Single tickets to Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 season on sale August 21; Flex Cards on sale August 7

Single tickets to all concerts in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-2018 season will go on sale on Monday, August 21, at 10 am. HSO Flex Cards go on sale on Monday, August 7 at 10 am.

Flex Cards give you the opportunity to purchase tickets in any combination of 2017-18 Masterworks and POPS! concerts of your choice, in packages of 4 or 10 tickets.  This season, we are offering the Flex 4 (4 tickets for $146, with seating restrictions), the Flex 10 (10 tickets for $309, with seating restrictions), and the Flex 4 Platinum (4 tickets for $254, with no seating restrictions). Flex Cards can be redeemed at any point throughout the season.

All Masterworks Series concerts will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm in The Bushnell’s Belding Theater, and all POPS! Series concerts will take place on Saturdays at 7:30 pm in The Bushnell’s Mortensen Hall.

Flex Cards and single tickets can be purchased by calling (860) 987-5900, by visiting www.hartfordsymphony.org or at The Bushnell Box Office. All artists, dates, and locations are subject to change.

Sponsored by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation

Season Opener

October 6-8, 2017
Carolyn Kuan conductor
Masayo Ishigure koto
Kojiro Umezaki shakuhachi

Beethoven Overture to Egmont, Op. 84
Kanno Revive, Concerto for Koto and Shakuhachi
Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55, “Eroica”

The HSO kicks off the 2017-2018 season with a captivating program featuring one of Beethoven’s most celebrated works!  Beethoven’s “Eroica” is a journey of emotional extremes.  This heroic and mighty symphony was originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, but when Napoleon declared himself an emperor, the composer was so enraged he changed the dedication. Beethoven’s Overture to Egmont was written as a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Goethe, who declared that Beethoven had expressed his intentions with “a remarkable genius.” And Yugo Kanno’s Revive spotlights two Japanese instruments unique to an orchestral concert – the shakuhachi, an end-blown flute, and the koto, a traditional stringed instrument.

November 10-12, 2017

Carolyn Kuan conductor
Leonid Sigal HSO concertmaster

Berlioz Le corsaire, Op. 21
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219, “Turkish”
Debussy La Mer
Surprise Encore Selection To Be Announced

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. Sponsored by Cly-Del Manufacturing Co.

December 8-10, 2017
Adam Boyles conductor
Heather Taylor HSO principal oboe

Fry Santa Claus (Christmas Symphony)
Higdon Oboe Concerto
Tchaikovsky Selections from The Nutcracker Op. 71, TH 14

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!

January 19-21, 2018

Stefan Sanderling conductor
Gareth Johnson violin
Mike MacNintch highland bagpipes

Maxwell Davies An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, Op. 120a
Bruch Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56, “Scottish”

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.

February 16-18, 2018

Carolyn Kuan conductor
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo piano

 Mascagni “Intermezzo” from Cavalleria rusticana
Haydn Symphony No. 104 in D Major, “London”
Sarasate Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen, Op. 25
Poulenc “Allegro ma non troppo” from Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor
Anderson & Roe duets to be announced
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! The Alexander Campbell McNally and Tina Mahar McNally Memorial Concert.

March 9-11, 2018
Carolyn Kuan 
Ballet dancers to be announced

Stravinsky Game of Cards (Jeu de Cartes)
Stravinsky Symphony in Three Movements
Tchaikovsky Suite from Swan Lake, Op. 20a

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.

April 6-8, 2018

Laura Jackson conductor
Alessio Bax piano appears by arrangement with Arts Management Group

Copland An Outdoor Overture
Gershwin Piano Concerto in F
Theofanidis Rainbow Body
Suite from Billy the Kid

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 12thcentury composer Hildegard of Bingen, as well as the Tibetan Buddhist idea of “rainbow body” – where the body of an enlightened being is absorbed back into the universe after death.

May 4-6, 2018
Carolyn Kuan 
Jay Campbell cello

 Shostakovich Tahiti Trot, Op. 16, “Tea for Two”
Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

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.  The Koski Memorial Concert. Sponsored by The Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming.

June 8-10, 2018
Carolyn Kuan 
Hartford Chorale Richard Coffey, Music Director
Vocal soloists to be announced

Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Orff Carmina Burana

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.

Sponsored by United Technologies

December 16, 2017; 2 & 7 p.m.

Carolyn Kuan conductor

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!

March 24, 2018; 7:30 pm

Adam Boyles conductor

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!


April 21, 2018; 7:30 pm
Carolyn Kuan conductor

 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!

May 19, 2018; 7:30 pm
Adam Boyles conductor

 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, OncePhantom of the OperaMotown and more. Real songs, real stories, real love: this is LOVE ON BROADWAY.

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