Music of Montgomery & Dvořák

One of the most exciting conductors steadily rising in international profile, Jonathon Heyward debuts with the MSO to conduct the richly scored and euphoric Symphony No. 8 by Dvořák. James Ehnes, “a supreme virtuoso of the instrument” (The Daily Telegraph), performs Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, alternating edgy mystery with expansive harmonies. Jessie Montgomery’s Records … Continued

Habibi, Brahms, & Schumann

In an ode to the wonder of our natural world, this program reflects on fate, resolve, and reverence. Contemporary composer Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht (“every tree speaks,” taken from Beethoven’s writings) is a reflection of our world’s environmental crisis. Schumann’s symphony is a celebration of spring and renewal. In the second half, the Milwaukee … Continued

Fresh Air & Beethoven’s Eroica

Initially dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, the revised title “Eroica” (“Heroic”) suits Beethoven’s grand symphony of tension, energy, and triumph. Currier composed the delicate and mesmerizing Aether expressly for Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, premiered in 2019; “aether” refers to fresh air, or in Currier’s words, “the air the gods breathe.” A tone poem by Sibelius opens … Continued

Ravel & Chopin

An accomplished married couple, conductor David Robertson and pianist Orli Shaham first met through performing a Chopin concerto together. The Piano Concerto No. 2 is actually Chopin’s first composed concerto, the triumphant start of his incredible span of masterpieces for piano. Ravel’s “A Boat on the Ocean” is a beautiful work filled with sweeping motility, … Continued

Percussion & Interludes

The MSO’s 3-week Water Festival opens with a splash – Tan Dun’s concerto brings water front and center as an integral percussion element to create an enthralling orchestral experience for the eyes and ears. Smetana’s symphonic poem captures the love of his Czech homeland, while Hailstork evokes the bustling energy of a busy port city. … Continued

Alpine Glory

The MSO opens with a brassy co-commissioned fanfare from acclaimed trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, and ends with Strauss’s massive tone poem An Alpine Symphony, depicting scenes along an adventurous hike through the Alps. Accomplished twin sister pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton honor the 175th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s death with his Concerto for Two Pianos, a … Continued

Aaron Diehl Returns

This distinctly American program features pianist and composer Aaron Diehl, kicking off his second season as the MSO’s artistic partner with Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Copland’s cowboy ballet Rodeo is a joyful romp through the American West in this symphonic suite. William Grant Still, often called “the dean of African-American composers,” wrote his lyrical Symphony … Continued

Tchaikovsky No. 5

Italian conductor Jader Bignamini leads this concert of passionate melodies and technical feats. Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade conjures a lush and sweeping romantic theme. Up-and-coming Canadian-born violinist Blake Pouliot applies his “immaculate, at once refined and impassioned” (ArtsAtlanta) style to Paganini’s strikingly complex and virtuosic concerto. Tchaikovsky’s soul-stirring symphony showcases the full orchestra in the second half.