Milwaukee, Wis. 5/7/2021 - Music Director Ken-David Masur and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announced plans today for the 2021.22 season, the first official season in the Bradley Symphony Center, which was delayed by a year due to the COVID pandemic. This opening season includes a performance by Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott, a World Premiere commission, symphonic blockbusters, world-renowned guest artists, pops superstars, and a staged production. Subscriptions are now on sale, and single tickets will go on sale September 7.

Music Director Ken-David Masur said, “I have been proud to be a part of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra during this time of reimagining how we share music with our community. Now we are ready for a new beginning in this stunning hall. Our season includes works specially curated to reveal the glorious acoustics of our new space - from symphonic cornerstones to new pieces. The opening of our new hall was thrust into a time of change that has given us the gift of deeply reexamining the makeup of what is considered standard repertoire or yet to be discovered repertoire.  The orchestra and I are excited to share in this journey of musical discovery with you.”

President and Executive Director Mark Niehaus said, “It was heartbreaking to have to cancel the 2020.21 season as we had programmed it, and for the last few months, we have performed music for our community as we had never done before with our Reimagined Virtual Season. I have great pride in our musicians and their commitment to keeping the music playing in our city, and now we will finally present our opening season in the Bradley Symphony Center. Our goal in 2021.22 is to create immersive artistic experiences that will engage our entire community.”

New programs this season include Bradley Symphony Center Presents concerts, which are presented without orchestra. Those include Canadian Brass and Chanticleer, among others.

Classics Season Opener – Live Milwaukee PBS Broadcast – October 2, 2021

The 2021.22 Classics Season will open with a live-televised performance, featuring conductor Ken-David Masur and pianist and new artistic partner Aaron Diehl. The concert will also feature the world premiere of a new Milwaukee Symphony commission, Opening, by Eric Nathan, as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, James B. Wilson’s Green Fuse, Ellington’s New World A-Comin’, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. The first classics weekend will include three performances, October 1 and 2 at 7:30 pm, and October 3 at 2:30 pm.

Introducing Artistic Partner Aaron Diehl

Aaron Diehl is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s new artistic partner beginning in the 2021-22 season. In his new role, Diehl, a composer and pianist, will perform and participate in subscription concerts, chamber concerts, special events, education events, and panel talks.

Presenting a new adaptation of a staged production of Grieg’s Peer Gynt conducted by Ken-David Masur and directed by Bill Barclay

The MSO will present a new adaptation of a staged production of Peer Gynt on March 25-27, 2022. Conductor Ken-David Masur and director Bill Barclay with Concert Theatre Works reunite Grieg’s unforgettable music (including the immediately recognizable “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and “Morning Mood”) with a fun and modern take on Ibsen’s drama. This creative team has assembled eight costumed actors, a playful puppet and props, the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, and more to create an expansive staged spectacle — all to tell the outlandish tale of Peer Gynt, a hopeless yarn-spinner who lies and sneaks his way through many misadventures and ultimately learns his lesson.

‘30s Festival

The Milwaukee Symphony will celebrate the 1930s – the decade in which the Warner Theater opened – in a 3-week program exploration of the decade’s best music. Ken-David Masur will lead two programs and guest conductor Thomas Wilkins will lead one. The festival runs January 21-22, 28-29, and February 4-6, 2022.

American composers are on display February 4-6, including African American trailblazer William Grant Still and Pulitzer Prize-winning Samuel Barber. Pianist Aaron Diehl performs Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody as well as a Piano Concerto of African American female pioneer composer Florence Price.

Resonance Food Co.

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


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 49th 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 60,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, and Family Series.