remember to laugh together, and allow the music do what it does best – uplift and fill our hearts with joy.”

With all that the HSO is facing as a symphony and as a community, reimagining joy is more vital than ever.  When the crisis has passed, children, seniors, hospitals, schools and communities will need music more than ever before.  And the HSO intends to be ready to restart, rekindle and return to the music.

Buy Tickets

Questions: Click Here
More Information: Click Here

Phone

Single & Flex Cards: 860.987.5900
Subscriptions: 860.244.2999

Box Office

The Bushnell
166 Capitol Ave
Hartford, CT 06106

©2018 Hartford Symphony Orchestra
The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106