February 8, 2017 | Charlotte, NC—From Beethoven to beatboxing and Stravinsky to steel pan, the Charlotte Symphony’s 2017-2018 season is marked by standards, surprises, and works that embody the revolutionary power of music.
Classical superstar Lang Lang, the prodigy who has played at the opening of the Beijing Olympics and at the White House and Buckingham Palace, brings Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor,” to Belk Theater for a one-night-only special gala performance in September.
Mainstays of the Classical season, which expands from 10 to 12 performances in both Belk and Knight theaters next season, include Beethoven’s colossal Ninth Symphony, a dramatic series opener conducted by Maestro Warren-Green, featuring the Charlotte Symphony Chorus. Vibrant violinist/conductor Aisslinn Nosky play/conducts a celebration of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, plus works by Bach, Telemann, and Mendelssohn just after the New Year.
Across all seasons, the Charlotte Symphony debuts 10 works and welcomes 10 new guest artists and conductors.
In an exciting collaboration with four Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and Charlotte Ballet, nearly 80 students and professionals take the stage to present two of Stravinsky’s striking compositions, Apollon Musagète and the revolt-inspiring Rite of Spring in April.
Other Classical performances include Marcelo Lehninger, Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, conducting Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, which blends classical guitar and orchestra to evoke beautiful images of nature. Guest conductor Bernard Labadie tackles two giants as he joins forces with pianist and Harvard music professor Robert Levin to bring Mozart’s Concerto for Piano, No. 23, to life alongside Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1.
Maestro Warren-Green welcomes 26-year-old American violinist Benjamin Beilman for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on a program bookended by that composer’s Overture to The Consecration of the House, which the Charlotte Symphony performed 25 years ago at the opening of Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
The Symphony also celebrates American composers with February performances of Gershwin’s An American in Paris with Copland’s Old American Songs and Grammy Award-winner and Charlotte Symphony Artist-in-Residence Mark O’Connor’s Americana Symphony.
In March, acclaimed pianist Leon Fleisher joins Maestro Warren-Green for a moving performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, bookended by works by Sibelius and Prokofiev. Also that month the Symphony celebrates the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with the music of West Side Story, plus his Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah,” featuring new music vocalist Kelley O’Connor.
Pops series highlights include the return of Cirque de la Symphonie, an aerial experience featuring popular film scores and the Music of John Williams. Other Pops programs include the Music of John Denver; Dancing Queen: The Music of ABBA; Disney’s Fantasia, complete with scenes from both the 1940 and 2000 films, and Magic of Christmas, which this year features Mark O’Connor and his family band.
Edgier altsounds sees steel pan take center stage, as mold-breaking composer Andy Akiho performs a concerto for steelpan and orchestra inspired by Rome’s Pantheon. Brooklyn-based PROJECT Trio breaks down traditional ideas of chamber music in a concert featuring Scatter, a concerto written by rising American composer Adam Schoenberg. And American composer John Corigliano’s Grammy Award-winning Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan features soprano Lindsay Kesselman and a partnership with School of Rock Charlotte.
Family-friendly Lollipops delivers four exciting experiences next season: The Musical World of Harry Potter, Stone Soup, and borrows shorter matinee performances of Fantasia and Magic of Christmas from the Pops series.
Flexible season subscriptions are available, including Choose-Your-Own packages.
More information can be found at charlottesymphony.org or by calling the Charlotte Symphony ticket office at 704-972-2000.