Oct 10, 2013
03:12 PMArts & Entertainment
Hartford Symphony Opens 70th Season Friday; Also Pops!, Music & Art, Even the UConn Drumline
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The Hartford Symphony Orchestra opens its 70th anniversary season Friday night with a concert that will be bookended by different aspects of a festive food-and-drinks-oriented celebration and features Saint-Saëns’ “Organ Symphony,” Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa with guest artist Wu Man, and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, with the Connecticut Youth Symphony onstage with the HSO. The performance will be repeated Saturday night.
“The 70th Opening Night concerts celebrate the Hartford Symphony’s dedication to artistic excellence, community engagement and creating harmony in Hartford,” HSO President & CEO Carrie Hammond said about performances that will be led by HSO music director Carolyn Kuan. “From cultural ambassador Wu Man to our celebration of the city’s long-running history of organ building through the Austin Organ Company, to sharing our stage with the best young talent from The Hartt School Community Division, these performances are not to be missed.”
While the HSO’s Masterworks Series will roll out flagship performances through next June—including the return next March of Michael Lankester, the HSO music director from 1985 to 2000, as guest conductor for Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3—also not to be missed are the other harmonious and rewarding ways in which to connect with Connecticut’s premier symphony orchestra.
"This weekend's concerts are just the beginning of a 70th anniversary season full of dynamic and innovative programming,” Hammond said. “From Fantasia in Concert to A Midsummer Night's Dream with The Hartford Stage to a Picasso-Inspired program at the Wadsworth Atheneum Mueseum of Art to Bolero! with the UConn Drumline ... this is a season for the whole family to experience the Hartford Symphony."
One of the most accessible ways to connect is the Pops! Series, which takes on Disney’s Fantasia Oct. 26, with Kuan conducting live music choreographed to movie clips from Disney’s Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. Tickets for children are just $10.
On Dec. 21, the Pops! Series offers the Holiday Cirque Spectacular, at which guests will hear seasonal favorites “while experiencing an awe-inspiring performance as the circus meets the symphony … . Stunning aerial feats, strongmen, mind-boggling contortionists and juggling acts will take your breath away as the HSO gets you into the magic and the spirit of the season with the ultimate holiday extravaganza!”
There’s also Symphonic Sondheim—A Tribute to the Composer’s Classics on Nov. 23. Pops! Series range in price from $20-$67.50.
Another terrific option, especially for art lovers, is the Sunday Serenades Series, “presented in collaboration with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art’s special exhibitions and permanent collections. Concerts take place in the museum galleries and feature Concertmaster Leonid Sigal and Hartford Symphony Orchestra musicians.” A release from the HSO highlights the Picasso & Prokofiev concert Jan. 26, but closer on the horizon is Tapestries and Corelli Oct. 20, presenting sonatas by Arcangello Corelli, a sonata by Vivaldi and Psyche by Michele Mascitti, among other works. Sunday Serenades Series tickets are $30 ($25 for HSO Subscribers and Atheneum Members). Ticket price includes general admission to the Wadsworth Atheneum on the days of the concerts.
There are also Discovery Concerts for young students, like the one Nov. 20 entitled The Musical Stories of Shakespeare and Seuss, and Chamber Orchestra events for secondary students, such as The Sounds of Latin America on Oct. 23.