Louisville, KY., – Called “genre-defying” by Time magazine, the Louisville Orchestra (LO) announced its 2019-2020 season, the sixth under the galvanizing leadership of Music Director Teddy Abrams.
The season concerts will feature innovative local and world premieres, collaboration with a renowned Gospel choir, a number of guest appearances by emerging stars in the orchestra world, and the culmination of a moving and powerful exhibit of violins rescued from the Holocaust.
“We have a season-wide mission to combine cutting-edge projects with storytelling that connects with our shared human—and local—experiences,” Abrams said. “Some of our upcoming major projects include premieres of collaborations with dance, theater, and visual artists. We want the Louisville Orchestra to be a central forum for creativity.”
Reconnecting the orchestra with its remarkable past while reestablishing it as the cornerstone of today’s vibrant Louisville music scene, Abrams’s “tireless advocacy and community outreach” is, Listen magazine notes, “putting the history-rich Louisville Orchestra – and classical music – back on the map.”
For the opening Classics weekend of the new season, Abrams will lead the LO in concerts welcoming popular violinist ANNE AKIKO MEYERS and up-and-coming musical powerhouse violinist ELENA URIOSTE (Sep 27/28). Both musicians, together with Teddy Abrams were named to the “19 FOR 19: ARTISTS TO WATCH” list by New York Classical Radio WQXR.
Exploring the power of gospel music and the dynamic creativity of contemporary pop music in the “Fifth Annual Festival of American Music” (Feb 22 & March 13-14), the LO collaborates with the gospel choir of St. Stephen’s Baptist Church for Duke Ellington’s Three Black Kings.
The city-wide exhibition Violins Of Hope culminates in a performance From the Diary of Anne Frank by Michael Tilson Thomas (Oct 25-26). Featuring violins rescued from the Holocaust, Violins Of Hope includes an exhibit, lectures, school programs and other concerts in and around Louisville in fall 2019. In addition to Tilson Thomas, contemporary composers Emmy-Award winner Garth Neustadter, Ljova, Anna Clyne, and Missy Mazzoli will have works performed with Louisville Orchestra premieres throughout the concert season.
The LO performs timeless masterworks of the orchestral repertory including the “New World Symphony” of Antonin Dvorak (Sep 28), La Mer by French composer Claude Debussy (Oct 11/12), Three Black Kings by Duke Ellington (Feb 22), and the brilliant Concerto For Orchestra by Bela Bartók (Apr 25). In “Teddy Talks Mahler” (Jan 17-18), Abrams continues his series of illuminating deconstructions of famous works of orchestral music and puts the spotlight on the contrasting messages of despair and ecstasy of the Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler.
Three notable guest conductors step up to the LO podium to make their first appearances locally. Vinay Parameswaran, the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, leads the LO on the journey of Don Quixote by Richard Strauss (Nov 22-23). Roderick Cox, winner of the 2018 Solti Conducting Fellowship (Jan 31/Feb 1), and Rei Hotoda, Music Director of the Fresno Symphony (Apr 1) each bring a strong and individual perspective to their work and will each offer a Louisville premiere and an orchestral masterwork.
Here’s more from Music Director Teddy Abrams, looking forward to the new season: “Our ardent commitment to living composers continues to grow next season with attention to diversity amongst the composers of our contemporary works. Our thematic programs include works based on “water” with the music of Garth Neustadter and John Luther Adams, We look to history for truth and music for hope in the inspirational “Violins of Hope” concert featuring Michael Tilson Thomas’ From the Diary of Anne Frank and “Gospel at the Symphony” featuring our local St. Stephen Choir, which is considered one of the greatest Gospel choirs in the United States. “We owe our audiences unique experiences that represent the best of Louisville’s cultural capabilities, and my hope is that this next season offers programs that inspire and unify the broadest of audiences possible in our town.”
A FULL SEASON OF PERFORMANCES
In addition to the Classics Series, the orchestra plays an eight-concert Friday morning Coffee Series with music selected from the Classics Series concerts. Fans of the orchestra’s five-concert Pops Series will be treated to the music of movie blockbusters including Dr. Zhivago, Moon River, and Gone With the Wind in an evening of Hollywood Hits” (Sep 21). Under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt, this set of concerts also includes our “Holiday Pops” (Nov 30), a tribute to the great music of Motown in “Dancing In The Streets” (Jan 25), and an evening with piano man Michael Cavanaugh as he plays and sings the songs of Elton John, Paul McCartney, the Eagles and more. The dazzling talents of Arrival from Sweden bring their “Tribute to ABBA” to Louisville for one thrilling night only on March 25, 2020.
The three-concert LO Family Series brings the joy of music to our youngsters with three concerts designed just for the 3- to 12-year-old set. Performances kick-off with a “Superheroes” theme (Oct 5 at the Brown Theatre) with all children invited to dress in costume as their favorite hero. Our annual holiday concert (Nov 30 at the Kentucky Center) is fun for the entire family; and reprising their performance from the 2017-18 season, Squallis Puppeteers join the LO for “Peter & The Wolf” (March 21 at the Brown Theatre) featuring those bigger than life puppets that make this Louisville-based company renowned for their creativity.
Currently, the LO Music Without Borders Concerts and four-concert Music Without Borders Series at IUS are being developed with dates and programs to be announced in coming weeks. The Louisville Orchestra is proud to perform with the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Opera for performances presented by those organizations.
The Louisville Orchestra education programs are offered to metro-area schools and include the annual MakingMUSIC performances held at the Kentucky Center. Generations of school children have had their first experience with the Louisville Orchestra at these performances. In addition, the LO provides in-school ensemble performances that bring small groups of musicians into schools for a highly-interactive “informance” and in-school masterclasses with Music Director Teddy Abrams.
A complete schedule and more information can be found at www.louisvilleorchestra.org.