Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 Masterworks Series

Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces 2021-2022 Masterworks Series

HARTFORD, CT (May 26, 2021) Hartford Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Steve Collins and HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan are thrilled to announce the HSO’s 2021-2022 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. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation.

“I am so thrilled that the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is BACK! We couldn’t be more excited to return to the Belding Theater stage, to bring music of great classical and contemporary composers to life,” Kuan said. “We can’t wait to see you in October!”

The HSO returns to the Belding Theater with the safety and well-being of patrons, musicians, and staff a top priority. As has been done since March 2020, regulations set by the State of Connecticut and recommended by the CDC will be followed. Per current restrictions, masks will be required, and, while the plan is for subscribers to retain their subscription seats, distancing will be required if necessary.

Ticket Information: Current Masterworks subscribers will receive their renewal information in early June. New subscriptions will be available in July. Single tickets will go on sale September 7. For information on subscriptions, please call 860-244-2999, email tickets@hartfordsymphony.org, or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

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


October 1-3, 2021
Beethoven 7

Masterworks returns!

Rossini William Tell Overture
Assad É Gol! For Orchestra and Audience Members
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Joseph Young
Clarice Assad composer and vocalist

“Praised as the ‘Greatest. Music. Ever.’, the 7th is my favorite Beethoven Symphony – pure joy and thrill.  Interactive symphonic experience is the new rising star of classical music.  Join composer Clarice Assad to explore her engaging É Gol!, inspired by female Brazilian soccer player Marta Vieira da Silva.  And to reunite all of us, what could be better than the touching and dramatic William TellOverture with its beloved ‘Dawn,’ ‘Call to the Cows,’ and finale, also widely-known as the theme to The Lone Ranger!” – Carolyn Kuan

November 5-7, 2021
Bernstein & Copland

Copland Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes
Marsalis “Blues” and “Hootenanny” from Violin Concerto in D Major
Bernstein West Side Story Symphonic Dances
Karpman All American

Carolyn Kuan
Leonid Sigal violin

“From ‘If He’d Be a Buckaroo’ to ‘Hoedown’ featured in the ‘Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.’ campaign, Copland’s American West Four Dance Episodes is fun, comfortable and always makes me smile inside and out.  Grammy-winning composer Laura Karpman’s exhilarating All American, inspired by music of American women composers, is the perfect encore to Bernstein’s passionate and iconic West Side Story. And did you know the legendary trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is also a fantastic composer?  Come explore with us his jazz-infused Violin Concerto that is fresh, unique and sophisticated.” – Carolyn Kuan

December 3-5, 2021
Tchaikovsky & Grieg

Grieg Music from Peer Gynt
Tchaikovsky Act I Finale from The Nutcracker
Grieg Piano Concerto, Op. 16

Carolyn Kuan conductor

Pianist to be announced

“I fell in love with The Nutcracker as a child and almost came to the US at age 8 to pursue a career as a ballerina.  One of Tchaikovsky’s most breathtaking musical moments that symphonic audiences rarely get to hear is in the Act I Finale that purely magical moment when the clock strikes twelve, and the toys come alive.  Grieg’s romantic Piano Concerto features one of the most famous openings in classical music.  His music from Peer Gynt, including the famous ‘Morning Mood’ and ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King,’ captures various adventures from the Norwegian mountains to the North African desert.” – Carolyn Kuan

Concert Sponsor: Cly-Del

January 14-16, 2022
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”

Jeri Lynne Johnson conductor

Michelle Cann piano

“We celebrate the new year with music and artists I have long admired and loved. Piano Concerto in One Movement is composed by Florence Price, who, in 1933, became the first Black woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra. Darker America by Black composer William Grant Still was a response to Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue.  Still treats the blues to a thorough symphonic development in order to chart a triumphant course representative of the African American experience. Dvo?ák’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

Concert Sponsor: Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming

February 11-13, 2022

Bizet Selections from Carmen
He/Chen The Butterfly Lovers
Stravinsky The Firebird Suite (1911)

Carolyn Kuan conductor
Sirena Huang violin

“There is a picture of me in college dressed as the risqué gypsy Carmen.  Bizet’s music is simply irresistible with Carmen’s sultry melodies and the passion and bravado of bullfighters.  To celebrate love, we juxtapose the Russian prince and princesses in Stravinsky’s glorious and magnificent Firebirdwith my favorite Chinese love story, The Butterfly Lovers, our Chinese Romeo and Juliet. We are thrilled to welcome back violinist Sirena Huang to the HSO to share this 1,000-year-old legend, which journeys from the joyful pentatonic youthful friendship to the final scene of two lovers turning into butterflies to be together forever.” – Carolyn Kuan
Sponsor: The Alexander Campbell McNally and Tina Mahar McNally Memorial Concert 

March 11-13, 2022
Mendelssohn’s Italian

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

Carolyn Kuan conductor

Demarre McGill 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 A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings the magic and beauty of Shakespeare’s play to life. He wrote his Symphony No. 4 when he visited Italy for the first time as a 20-year-old. Joy and wonder burst radiantly from the very first note.  I think of American composer Kevin Puts as our modern-day Mendelssohn.  Kevin once shared with me the Flute Concerto is one of his favorite works of his own.  For me, it was love at first listen since conducting its world premiere in 2013.” – Carolyn Kuan

April 8-10, 2022
Rachmaninoff & Tchaikovsky 

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, TH 29

Carolyn Kuan conductor

Henry Kramer piano

“I’ll never forget the comfort I found in Tchaikovsky’s Fifth as an emotional and artistic teenager.  It understands loss and struggles, but also gentleness, desire, courage, hope and light.  With ever more melodies, it is a symphony that belongs to all of us who strive, and it still always fills me with joy and optimism.  This will be the first time I share this very special and private symphony with our HSO audience.  Our night of indulgence will also include Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Loved by virtuosic pianists, it is one of the most technically demanding, and most electrifying, of all Romantic concertos. Its raw emotional power intensified the Oscar-winning film Shine.” – Carolyn Kuan
Concert Sponsor: The Koski Memorial Concert

May 6-8, 2022
Scheherazade & Shankar

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

Carolyn Kuan conductor

Sitar to be announced 

“As an immigrant, it is always a joy to share the diversity of the worlds music with our audience.  Beatles guitarist George Harrison collaborated closely with Ravi Shankar, and called him the godfather of world music.’  Shankars enchanting Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra is a lush blend of Indian and Western classical music. I have always admired strong women, like Scheherazade in Rimsky-Korsakovs masterpiece. Her bravery and 1,001 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

June 10-12, 2022
Beethoven’s Ninth

Glass Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, “Choral”


Adam Boyles, conductor
Resurgam Quartet, saxophone quartet

Harrison Kliewe soprano saxophone
Colette Hall alto saxophone
Sean Tanguay tenor saxophone
Michael Raposo baritone saxophone

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

“We conclude the 2021-2022 season with our most delicious desserts and a true Ode to Joy’ – Beethovens magnificent Symphony No. 9.  Inspired by the ideals of freedom and equality, it is, for me, the most influential work in classical music and a celebration of humanity and togetherness.  And when was the last time you heard a concerto for saxophone?  We will raise the roof with not one, but four saxophones!  Hip, brilliant and charismatic, the Hartford-based Resurgam Quartet takes us on a mesmerizing journey with Philip Glass’ jazzy and soulful Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra.” – Carolyn Kuan

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The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106