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.

Hartford Symphony Orchestra Programming Changes  

Hartford Symphony Orchestra Programming Changes  

Hartford, CT (April 13, 2020) – In response to the escalating threat of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra has announced the postponement of the May 3 Savory Sounds: Strauss & Beethoven Sunday Serenades concert, the cancellation of the May 8-10 performances of Enigma Variations, and the rescheduling of the May 16 performance of The Empire Strikes Back in Concert.  

May 3 performance of Savory Sounds: Strauss and Beethoven is postponed   

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra has postponed its May 3 Sunday Serenades performance of Savory Sounds: Strauss and Beethoven at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The rescheduled date will be announced soon, and tickets for the May 3 performance will be valid on the new date.  

If patrons cannot attend the rescheduled performance, they may donate their tickets back to the HSO, receive a credit for a future HSO performance, or receive a refund. Contact the Box Office at tickets@hartfordsymphony.org (preferable method) or by calling 860-244-2999. 

May 8-10 performances of Enigma Variations are cancelled  

The Enigma Variations Masterworks concerts scheduled for May 8-10, 2020 have been cancelled.  

Patrons may donate their tickets back to the HSO, receive a credit for a future HSO performance, or receive a refund. Contact the Box Office at tickets@hartfordsymphony.org (preferable method) or by calling 860-244-2999. 

May 16th performance of The Empire Strikes Back in Concert is rescheduled to October 30 

The May 16, 2020 performance of The Empire Strikes Back in Concert is rescheduled to Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm at The Bushnell. 

Tickets to the May 16 performance will be valid for the October 30 performance.  

If patrons cannot attend the rescheduled performance, they may donate their tickets back to the HSO, receive a credit for a future HSO performance, or receive a refund. Contact the Box Office at tickets@hartfordsymphony.org (preferable method) or by calling 860-244-2999. 

Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces 2020-2021 Masterworks Series  

Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces 2020-2021 Masterworks Series

 Celebrating Carolyn Kuan’s 10th season!

HARTFORD, CT (March 9, 2020) – Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Steve Collins and HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan are thrilled to announce the HSO’s 2020-2021 Masterworks Series, which will be presented at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. Concerts will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm in the Belding Theater.

“I am thrilled to be celebrating my 10th season with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra – and my 10th season with our wonderful HSO community! YOU have been such an important part of my journey with the HSO, and I programmed this deeply personal season, with some of my most beloved and meaningful music and artists, just for you.” – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

Ticket Information: Current Masterworks subscribers will receive their renewal information in March. New subscriptions will be available in June. Single tickets will go on sale in August. For information on subscriptions, please call 860-244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

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

HARTFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2020-2021 MASTERWORKS SERIES

October 2-4, 2020
Bernstein & Copland– Season Opener!
The HSO’s fourth annual naturalization ceremony will take place on October 3 at 6:30 pm

Copland Lincoln Portrait 
Bernstein On the Waterfront Symphonic Suite
Bernstein West Side Story Symphonic Dances
Karpman All American

Featuring
Carolyn Kuan conductor

“Becoming a U.S. citizen at the HSO’s 2017 opening weekend will forever be one of the most emotional moments of my life.  Join us as we again welcome new citizens and celebrate America with Copland’s awe-inspiring Lincoln Portrait, featuring the powerful words of President Lincoln.  Our all American celebration includes music from Bernstein’s passionate West Side Story, and his only original movie score, On the Waterfront, one of the greatest film scores of all time.  Emmy and Grammy-winning composer Laura Karpman’s All American completes our stirring celebration of America – our country.” – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

 

November 6-8, 2020
Mendelssohn’s Italian

Mendelssohn Selections from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Puts Flute Concerto 
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, Op. 90, “Italian”

Featuring
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Adam Walker flute

“As a child, I believed I was a troublemaking fairy before coming to this world, and I have always loved that music can be a ‘Fountain of Youth’- instantly transporting us to a world of light, innocence and fun.  Mendelssohn’s magical A Midsummer Night’s Dream is full of excitement and beauty.  He wrote his Symphony No. 4 when he visited Italy for the first time as a 20-year-old, and joy and wonder burst radiantly from the very first note. I think of American composer Kevin Puts as our modern-day Mendelssohn, and I fell in love with his beautiful, lyrical melodies when I conducted the world premiere of his Flute Concerto with flute virtuoso Adam Walker. Appointed principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra at the age of 21, Adam is simply one of the best in the world.”– Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

 

December 4-6, 2020
Tchaikovsky & Grieg

Tchaikovsky The Tempest Fantasy-Overture
Tchaikovsky Act I Finale from The Nutcracker
Grieg Piano Concerto, Op. 16

Featuring
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Alessio Bax piano

“I almost came to the U.S. at age 8 to pursue a career as a ballerina.  It was therefore especially meaningful that the first time I ever conducted The Nutcracker was at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet. One of Tchaikovsky’s most breathtaking musical moments symphonic audience rarely get to hear is in Act 1; the moment when the clock strikes twelve, and the toys come alive is pure magic.  Tchaikovsky’s imagination and storytelling also amaze in the fantasy-overture The Tempest. Based on William Shakespeare’s play, it is even more dramatic, noble and beautiful than his famous Romeo and Juliet.  You might not realize it, but chances are you already know and love Grieg’s romantic Piano Concerto – it features one of the most famous openings in classical music.” –Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

Concert Sponsor: Cly-Del Manufacturing

 

January 15-17, 2021
From the New World

Still Darker America
Price Concerto in One Movement for Piano
Dvo?ák Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 “From the New World”

Featuring
Jeri Lynne Johnson conductor
Michelle Cann piano

“As an Asian female, my journey as a conductor has been challenging, and yet, it was even more difficult for my black female colleagues.  I have known Jeri Lynne Johnson since she became a fellow Taki Concordia winner in 2005. We celebrate the new year with Piano Concerto in One Movement by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra in 1933. Darker America was a response to Rhapsody in Blue by African-American composer William Grant Still.  He treats the blues to a thorough symphonic development in order to chart a triumphant course ‘representative of the American Negro.’  Dvorak’s love of spirituals can be heard in his music, especially in the Largo movement of his Symphony No. 9, which inspired ‘Goin Home,’” – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

 

February 12-14, 2021
Firebird

Bizet Selections from Carmen
He/Chen The Butterfly Lovers
Stravinsky The Firebird

Featuring
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Sirena Huang violin

“There is a picture of me in college dressed as the risqué gypsy Carmen. I loved singing and performing the role, with her sultry melodies, surrounded by the passion and bravado of bullfighters.  A Russian prince falls in love with and saves the princess with the help of The Firebird, and I’m excited to share the complete version of Stravinsky’s glorious and magnificent ballet with our audience.  Growing up, the most famous love story was The Butterfly Lovers, our Chinese Romeo and Juliet. We are thrilled to welcome back violinist Sirena Huang to the HSO to share this 1000-year-old legend, which journeys from the joyful pentatonic youthful melodies to the final scene of two lovers turning into butterflies to be together forever.” – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

Concert Sponsor: The Alexander Campbell McNally and Tina Mahar McNally Memorial Concert

 

March 12-14, 2021
Beethoven 7 & Time for Three

Beethoven Symphony No. 7, Op. 92
Puts Triple Concerto
Time for Three Encores announced from stage
Featuring
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Time for Three string trio

“The members of string trio Time for Three are like The Beatles of the classical world – contagious energy, incredible charisma, and brilliant music-making, while defying convention and boundaries.  Not surprisingly, they inspired me to conduct in leather pants for the very first time when they were last with the HSO! Kevin Puts’ new Triple Concerto is written specially for Tf3 and sparked by their joy, love of music, humanity, and connection with the audience. Praised as ‘the apotheosis of dance’ and ‘Greatest. Music. Ever.’, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 may actually be my favorite Beethoven symphony.” – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

Concert Sponsor: Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming

 

April 9-11, 2021
Strauss & Glass

Humperdink Hansel and Gretel Suite
Glass Violin Concerto No. 1
Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Featuring
Gerard Schwarz conductor
Leonid Sigal violin

“To mentor is to touch a life forever. I think of guest conductor Gerard Schwarz as a musical father, and he touched my life as a musician and a person when I worked as his Assistant Conductor at the Seattle Symphony.  An impressive international conductor with over 350 recordings to his name, I was mesmerized when I saw him conduct Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.  It is as if Strauss is in his blood, and I remember thinking I didn’t know music could be this exquisitePhilip Glass’ Violin Concerto No.1, featuring HSO’s Leonid Sigal, was composed for Glass’ late father.  It brought Glass tremendous international fame, just as Hansel and Gretel and Der Rosenkavalier brought Humperdinck and Strauss their greatest popular success.”- Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

Concert Sponsor: The Koski Memorial Concert

 

May 7-9, 2021
Scheherazade

Shankar Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra, No. 1
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, Op. 35

Featuring
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Sitar to be announced

“As an immigrant, I always look for opportunities to share the great diversity of the world’s music with our audience.  Beatles guitarist George Harrison collaborated closely with Ravi Shankar, and called him ‘the godfather of world music.’ Shankar’s enchanting Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra is a perfect example of how music has the power to transport the listener to a different time and place. I have always admired strong women, like Scheherazade in Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterpiece.  Her bravery and 1001 tales changed her life and the lives of all those around her. This music is dramatic, evocative, thrilling and wistful – qualities that speak to me in a very personal way.”   – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

 

June 4-6, 2021
Missa Solemnis

Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Op. 123

Featuring
Adam Boyles conductor
Hartford Chorale Richard Coffey, music director
Vocal Soloists to be announced

“I often think about how to make a difference and contribute to the lives of those around me. What could be better than celebrating this 10th season with the HSO by looking to the future and helping to bring a dream to reality!  I asked HSO’s beloved Assistant Conductor Adam Boyles, what his dream pieces are to conduct, and one of his dreams was to conduct Beethoven’s Missa solemnis.  It is always special to hear a work that is dearest to an artist.  Our entire season includes music that is profoundly meaningful and special for us to share. In Adam’s words, “the Missa solemnis is Beethoven’s most public declaration of his spiritual faith.”” – Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

 

The 2020-2021 Masterworks Series is sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and Cly-Del.

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.

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is to enrich lives and community through great music. Now in its 76th season, the HSO is Connecticut’s premier musical organization, the second largest orchestra in New England, and widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. 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. The HSO captivates and inspires audiences of all ages by presenting more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, HSO: Intermix Series, Discovery Concerts, Symphony in Schools, Musical Dialogues, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival, and more.  The HSO aims to deliver uniquely powerful and emotional experiences that lift and transform the spirit, and to give back and help create vibrant communities in the Greater Hartford area.

The HSO/Hoffman Auto Group Giving Tuesday Challenge exceeds goal and raises $29,395 towards Music Builds Community Campaign

The HSO/Hoffman Auto Group Giving Tuesday Challenge exceeds goal and raises $29,395 towards Music Builds Community Campaign

Hartford (December 10, 2019) – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Hoffman Auto Group are thrilled to announce the HSO/Hoffman Auto Group Giving Tuesday Challenge exceeded its goal of $10,000 and raised $29,395 in support of the HSO’s Music Builds Community (MBC) Capital Campaign.

Music Builds Community is the HSO’s effort to raise $10 million over a 5-year period to ensure the orchestra’s key role in the greater Hartford region.

In support of MBC, Jeffrey Hoffman and the Hoffman Auto Group partnered with the HSO to establish a $10,000 goal for Giving Tuesday on December 3, 2019. Giving Tuesday is an international day of charitable giving to support deserving community organizations – like the HSO.

Launched in 2017, MBC has raised over $8.8 million, or 88% of the goal. The MBC capital campaign is giving the HSO the ability to bring more educational opportunities to our community, and the opportunity to play a vital role in the rebirth of Greater Hartford. The success of MBC will also expand the HSO’s ability to create innovative programs introducing orchestral music to new audiences, and to sustain the HSO for years to come.

Last season, HSO musicians worked with more than 17,000 children and adult learners in dynamic education programs.  This work included 58 schools in 23 communities in six Connecticut counties, 67% of which receive Title 1 funding to assist with the highest concentrations of student poverty. The Listen, Share, Celebrate and Link-Up programs alone touched the lives of more than 2,100 Hartford school children in unique and powerful ways, engaging students in side-by-side music making with HSO professionals. By providing music education and community engagement opportunities, the HSO can play a major role in the continued revitalization of Greater Hartford, which is the core of what the Music Builds Community campaign is all about.

“As proud sponsors of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra we are thrilled to exceed our fundraising goal for the Music Builds Community Campaign,” said Jeffrey S. Hoffman Co- Chairman of the Hoffman Auto Group.  “These funds will allow our community to come together and experience the power of music for

“We are thrilled with the success of our inaugural Giving Tuesday campaign,” said Rebecca Corbin Loree, MBC Campaign Chair. “With the partnership of Jeffrey Hoffman and the Hoffman Auto Group, and incredibly generous donors making big and small gifts alike, we raised $29,395, well exceeding our $10,000 goal.  With this result, we are one step closer to achieving our five-year MBC Campaign goal of $10 million supporting continued education and community engagement, innovative programming that engages diverse audiences, and a strong future for one of the leading arts organizations in the Greater Hartford region.”

More information on MBC may be found on hartfordsymphony.org/capital-campaign. Additional information on participating in the campaign may be obtained by contacting Campaign Manager Ted Bruttomesso, Jr.  tbruttomesso@hartfordsymphony.org or 860-760-7309.

About Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

About Hoffman Auto Group

Hoffman prides itself on community involvement. We focus on local charities, with an emphasis on bettering the communities in which we work and live. When Israel Hoffman founded Hoffman Auto Group nearly 100 years ago, he and later his son Burton left behind a legacy of trust, community and integrity. They knew that essential to a successful business was family; and that the value of trust is immeasurable. They understood that meaningful relationships must be nurtured, and that a community is the first ingredient of any sound venture. Today, Jeffrey S. Hoffman, I. Bradley Hoffman, Matthew S. Hoffman, Jonathan T. Hoffman, and Zachary R. Hoffman carry on those traditions. Hoffman truly believes that a company needs a strong community to flourish and no matter where that journey leads, community, integrity and family will always be at the core of Hoffman Auto Group.

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is to enrich lives and community through great music. Marking its 76th season in 2019-2020, the HSO is Connecticut’s premier musical organization, the second largest orchestra in New England, and widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. 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. The HSO captivates and inspires audiences of all ages by presenting more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, Discovery Concerts, Symphony in Schools, Musical Dialogues, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival, and more.  The HSO aims to deliver uniquely powerful and emotional experiences that lift and transform the spirit, and to give back and help create vibrant communities in the Greater Hartford area.

Announcing the HSO/Hoffman Auto Group Giving Tuesday Challenge!

Announcing the HSO/Hoffman Auto Group Giving Tuesday Challenge!

Click here to donate!

Hartford (November 22, 2019) – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Hoffman Auto Group are pleased to announce the HSO/Hoffman Auto Group Giving Tuesday Challenge in support of the Music Builds Community (MBC) Capital Campaign!  Music Builds Community is the HSO’s effort to raise $10 million over a 5-year period to ensure the orchestra’s key role in the Greater Hartford region.

In support of MBC, Jeffrey Hoffman and the Hoffman Auto Group have generously partnered with the HSO to establish a $10,000 goal for Giving Tuesday on December 3, 2019. Giving Tuesday is an international day of charitable giving to support deserving community organizations – like the HSO. By participating in this challenge, donors have the opportunity to help the HSO continue to open doors for people of all ages in our community to be inspired by the transcendent power of music. Every gift counts! To donate, visit hartfordsymphony.org/donate.

Launched in 2017, MBC has raised over $8.8 million, or 88% of the goal. The MBC capital campaign is giving the HSO the ability to bring more educational opportunities to our community, and the opportunity to play a vital role in the rebirth of Greater Hartford. The success of MBC will also expand the HSO’s ability to create innovative programs introducing orchestral music to new audiences, and to sustain the HSO for years to come.

“Hoffman Auto group and the Hoffman family strongly feel that the revitalization of the Hartford area is dependent upon organizations such as the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the support provided to our great community,” said Jeffrey S. Hoffman Co- Chairman of the Hoffman Auto Group. “Having supported the arts for many years we continue to see the results of our partnership.”

“I want to thank Jeffrey and the Hoffman Auto Group for their generous support and sponsorship of our Giving Tuesday challenge,” said Rebecca Corbin Loree, MBC Campaign Chair. “We are very close to achieving our $10 million goal and are deeply grateful for the generosity of organizations and individuals that have contributed to MBC.  With this gift, we have an opportunity to leverage our collective giving power and support the HSO, which continues to make a positive impact in our schools and our communities.  Every donation counts!”

MBC resulted from an extensive strategic planning process, providing the framework to expand and leverage the HSO brand. Based on this framework three goals were set:

  • $6.0 million to build the HSO’s endowment providing organizational support in perpetuity.
  • $2.0 million to increase Education and Community Engagement programs to meet a growing need throughout our extended community.
  • $2.0 million to create innovative programs introducing orchestral music to new audiences.

More information on MBC may be found on its web site: www.hartfordsymphony.org/capital-campaign. Additional information on participating in the campaign may be obtained by contacting Campaign Manager Ted Bruttomesso, Jr. at tbruttomesso@hartfordsymphony.org or 860-760-7309.

About Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

About Hoffman Auto Group

Hoffman prides itself on community involvement. We focus on local charities, with an emphasis on bettering the communities in which we work and live. When Israel Hoffman founded Hoffman Auto Group nearly 100 years ago, he and later his son Burton left behind a legacy of trust, community and integrity. They knew that essential to a successful business was family; and that the value of trust is immeasurable. They understood that meaningful relationships must be nurtured, and that a community is the first ingredient of any sound venture. Today, Jeffrey S. Hoffman, I. Bradley Hoffman, Matthew S. Hoffman, Jonathan T. Hoffman, and Zachary R. Hoffman carry on those traditions. Hoffman truly believes that a company needs a strong community to flourish and no matter where that journey leads, community, integrity and family will always be at the core of Hoffman Auto Group.

About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is to enrich lives and community through great music. Now in its 76th season in 2019-2020, the HSO is Connecticut’s premier musical organization, the second largest orchestra in New England, and widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. 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. The HSO captivates and inspires audiences of all ages by presenting more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! Series, Sunday Serenades, Discovery Concerts, Symphony in Schools, Musical Dialogues, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival, and more.  The HSO aims to deliver uniquely powerful and emotional experiences that lift and transform the spirit, and to give back and help create vibrant communities in the Greater Hartford area.

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