KEN-DAVID MASUR opens the Classics Season with BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH SYMPHONY and

The orchestra’s BACH FESTIVAL celebrates the great composer with performances of his MAGNIFICAT with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus and a selection of BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS



Season GUEST CONDUCTORS include Edo de Waart, Matthias Pintscher, Ruth Reinhardt, Bernard Labadie,
Iván López-Reynoso, Christian Reif, Jader Bignamini, and Joseph Young

RETURNING GUEST ARTISTS include Dashon Burton, Yefim Bronfman, Leila Josefowicz, Joyce Yang,
Jorge Federico Osorio, Stewart Goodyear, and Augustin Hadelich

The MSO welcomes GUEST ARTISTS Aldo López-Gavilán, Andrei Ioniță, Randall Goosby, George Li, Mahan Esfahani, Rachell Ellen Wong, Alexi Kenny, Third Coast Percussion

The season highlights MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MUSICIANS Matthew Ernst, Katherine Young Steele,
and Megumi Kanda


Milwaukee, Wis. 3/24/2023 – Music Director Ken-David Masur and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announced plans today for the 2023.24 Classics season.  The orchestra’s third season in the Bradley Symphony Center and Masur’s fifth season with the MSO will feature classical music’s most exciting and beloved masterpieces performed by virtuoso guest artists and Milwaukee’s hometown orchestra. This season is a continuation of the MSO’s commitment to presenting a wide variety of programming that speaks to our community.

The season will include a week-long Bach Festival will celebrate the 300th anniversary of his Magnifcat in March 2024. Featured guest artist harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and violinist Rachell Ellen Wong, the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural J.S. Bach Competition, will perform a selection of concertos. More details regarding the festival will be announced at a later date.

The season features musical titans, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Ravel’s Boléro, Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, Brahms’s Symphony No. 4, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique,” Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “New World,” Dukas’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and Orff’s Carmina Burana.

The orchestra will also perform the incredible music of contemporary composers, including Eleanor Alberga, Daniel Kidane, Valentyn Silverstrov, Matthias Pintscher, Aldo López-Gavilán, John Adams, Jonathan Cziner, Tōru Takemitsu, Tan Dun, Brian Raphael Nabors, and Carlos Simon.

Music Director Ken-David Masur said,

“I’m thrilled to welcome you to a season experience packed with familiar masterpieces alongside exciting new debuts, designed to help us connect and celebrate the joy and energy we experience together live. It’s my great pleasure to announce our new 2023.24 Artistic Partner, Dashon Burton, who is not just an extraordinary vocal artist with a wide range of musical interests, but also a gifted communicator about the wonderful paths music can pave. As a native of Leipzig, one of the great highlights I look forward to sharing with you is our first-ever city-wide Bach Festival, which will feature performances by world class guest artists in our hall and beyond. I can’t wait to welcome you to our beautiful Bradley Symphony Center as we gather to share the glory of live performance with our Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.”

President and Executive Director Mark Niehaus said, “I’m very excited about this season. Ken-David has assembled people and programs that are not to be missed. Each of these concerts was curated to enhance the experiences of our audiences in our hall with our orchestra. I know this season will both invigorate your love for your favorite composers and introduce you to new favorites as you join us for these live performances.”

Music Director Ken-David Masur’s Fifth Season

The Milwaukee Symphony’s third season in the Bradley Symphony Center is Ken-David Masur’s fifth season as music director. During the 2023.24 season, Masur will conduct 11 programs featuring varied and expansive repertoire.

MSO Welcomes New Artistic Partner Dashon Burton

Music Director Ken-David Masur has appointed bass-baritone Dashon Burton as the 2023.24 Artistic Partner. Burton will appear on three performances with the Milwaukee Symphony during the season, including the opening weekend gala and as a featured soloist in Carmina Burana. He previously appeared at the Bradley Symphony Center during performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in March 2023.

Resonance Food Co.

The Milwaukee Symphony and its hospitality partner have scaled up food and beverages with the creation of Resonance Food Co. Resonance Food Co. offers a medley of choices, prepared on-site by full-time chefs. The second floor Atrium and the ground level Gallery feature full bars with comfortable lounge seating for mingling and conversation. In addition, five bars serve every level of the Bradley Symphony Center, and patrons are welcome to take beverages into the concert hall. Patrons have come to expect signature dishes and bespoke drinks, accented by local flavors and favorite traditions.

About the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Ken-David Masur, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee. The MSO’s 72 full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. A pioneer among American orchestras, the MSO has performed world and American premieres of works by John Adams, Roberto Sierra, Phillip Glass, Geoffrey Gordon, Marc Neikrug, and Matthias Pintscher, as well as garnered national recognition as the first American orchestra to offer live recordings on iTunes. Now in its 51st season, the orchestra’s nationally syndicated radio broadcast series, the longest consecutive-running series of any U.S. orchestra, is heard annually by more than two million listeners. The MSO’s standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 70,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, and Family Series.

2023.24 CLASSICS Season

C01: Season Opener: Beethoven 5

Fri, Sep 22, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Sep 23, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Sun, Sep 24, 2023 at 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone


Daniel Kidane                  Be Still

Eleanor Alberga               The Soul’s Expression

Schubert                           Selected Songs

Beethoven                        Symphony No. 5


C02: Brahms, Stravinsky & Prayer for Ukraine

Fri, Sep 29, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Sep 30, 2023 at 7:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Yefim Bronfman, piano


Valentyn Silvestrov         Prayer for the Ukraine

Brahms                             Piano Concerto No. 1

Stravinsky                         Petrushka


C03: Josefowicz & Boléro

Fri, Oct 20, 2023 at 11:15 am

Sat, Oct 21, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sun, Oct 22, 2023 at 2:30 pm


Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Leila Josefowicz, violin


Debussy                            Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun

Matthias Pintscher         Assonanza

Debussy                            “Ibéria” from Images pour orchestra

Ravel                                 Boléro


C04: Beethoven & López-Gavilán

Fri, Nov 3, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Nov 4, 2023 at 7:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Aldo López-Gavilán, piano

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, chorus director


Beethoven                        Overture to Fidelio

Aldo López-Gavilán        Emporium

Beethoven                        Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt (“Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage”)

Beethoven                        Choral Fantasy


C05: de Waart Conducts Elgar

Fri, Nov 10, 2023 at 11:15 am

Sat, Nov 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm


Edo de Waart, conductor

Joyce Yang, piano


John Adams       The Chairman Dances

Rachmaninoff   Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Elgar                    Symphony No. 1


C06: Ruth Reinhardt Returns

Fri, Nov 17, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Nov 18, 2023 at 7:30 pm


Ruth Reinhardt, conductor

Andrei Ioniță, cello


Jonathan Cziner              Rear-view

Shostakovich                   Cello Concerto No. 2

Brahms                             Symphony No. 4


Handel’s Messiah

Fri, Dec 8, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Dec 9, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sun, Dec 10, 2023 at 2:30 pm


Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, chorus director


Handel Messiah


C07: Labadie Conducts Mozart

Fri, Jan 26, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Bernard Labadie, conductor

Matthew Ernst, trumpet


Rigel                    Symphony in C minor

Hummel             Trumpet Concerto

Mozart                Symphony No. 40


C08: Mozart Oboe & Symphony

Fri, Feb 2, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Feb 3, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Katherine Young Steele, oboe


Mozart                Symphony No. 35 “Haffner”

Mozart                Oboe Concerto in C major

Reger                  Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Mozart


C09: Beethoven Piano & Pictures at an Exhibition

Fri, Feb 9, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Feb 10, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Iván López-Reynoso, conductor

Jorge Federico Osorio, piano


Revueltas                          Redes Concert Suite

Beethoven                        Piano Concerto No. 1

Mussorgsky/Ravel:         Pictures at an Exhibition


C10: Goosby Plays Mendelssohn

Fri, Feb 23, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Feb 24, 2024 at 7:30 pm
Sun, Feb 25, 2024 at 2:30 pm


Christian Reif, conductor

Randall Goosby, violin


Pejačević            Overture in D minor

Mendelssohn    Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Bartók                 Concerto for Orchestra


C11: Tchaikovsky 6 & Brahms Songs

Fri, Mar 1, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Mar 2, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone


Dobrinka Tabakova        Thrace

Brahms/Glanert              Vier Präludien und Ernste Gesänge (“Four Preludes and Serious Songs”)

Tchaikovsky                     Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”


C12: Bernstein & Gershwin

Fri, Mar 8, 2024 at 11:15 am

Sat, Mar 9, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sun, Mar 10, 2024 at 2:30 pm


Jader Bignamini, conductor

George Li, piano


Bernstein           Three Dance Episodes from On the Town

Ravel                   Piano Concerto in G major

Ravel                   Valse nobles et sentimentales

Gershwin           An American in Paris


C13a: Bach Fest I: Brandenburg

Fri, Mar 22, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Mar 23, 2024 at 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord & leader

Rachell Ellen Wong, violin & leader


J.S. Bach             Brandenburg Concerto No. 1

J.S. Bach             Brandenburg Concerto No. 5

J.S. Bach             Violin Concerto in E major

J.S. Bach             Suite No. 3 in D major


C13b: Bach Fest II: Magnificat

Sat, Mar 23, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sun, Mar 24, 2024 at 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord & leader

Rachell Ellen Wong, violin & leader

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, chorus director


J.S. Bach             Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

J.S. Bach             Harpsichord Concerto in A major

J.S. Bach             Violin Concerto in A minor

J.S. Bach             Magnificat in D major


C14: Liszt Piano & Symphonie Fantastique

Fri, Apr 26, 2024 at 11:15 am

Sat, Apr 27, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sun, Apr 28, 2024 at 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Stewart Goodyear, piano


Liszt                     Piano Concerto No. 1

Liszt                     Totentanz

Berlioz                Symphonie fantastique


C15: Dvořák’s New World Symphony

Fri, May 10, 2024 at 11:15 am

Sat, May 11, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Joseph Young, conductor

Alexi Kenny, violin


Brian Raphael Nabors    Pulse

Barber                               Violin Concerto

Dvorak                              Symphony No. 9 “New World”


C16: Takemitsu & The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Featuring Third Coast Percussion

Fri, May 17, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, May 18, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Third Coast Percussion

Women of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus


Dukas                  Fanfare from La Peri

Takemitsu          From Me Flows What You Call Time

Debussy             Nocturnes

Dukas                  Sorcerer’s Apprentice


C17: Carmina Burana & Fate Now Conquers

Fri, Jun 7, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sat, Jun 8, 2024 at 7:30 pm

Sun, Jun 9, 2024 at 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Megumi Kanda, trombone

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, chorus director


Carlos Simon     Fate Now Conquers

Tan Dun              Three Muses in Video Game

Orff                     Carmina Burana


C18: Season Finale: Hadelich Plays Tchaikovsky

Fri, Jun 14, 2024 at 11:15 am

Sat, Jun 15, 2024 at 7:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Augustin Hadelich, violin


Lyatoshynsky     Grazyhna

Sibelius               Symphony No. 7

Tchaikovsky       Violin Concerto in D major