Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces 2018-2019 Masterworks Series 


It’s our 75th season! Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Steve Collins and HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan are pleased to announce HSO’s 2018-2019 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 at The Bushnell.

“Join us for the celebration as we bring you captivating concerts with the music of masters, and shine a spotlight on exceptional HSO musicians and diverse guest artists,” Collins said.

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 860-987-5900 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

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


Pictures at an Exhibition
75th season opener!
October 5-7, 2018

Bartók Concerto for Orchestra
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition
Carolyn Kuan conductor

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!

Brass & Brahms
November 2-4, 2018

Nielsen Little Suite, Op. 1
Schumann Concertst?ck for Four Horns in F Major, Op. 86
Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90

Thomas Wilkins conductor
Barbara Hill HSO principal horn
John Michael Adair HSO assistant principal horn
Hilary Ledebuhr HSO horn
Nick Rubenstein HSO horn

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.”

Tchaikovsky’s Firsts
November 30-December 2

Tchaikovsky “Polonaise” from Eugene Onegin, TH 5
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23, TH 55
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13, TH 24, “Winter Dreams”


Carolyn Kuan conductor
Szymon Nehring piano

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.

 Bach & Beyond
January 18-20, 2019

Rameau Overture to Le temple de la Gloire
Lully “Chaccone” from Phaeton
Bach Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041
Aranés Gran Chacona
Bach Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068
Geminiani La Follia
Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9, A449
Ibert Divertissement


Leonid Sigal conductor and HSO concertmaster
Lisa Rautenberg conductor and HSO associate concertmaster
Carlos Fittante Baroque dancer

“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.

The Koski Memorial Concert

Latin Lovers
February 15-17, 2019

Copland El Salón México
Piazzolla Libertango
Piazzolla Aconcagua, Concerto for Bandoneón
Frank Three Latin American Dances
Márquez Danzón No. 2


Adam Boyles conductor
Julien Labro bandoneón

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. The Alexander Campbell McNally and Tina Mahar McNally Memorial Concert

Mozart Meets Klezmer
March 15-17, 2019

Mozart Overture to Lucio Silla, K. 135
Golijov The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind
Mozart Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543


Carolyn Kuan conductor
David Krakauer klezmer clarinet

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.

Vaughan Williams & Mendelssohn
April 12-14, 2019

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on “Greensleeves”
Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2, Op. 52a


Carolyn Kuan conductor
Hartford Chorale Richard Coffey, music director
Vocal soloists to be announced

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.

 Beethoven’s 5th
May 3-5, 2019

 Britten “Four Sea Interludes” from Peter Grimes
Higdon Concerto 4-3
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67


Carolyn Kuan conductor
Time for Three string trio
Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin
Charles Yang, violin
Ranaan Meyer, double bass

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. Sponsored by The Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming

Mahler 5
May 31-June 2, 2019

Beethoven Concerto for Violin, Violoncello & Piano in C Major, Op. 56, “Triple Concerto”
Mahler Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor


Carolyn Kuan conductor
Leonid Sigal HSO concertmaster
Eric Dahlin HSO assistant principal cello
Margreet Francis HSO piano

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.

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.


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