16-17 SeasonMasterworksPOPS!Sunday SerenadesTalcott Mountain Music FestivalSpecial EventsLincoln Financial Discovery ConcertsMusical Dialogues
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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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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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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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Pictures at an Exhibition - 75th Season Opener!

Friday, October 5, 2018 - Sunday, October 7, 2018

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series.  It’s a season of celebration! We kick off our 75th anniversary with Mussorgsky’s evocative showpiece Pictures at an Exhibition, inspired by his walk through an exhibit of watercolors and drawings by a close friend. Bartók’s virtuosic Concerto for Orchestra moves from darkness to light, in the work that established the composer as a master of his craft. Experience the virtuosity and power of HSO musicians at their finest!

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Brass & Brahms

Friday, November 2, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. Our fabulous horn section takes the spotlight with Schumann’s lively and compelling Concertstück for Four Horns. Written in 1849, it is an exceptional masterpiece for the instrument. Of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, written when he was a carefree 50-year-old bachelor, the music critic Eduard Hanslick said, “… the Third strikes me as being artistically the most nearly perfect.”

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Tchaikovsky's Firsts

Friday, November 30, 2018 - Sunday, December 2, 2018

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. We celebrate the great Tchaikovsky with two of his firsts! His triumphant Piano Concerto No. 1 was an immediate success upon its premiere in Boston in 1875, and was the first piece of classical music to sell a million records, with a performance by Van Cliburn in 1958. His melancholic and seductive Symphony No. 1, “Winter Dreams,” marked the first of its kind: the Russian symphony.

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Bach & Beyond

Friday, January 18, 2019 - Sunday, January 20, 2019

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. “Air on the G String,” the second movement in Bach’s Suite No. 3 in D Major, is unquestionably one of the most famous melodies in the Baroque era. Lully was the master of the lyric tragedy, and his Phaeton is a warning against excessive pride. This intricate tale, nicknamed “the people’s opera” in 1683, focuses on Phaeton, the son of Apollo, who drives his chariot too close to the sun. Plus, Baroque dancers take the stage for Geminiani’s La Follia. The second half of this performance presents Baroque music interpreted through a modern lens; Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9 was inspired by Bach’s compositional style, while Ibert’s Divertissement reimagines the Baroque ballet suite genre.

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Latin Lovers

Friday, February 15, 2019 - Sunday, February 17, 2019

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. It’s a Latin-infused festival of love! Copland’s dazzling El Salón México captures the spirit of a dance hall he visited during his first trip to Mexico. Piazzolla revolutionized tango music, and his sizzling Libertango intertwines the style with elements of jazz and classical. His fiery Aconcagua will feature the acclaimed Julien Labro on bandoneón. Contemporary composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s vivid Three Latin American Dances bears a kinship to Bernstein, and Márquez’s spirited Danzón No. 2 is one of the of the most popular contemporary Mexican compositions today.

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Mozart Meets Klezmer

Friday, March 15, 2019 - Sunday, March 17, 2019

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. Mozart’s opera Lucio Silla has it all – political ambition, rivalry, love – and its grand overture is a miniature three movement symphony. His Symphony No. 39 is one of his three final symphonies, written during a time of great struggle for the composer. Influenced by Haydn, No. 39 is warm, sonorous, and dazzling. The HSO welcomes back David Krakauer, widely considered one of the world’s greatest clarinetists, for Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind.

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Vaughan Williams & Mendelssohn

Friday, April 12, 2019 - Sunday, April 14, 2019

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. Heavenly voices will fill Mortensen Hall in April! Vaughan Williams’ blissful Fantasia on “Greensleeves” was originally used in his opera, Sir John with Love, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. His haunting Dona nobis pacem is a plea for peace in the years leading up to WWII. Mendelssohn’s elegant Symphony No. 2 echoes Beethoven’s Ninth, and is a celebration of the German Reformation.

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Beethoven's 5th

Friday, May 3, 2019 - Sunday, May 5, 2019

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. Beginning with those unforgettable four notes, Beethoven’s blazing Symphony No. 5 “emanates directly and solely from the genius of Beethoven,” said Hector Berlioz. The HSO welcomes the groundbreaking, category-shattering trio Time for Three for Higdon’s Concerto 4-3, a work that blends bluegrass with traditional classical. And Britten’s haunting “Four Sea Interludes” from the opera Peter Grimes reflects the turmoil of both the opera’s characters and the sea off Britain’s Suffolk coast.

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Mahler 5

Friday, May 31, 2019 - Sunday, June 2, 2019

Part of the 2018-2019 Masterworks Series. We conclude our 75th season with Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 5! This pivotal work moves from tragedy to celebration, and its fourth movement, a declaration of love for his wife Alma, is his most renowned composition. Beethoven’s rich “Triple Concerto” features a dynamic interplay between soloists and orchestra, and showcases three of the HSO’s gifted musicians.

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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 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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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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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert featuring the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

Friday, April 13, 2018 - Sunday, April 15, 2018

Audiences will be able to relive the magical adventure of Harry Potter’s second year at school like never before. This concert features Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in high-definition while the Hartford Symphony performs John Williams’ otherworldly score. Experience the wonder of talking spiders, scolding letters, and giant snakes all over again!

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