Welcome to our sixty-sixth season — a season of New Beginnings, brimming with fresh and exciting music!
As this is my inaugural season as Music Director of the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, I thought it fitting that each concert of the 2013–14 Season feature music relating in one way or another to “new beginnings.”
The October season opener begins with Peter Boyer’s cheerful New Beginnings. DPO bass trombonist Daniel Morris performs Brubeck’s Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra, a piece that caused a stir in the classical music world with its jazzy influences. To close out the concert, it’s Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, nicknamed “New World” because the composer wrote it during his time in the U.S. This piece is considered the first great symphony about America and includes themes and inspirations from African American spirituals and Native American music.
November’s concert features pieces with Inauspicious Beginnings. Each was a real struggle for the composer, with successes only coming later. All three pieces are now staples of the classical music repertoire and audience favorites: Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture; Barber’s Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. The great violinist James Buswell will be our guest soloist for the Barber concerto.
In December it’s Noels & New Year conducted by former Music Director Adam Flatt. The first half will focus on classical music that evokes the holiday season and the start of the New Year including the Suite from The Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov, Maltese Winter by Hayen, Troika from Lt. Kije Suite by Prokofiev and the world premiere performance of John Kuzma’s “Against the winter wind.” The second half of the concert is filled with your holiday favorites and sing-alongs. Colorado opera diva Marcia Ragonetti performs.
Young Love is our valentine to the community on February 14. DU violin professor Linda Wang performs Chen and He’s The Butterfly Lovers, a violin concerto with an overall style adapted from traditional Chinese Opera. The one-movement concerto has three sections — Falling in Love, Refusing to Marry and Metamorphosis. Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Suite and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2 book-end this evening of “lovers” music.
In April the focus is quintessential Colorado, New Formations & Mysterious Mountains. Award-winning pianist Joshua Sawicki will perform Symphony on a French Mountain Air by d’Indy. In addition, the orchestra will play Mysterious Mountain by Hovhaness and Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky (which you may recognize from Disney’s Fantasia). The concert ends with a premiere performance of Boulder composer Jeffrey Nytch’s Formations, a work inspired by the impressive geology of the Rocky Mountain region.
The galactic extravaganza New Frontiers closes out the season in May. This all-orchestral concert features three pieces about outer space: Daugherty’s Krypton, Hovhaness’ Celestial Fantasy and Holst’s spectacular showpiece The Planets.
I am delighted to be working with the talented and energetic musicians of the DPO and look forward to getting to know you, the orchestra’s dedicated and treasured audience, throughout the season!
Lawrence Golan, Music Director