Download the 2017-2018 Concert Guide

Nov 2017

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE™ - IN CONCERT FEATURING THE HARTFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Saturday, November 4, 2017 - Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. The concert will feature the Hartford Symphony Orchestra performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.

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Mozart & La Mer

Friday, November 10, 2017 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! Claude Debussy’s sparkling La Mer is a masterpiece of suggestion and subtlety in its rich depiction of the sea. This sensual three-movement impression of the ocean is one of Debussy’s most revered works. Berlioz’s Le corsaire was also inspired by the sea, written when the composer was on holiday in Nice, France, in 1844. The result of this retreat is a piece of music that is dizzying and serene, playful and brassy. Mozart’s enchanting Violin Concerto No. 5 was composed after several trips to Italy with his father, where he became enamored with the violin. This concerto, nicknamed “The Turkish,” was one of five Mozart composed for violin and orchestra over the span of five months in 1775.

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Dark Wood

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The program, led by Carolyn Kuan, features an innovative mix of contemporary and classical: a movement from Beethoven’s elegant Quintet in E-Flat, Jennifer Higdon’s interactive Smash and her intense Dark Wood, Bach’s Prelude and Fugue, selections from Brahms’ luscious Horn Trio, and Schuttenhelm’s layered Whirl (Thomas Schuttenhelm is a Connecticut resident).

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Strauss & the Sublime

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Our Sunday Serenades season opener takes inspiration from the exhibition Sublime North: Romantic Painters Discover Norway, which showcases the awe-inspiring talents of 19th-century Scandinavian artists as landscape painters. Grieg’s wistful Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Op. 8 draws on Norwegian folk songs for inspiration, while Strauss’ Piano Quartet in C minor is gentle and aggressive, reflective of both aspects of the Norwegian landscape. Halvorsen’s Handel’s Passacaglia is romantic and virtuosic.

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Dec 2017

December Dreams

Friday, December 8, 2017 - Sunday, December 10, 2017

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This December, the HSO presents a program of music sure to put you in a festive mood. Tchaikovsky’s selections from The Nutcracker bring to musical life everyone’s favorite holiday tale – young Clara’s dreams of a Nutcracker Prince. William Henry Fry’s Santa Claus (Christmas Symphony) is both a secular and religious celebration of the holiday, complete with a weary traveler, a holiday party and a visit by Father Christmas as the children sleep. Plus, American composer Jennifer Higdon’s Oboe Concerto makes its HSO premiere, putting the spotlight on the beauty and grace of the instrument with a playful and shimmering piece. ‘Tis the season!

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Holiday Cirque Spectacular

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Part of the 2017-2018 season! There is no better way to celebrate the season than with the magical music of the holidays performed by the HSO, set to astonishing acrobatic feats by members of the renowned Cirque de la Symphonie! Watch these amazing aerialists, contortionists, and gymnasts tumble, soar and dance on and above the stage all while the HSO plays your festive favorites. You will gasp with delight when Hartford’s favorite family concert tradition returns!

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Jan 2018

A Scottish Fantasy

Friday, January 19, 2018 - Sunday, January 21, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! We are breaking out the bagpipes for 2018 with a concert of music inspired by the vibrant country of Scotland! Maxwell Davies’ An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise is a vivid depiction of a joyous wedding celebration, gloriously concluding with a bagpiper performing in full Scottish regalia. Bruch’s four-movement Scottish Fantasy, pays homage to Scottish folk melodies including “Auld Rob Morris,” “The Dusty Miller,” “I’m a’Doon for Lack o’ Johnnie,” and the patriotic anthem “Scots Wha Hae.” Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish,” is the result of the composer’s preoccupation with Scottish history, and his visit to the ruins of Holyrood Chapel in Edinburgh while on Grand Tour in 1829, calling to mind the wild romantic landscapes of the north, at the same time stormy and jubilant.

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Feb 2018

HSO Family Series - Noah Webster House

Saturday, February 3, 2018

These immersive presentations for families bring music into the community’s backyard. Enjoy performances by our HSO chamber music ensembles, and make some noise at our Instrument Petting Zoo!

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The Keys to Romance

Friday, February 16, 2018 - Sunday, February 18, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! It’s a night of epic love for our annual Valentine’s weekend program, featuring the dynamic Anderson & Roe Piano Duo! Mascagni’s one-act opera Cavalleria rusticana tells the doomed tale of a love affair that ends with a duel to the death. Its lush, dramatic “Intermezzo” is considered one of the single most attractive tunes in operatic history. Haydn’s invigorating Symphony No. 104 in D Major, “London,” was written in tribute to the city he had come to adore (and that adored him right back!). Sarasate’s raw, virtuosic Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen pays tribute to Bizet’s beloved opera, the tragic love story of soldier Don Jose and the fiery gypsy Carmen. Poulenc’s “Allegro ma non troppo” from Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor is effervescent and sentimental. Plus, Anderson & Roe will delight with lush piano duos!

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Alleged Dances

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Onyx Spirits Company 64D Oakland Avenue, East Hartford 7 pm HSO: Intermix is intimate, inviting, and interactive! Get up close with HSO ensembles as they perform contemporary compositions and intriguing, rare, classical pieces. Enjoy cocktails, conversation, mingling, and more. Our February Intermix concert, Alleged Dances, takes place at a local distillery hot spot – Onyx […] More Information ?

Mar 2018

Shostakovich & Gorey

Sunday, March 4, 2018

In celebration of the first exhibition to explore the artistic inspiration of the famed American artist and author, Edward Gorey, we delve into Gorey’s Worlds for our March Sunday Serenades concert. For more than 50 years, Gorey delighted and amused audiences with spare pen and ink drawings that illustrate tales of hapless children, kohl-eyed swooning maidens, and whimsical creatures. The program will include Mozart’s elegant and playful Sonata in E-flat Major, K. 292/196c, Schnittke’s humorous Moz-Art, Britten’s eerie Phantasy, and Shostakovich’s melancholic Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57.

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Stravinsky & Swan Lake

Friday, March 9, 2018 - Sunday, March 11, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! Stravinsky’s turbulent Symphony in Three Movements was written as a direct response to the events of WWII. He wrote the symphony in the final days of the war, influenced, as he wrote, by “our arduous time of sharp and shifting events, of despair and hope, of continual torments, of tension and, at last, cessation and relief…” Stravinsky’s engaging Game of Cards (Jeu de Cartes) ballet is said to have been motivated by his fondness for poker, with the main character being the cunning Joker. Tchaikovsky revolutionized the art of composing for dance, and his Swan Lake is recognized as one of the most popular ballets in the world, inspired by Russian folk tales and one of the composer’s most beautiful works.

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Never Break the Chain - The Music of Fleetwood Mac

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 season! We are celebrating one of the best-selling bands of all time with Never Break the Chain – The Music of Fleetwood Mac! With over 100 million albums sold and a dozen top 10 singles, Fleetwood Mac began as a British blues band and became one of the most successful pop/rock groups in rock history with hits like Rhiannon, Landslide, Go Your Own Way, and The Chain. Hear the band’s chart-topping hits performed by three fantastic vocalists and your HSO!

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The Twittering Machine

Thursday, March 29, 2018

HSO: Intermix is intimate, inviting, and interactive! Get up close with HSO ensembles as they perform contemporary compositions and intriguing, rare, classical pieces. Enjoy cocktails, conversation, mingling, and more. Our final Intermix concert of the season, The Twittering Machine, brings us back to Real Art Ways, one of Hartford’s coolest contemporary art spaces.

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Apr 2018

Copland & Gershwin

Friday, April 6, 2018 - Sunday, April 8, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! It’s a spring celebration of two favorite American composers! Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F solidified his reputation as a “serious” composer who straddled the line of popular and traditional music. He said that hearing an orchestra perform this concerto, which is flavored with blues, barrelhouse and ragtime, was his greatest musical thrill. Dramatically evocative of the American West and prairie life, Copland’s Billy the Kid follows the life of the infamous outlaw, and presents Billy as a romanticized symbol of the passions and dangers of the Wild West. And Copland’s spirited An Outdoor Overture is an optimistic, rousing tribute to Americana. Plus, Theofanidis’ colorful Rainbow Body takes inspiration from 12th century composer Hildegard of Bingen, as well as the Tibetan Buddist idea of “rainbow body” – where the body of an enlightened being is absorbed back into the universe after death.

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The Celtic Spirit featuring Eileen Ivers

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 season! Through music, song and dance, fiddle virtuoso Eileen Ivers and the HSO celebrate the journey of the Irish immigrant. This evening will showcase how Celtic sounds have integrated with various roots-music styles along the way, to become a fundamental part of today’s American soundscape. Ivers brings amazing energy to the stage with her phenomenal fiddling, paying homage to the great Irish traditions with her creative edge, contemporary style and passion!

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May 2018

Shostakovich 5

Friday, May 4, 2018 - Sunday, May 6, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! “If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth,” said Shostakovich in 1936. When composing his Symphony No. 5 during the “Great Terror” in Russia, he was under great political pressure to simplify his music and adapt it to reflect socialist realism. While authorities heard everything they had demanded of Shostakovich in the gripping piece, the public heard it as a testament to its sorrow and suffering. His delightful Tahiti Trot was written in response to a challenge from fellow conductor Nikolai Malka, who bet Shostakovich he could not re-orchestrate the song from memory in under an hour (spoiler alert: he did). His popular Cello Concerto No. 1 is regarded as his finest concerto, and one of the most difficult to perform of its kind.

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HSO Family Series - New Britain Museum of American Art

Sunday, May 13, 2018

These immersive presentations for families bring music into the community’s backyard. Enjoy performances by our HSO chamber music ensembles, and make some noise at our Instrument Petting Zoo!

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Love on Broadway

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 season! Broadway stars. Triple threats. Real married couples. Come celebrate as these pairs – performing live with the HSO – sing and talk about the ups, downs and all arounds of love, life and marriage on the Great White Way, with songs from West Side Story, Once, Phantom of the Opera, Motown and more. Real songs, real stories, real love: this is LOVE ON BROADWAY.

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Beauty & Beethoven

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wadsworth Atheneum founder Daniel Wadsworth played a key role in developing American landscape painting when he introduced the Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole to his future student, Frederic Church. They produced images of the Hudson Valley that captured a spirituality intensified by chromatic drama and luminosity.  The beauty of the collection is perfectly paired with Harbison’s earnest Twilight Music, Glinka’s graceful Trio pathétique, and Beethoven’s regal and exquisite Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.

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Jun 2018

HSO Family Series - Hill-Stead Museum

Sunday, June 3, 2018

These immersive presentations for families bring music into the community’s backyard. Enjoy performances by our HSO chamber music ensembles, and make some noise at our Instrument Petting Zoo!

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Carmina Burana: Festival of Fate

Friday, June 8, 2018 - Sunday, June 10, 2018

Part of the 2017-2018 Masterworks Series! Become part of the spectacle of excess when the HSO, with the Hartford Chorale, presents this dramatic interpretation of Orff’s Carmina Burana. Experience the revelry and drama as we take over the theater with a celebration of the pleasures of drink, nature, love, lust, wealth, gluttony and gambling. But beware – the wheel of fortune deals out triumph and disaster at random, so heed its warning about the power of luck and fate! The concert opens with Barber’s lush and textured Knoxville: Summer of 1915, a tender depiction of Knoxville, Tennessee, set to excerpts from James Agee’s 1938 nostalgic prose poem by the same name.

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