Hartford Symphony Orchestra to Open 2014-2015 Season with Porgy and Bess, October 16-19

Music Director Carolyn Kuan will lead program featuring the Harford Chorale, the First Cathedral Praises of Zion Choir, and soloists

Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Chorale in performance with Carolyn Kuan, conducting (credit: Alan Grant); Kevin Deas, Jonita Lattimore, and Masayo Ishigure (photos courtesy of the artists)
Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Chorale in performance with Carolyn Kuan, conducting (credit: Alan Grant); Kevin Deas, Jonita Lattimore, and Masayo Ishigure (photos courtesy of the artists)

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra will begin its 71st performance season with the Masterworks Opening Nights concerts on Thursday, October 16 through Sunday, October 19 in Belding Theater at The Bushnell in Hartford.  The season opener includes Porgy and Bess – “arguably the most important piece of American music written in the 20th century,” – The New York Times.

“The theme of the new HSO season is ‘Music Brings Us Together’ and in these opening concerts we will take our audiences on a monumental journey commemorating struggle, bravery and hope,” says HSO Music Director and Conductor Carolyn Kuan.  “Together, we will explore passionate anthems of independence – from the Star Spangled Banner and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – to Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess featuring a massive chorus of Greater Hartford voices.  Plus, we’ll present a concerto for koto, which is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument.”

Porgy and Bess: A Concert of Songs was composed as an opera by George Gershwin in 1934-35 and arranged by Robert Russell Bennett in 1956 to include soloists and a chorus performing many of the scores’ most memorable selections.  The HSO’s performance will feature soprano Jonita Lattimore and bass-baritone Kevin Deas, along with the Hartford Chorale and the First Cathedral Praises of Zion Choir of Bloomfield.

Tori No Yoni (“Flying like a Bird”) for Koto and Orchestra was composed by Tadao Sawai in 1985, and this will be the HSO’s premiere performance of this work.  The traditional Japanese koto is a long, slender wooden instrument with 13 strings. Sawai’s compositions often take their inspiration from the natural world of flora, fauna, wind and water.  Koto soloist Masayo Ishigure performed on the Grammy Award-Winning soundtrack from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” by John Williams, alongside Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and others.  She currently teaches at Columbia University.

Calendar Listing:
Masterworks Series
Thursday – Sunday, October 16-19, 2014
Belding Theater at The Bushnell
Thursday 7:30pm?Friday & Saturday 8pm?Sunday 3pm
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Masayo Ishigure koto
Jonita Lattimore soprano
Kevin Deas bass-baritone
Hartford Chorale
           Richard Coffey, music director
First Cathedral Praises of Zion Choir
James “J.J.” Hairston director of music ministry
Smith Star Spangled Banner
Tchaikovsky 1812, Overture Solennelle, Op. 49
Sawai Tori No Yoni (Flying Like a Bird)
Gershwin arr. Bennett Porgy and Bess: A Concert of Songs

Ticket Information: Tickets to this concert range in price from $35.50-$67.50. Student tickets are $10. On Saturday, October 18, $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 987-5900 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Season Sponsor: Travelers

Masterworks Series Sponsors:
MetLife Foundation and The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation

POPS! Series Presenting Sponsor: United Technologies

The Sunday Serenades Chamber Music Series is made possible, in part, by the Helen M.
Saunders Charitable Foundation Music endowment at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

HSO programs are funded in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council, 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.

PHOTOS attached of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Chorale in performance with Carolyn Kuan, conducting (credit: Alan Grant); Kevin Deas, Masayo Ishigure, and Jonita Lattimore (photos courtesy of the artists)

Additional HSO concerts in October 2014

POPS! Series
Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 7:30pm
Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell
Tickets starting at $20.00; $10.00 for students with ID
860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org
Experience the legacy of jazz giant Dave Brubeck.  His sons – Dan on drums and Chris on bass and trombone – will join forces with guitarist Mike DeMicco, pianist Chuck Lamb and the HSO for a dynamic performance of “melody, rhythm, culture and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.” – Philadelphia Inquirer.
Sunday Serenades Series
Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 2pm
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Tickets $30 each; $25 for HSO subscribers and Atheneum members
860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org
The visual narrative of MATRIX 170 artist Frohawk Two Feathers imagines an historical union of France and England merged as a huge colonial empire. Frengland’s complex international saga of exploration, colonization, and world domination is documented by Two Feathers in an ongoing project that begins in 1658 and will one day conclude in 1880. The soundscape for this concert includes Henry Purcell’s “golden Sonata,” François Couperin’s Les Nations: “L’Impériale,” and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Quintet, K. 452.

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The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106