February 21, 2020


2020-21 SEASON


5-time Academy Award, 4-time Golden Globe, and 25-time Grammy Award winner
JOHN WILLIAMS returns to the MSO for a one-night-only performance

JOYCE DIDONATO to perform a one-night-only concert at the Bradley Symphony Center featuring music from her 2020 Grammy Award-winning album Songplay


KEN-DAVID MASUR opens the Classics Season at the Bradley Symphony Center with LIVE

The Milwaukee Symphony celebrates the opening of the Bradley Symphony Center with ‘30s FESTIVAL featuring the music of Gershwin, Still, Korngold, Weill, and Florence Price, among others

Ken-David Masur leads the MSO in a staged production of PEER GYNT, directed by Bill Barclay



KEN-DAVID MASUR conducts POPS performance PROHIBITION during ‘30s FESTIVAL

POPS SEASON opens with performances by American singer, pianist, and music revivalist

Season celebrates the music of ASTOR PIAZZOLLA, BARBRA STREISAND, and the MUSIC OF MOTOWN






Milwaukee, Wis. 2/21/2020 - Music Director Ken-David Masur and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra announced plans today for the 2020.21 season, the first season in the Bradley Symphony Center. This inaugural season includes an opening performance conducted by beloved composer John Williams, a World Premiere commission, symphonic blockbusters, pops superstars, a staged production, and world-class guest artists including Joyce DiDonato. Subscriptions are now on sale, and single tickets will go on sale September 1.

Music Director Ken-David Masur said, “I am proud to be a part of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra during this exciting time of new possibilities. We are about to embark on a maiden voyage together 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 orchestra and I are excited to share in this journey of musical discovery with you.”

President and Executive Director Mark Niehaus said, “This season is a dream decades in the making. It is thrilling to announce a season in this spectacular venue. In 2020.21, the orchestra will perform some of the most magnificent symphonic music ever written in a space designed to be an awe-inspiring feast for the senses. We are looking forward to celebrating this theater all season long, including presenting a multi-week ‘30s festival honoring the decade in which the theater was built. Our goal in 2020.21 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 Joyce DiDonato, Canadian Brass, and Vienna Boys Choir, among others. This year, the Milwaukee Symphony has also added several prelude Pops programs on Friday morning at 11:15 AM.

Music Director Ken-David Masur’s Second Season

The Milwaukee Symphony’s inaugural season in the Bradley Symphony Center is Ken-David Masur’s second season as music director. During 2020.21, Masur will conduct 13 concert weekends that feature music from baroque to contemporary. Repertoire highlights include a new commission by Eric Nathan, Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 7 and 9, a staged production of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, and Duruflé’s Requiem. It will also include contemporary works by living composers – John Adams, Somei Satoh, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, and Sebastian Currier. Masur will also conduct the Milwaukee Symphony’s perennial favorite Handel’s Messiah performances.

John Williams Returns to the Milwaukee Symphony on October 10, 2020

The renowned composer John Williams joins the MSO on stage to conduct a special performance of his own music from the silver screen. Ken-David Masur leads the first half of an exciting program that includes music from such Williams favorites as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and more.  Part of the proceeds from this special concert will support the orchestra musicians’ pension fund.

Classics Season Opener – Live Milwaukee PBS Broadcast – October 24, 2020

The 2020.21 Classics Season continues the Milwaukee Symphony’s celebration of 250 years of Beethoven – opening with a live-televised performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy,” with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, directed by Cheryl Frazes Hill, Christiane Libor (soprano), Clara Osowski (mezzo-soprano), Kang Wang (tenor), and Dashon Burton (baritone). The concert will also feature the world premiere of a new Milwaukee Symphony commission by Eric Nathan, as well as John Adams’s Absolute Jest performed by the Aizuri Quartet. The first classics weekend will include three performances, October 23 at 8 pm, October 24 at 8 pm, and October 25 at 2:30 pm.

Staged Production of Grieg’s Peer Gynt conducted by Ken-David Masur and directed by Bill Barclay

The MSO will present a staged adaptation of Peer Gynt on January 22-24, 2021. Conductor Ken-David Masur and director Bill Barclay and 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 former music director Andreas Delfs will lead one.

The first program on January 29 and 30, conducted by Delfs and featuring vocalist Ute Lemper, will include the sweeping score of Korngold’s Captain Blood and works by Weill (Threepenny Opera Suite and Songs) and Prokofiev.

American composers are on display February 5-7, including African America trailblazer William Grant Still and Pulitzer Prize-winning Samuel Barber. Pianist Aaron Diehl performs Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody as well as the only Piano Concerto of African American female pioneer composer Florence Price.

Finally, Ken-David Masur leads the orchestra in a Pops program called “Prohibition” February 12-14. Prohibition takes audience members on a musical journey through the era, from Rudy Vallee and Josephine Baker to Kurt Weill and King Oliver. It features the top hits of the era, enhanced by outstanding vocalists – Myra-Maud, Madison Clare Parks, and Bronson Norris Murphy – plus imagery and video transporting patrons back in time. While suitable for all ages, “Prohibition” contains imagery and themes of adult nature.

Holidays at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Canadian Brass – December 8 – One of the most popular brass ensembles in the world performs holiday tunes.

Holiday Pops – December 11-13 – The whole family is invited to the Milwaukee Symphony’s musical holiday tradition. Shayna Steele, a powerhouse vocalist, joins the MSO for favorite carols, classics, and sing-alongs.

Vienna Boys Choir – December 19 – The Vienna Boys Choir performs holiday favorites – hymns, carols and folk songs.

Handel’s Messiah – December 16-20 – Conducted by Ken-David Masur and featuring the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, audiences will experience Handel’s Baroque masterpiece. The Thursday, December 17, performance will be held at the Bradley Symphony Center. The December 16 and 18-20 performances will take place at the Basilica of St. Josaphat.

Introducing Resonance Food Co.

The Milwaukee Symphony and its hospitality partners have 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.



Beethoven’s Ninth – Inaugural Season Opener

Friday, October 23, 2020 8:00 pm

Saturday, October 24, 2020 8:00 pm

Sunday, October 25, 2020 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Aizuri Quartet

Christiane Libor, soprano; Clara Osowski, mezzo-soprano; Kang Wang, tenor; Dashon Burton, baritone

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, director


Eric Nathan                         New Commission – World Premiere

John Adams                       Absolute Jest

Beethoven                         Symphony No. 9




Friday, October 30, 2020 11:15 am

Saturday, October 31, 2020 8:00 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Third Coast Percussion


Somei Satoh                       Saga

Takemitsu                           From Me Flows What You Call Time*

Rimsky-Korsakov               Scheherazade



French Masters

Friday, November 13, 2020 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 14, 2020 8:00 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Edgar Moreau, cello


Jean-Frédéric Neuburger                       Aube

Lalo                                                        Cello Concerto

Franck                                                   Symphony in D Minor



de Waart & Brautigam

Friday, November 20, 2020 11:15 am

Saturday, November 21, 2020 8:00 pm

Sunday, November 22, 2020 2:30 pm


Edo de Waart, conductor

Ronald Brautigam, piano


Brahms                                                 Variations on a Theme by Haydn

Schreker                                              Kammersinfonie

Beethoven                                            Coriolan Overture

Mozart                                                 Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major K 503



Peer Gynt

Friday, January 22, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, January 23, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, January 24, 2021 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Bill Barclay, stage director

Concert Theatre Works

Camilla Tilling, soprano

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, director


Grieg                                     Peer Gynt



Stage to Screen

Part 1 of ‘30s Festival

Friday, January 29, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, January 30, 2021 8:00 pm


Andreas Delfs, conductor

Ute Lemper, vocalist


Weill                                      Threepenny Opera Suite (1928)

Prokofiev                               Lieutenant Kijé (1934)

Weill                                      Songs (1920s, 30s, 40s)

Korngold                                Suite from Captain Blood (1935)



Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody

Part 2 of ‘30s Festival

Friday, February 5, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 6, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, February 7, 2021 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Aaron Diehl, piano


Ives                                       Three Places in New England (1911)

Price                                     Piano Concerto (1932)

Barber                                  Symphony No. 1 in One Movement (1935)

Still                                       Out of the Silence (1939)

Gershwin                             Second Rhapsody (1931)



Handel’s Royal Fireworks

Friday, February 19, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 20, 2021 8:00 pm


Nicholas McGegan, conductor


Rameau                                Suite from Naïs

Handel                                  Concerto Grosso, Op. 3 No. 2

Vivaldi                                   Concerto for Strings

Purcell                                  Incidental Music from Abdelazer

Handel                                  Music for the Royal Fireworks



Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4

Friday, February 26, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 27, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, February 28, 2021 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Stephen Hough, piano


Mendelssohn                    Overture to Ruy Blas

Mendelssohn                    Piano Concerto No. 1

Bruckner                           Symphony No. 4



Bohemian Rhapsody

Friday, March 5, 2021 11:15 am

Saturday, March 6, 2021 8:00 pm


Ruth Reinhardt, conductor

James Ehnes, violin


Janáček                                Jealousy

Dvořák                                  Violin Concerto

Smetana                              The Moldau

Kodály                                  Suite from Háry János



Beethoven’s Seventh

Friday, March 19, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, March 20, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 21, 2021 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Baiba Skride, violin


Sibelius                                 Night Ride and Sunrise

Sebastian Currier                 Aether, for violin and orchestra

Beethoven                            Symphony No. 7



French Offerings

Friday, March 26, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, March 27, 2021 8:00 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano

John Brancy, baritone

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, director


Boulanger D’un matin de printemps

Messiaen                                            Les offrandes oubliées

Canteloube                                        Chants d’Auvergne

Duruflé                                                Requiem




Enigma Variations

Friday, April 16, 2021 11:15 am

Saturday, April 17, 2021 8:00 pm


Markus Stenz, conductor

Lars Vogt, piano


Brahms                                                 Piano Concerto No. 1

Debussy                                               Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Elgar                                                     Enigma Variations



Augustin Hadelich Returns

Friday, May 14, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, May 15, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, May 16, 2021 2:30 pm


Jader Bignamini, conductor

Augustin Hadelich, violin


Dvořák                                Carnival Overture

Prokofiev                            Violin Concerto No. 2

Tchaikovsky                        Suite from Swan Lake



Courtly Favors

Friday, May 21, 2021 11:15 am

Saturday, May 22, 2021 8:00 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor


Susato                                 Renaissance Dances

Bach                                    Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

Stravinsky                           Concerto in E-flat “Dumbarton Oaks”

Gabrieli                               Canzon septimi toni

Brahms                                Serenade No. 2



Alpine Symphony

Friday, May 28, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, May 29, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:30 pm


Edo de Waart, conductor


Strauss                            Serenade in E-flat major

Strauss                            Metamorphosen

Strauss                             Eine Alpensinfonie




The Dharma at Big Sur

Friday, June 11, 2021 11:15 am

Saturday, June 12, 2021 8:00 pm


Yaniv Dinur, conductor

Tracy Silverman, electric violin

Adam Larsen, visual artist


Sibelius                                               Symphony No. 4

Walker                                                 Lyric for Strings

John Adams                                       The Dharma at Big Sur*



Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony

Friday, June 18, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, June 19, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, June 20, 2021 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

Cheryl Frazes Hill, director


Mahler                                                 Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”





Michael Feinstein – Puttin’ on the Ritz
A Celebration of Irving Berlin

Friday, November 6, 2020 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 7, 2020 8:00 pm

Sunday, November 8, 2020 2:30 pm

Yaniv Dinur, conductor
Michael Feinstein, vocalist



Holiday Pops

Friday, December 11, 2020 8:00 pm

Saturday, December 12, 2020 8:00 pm

Sunday, December 13, 2020 2:30 pm

Sunday December 13, 2020 7:30 pm


Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Shayna Steele, vocalist

Milwaukee Symphony Chorus



Part 3 of 1930s Festival


Friday, February 12, 2021 11:15 am

Friday, February 12, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, February 13, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, February 14, 2021 2:30 pm


Ken-David Masur, conductor

Myra-Maud, vocalist
Madison Clare Parks, vocalist
Bronson Norris Murphy, vocalist



Piazzolla Centennial Celebration

Friday, March 12, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, March 13, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 14, 2021 2:30 pm


Hector Del Curto, bandoneón



The Streisand Songbook

Friday, April 9, 2021 11:15 am

Friday, April 9, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, April 10, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, April 11, 2021 2:30 pm


Ann Hampton Callaway, vocalist



Totally ‘80s

Friday, April 30, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, May 1, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, May 2, 2021 2:30 pm


Stuart Chafetz, conductor

Nicole Parker, vocalist

Aaron Finley, vocalist



Dancing in the Streets: The Music of Motown

Friday, June 4, 2021 11:15 am

Friday, June 4, 2021 8:00 pm

Saturday, June 5, 2021 8:00 pm

Sunday, June 6, 2021 2:30 pm


Yaniv Dinur, conductor
Shayna Steele, vocalist

Chester Gregory, vocalist

Michael Lynche, vocalist




John Williams

Saturday, October 10, 2020 8:00 pm


John Williams, conductor

Ken-David Masur, conductor




Singin’ in the Rain

Saturday, October 17, 2020 7:30 pm

Sunday, October 18, 2020 2:30 pm



Friday, November 27, 2020 7:30 pm

Saturday, November 28, 2020 7:30 pm

Sunday, November 29, 2020 2:30 pm


The Princess Bride

Saturday, January 2, 2021 7:30 pm

Sunday, January 3, 2021 2:30 pm





Canadian Brass

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 7:30 pm


Vienna Boys’ Choir

Saturday, December 19, 2020 8:00 pm


Joyce DiDonato - Songplay

Thursday, February 18, 2021 7:30 pm



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 48th 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 40,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, and Family Series.