It is my great pleasure to welcome you to our 49th season!
As we are preparing for the big celebration next year, it feels like the party has started already! Just look at our soloist roster this year: we are kicking off the season with one of the brightest violin stars on the scene today. A concert featuring Jennifer Frautschi in the brilliant Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is a must-see event in any cultural capital of the world. Next up, a Russian powerhouse of a pianist Alexander Ghindin will dazzle us with Liszt’s Totentanz and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. If you have not had enough of Halloween, plenty of eerie music is to be heard on this concert!
For me, the Holiday season is all about traditions. The continuous tremendous response to our annual Messiah tells me that many of you feel the same. I would not want to offer you the same experience twice, so this year, in addition to the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah (plus the indispensable Hallelujah chorus!), we will also delight you with Magnificat by the popular British composer John Rutter.
In January, we greet the new year with the “New World” Symphony by Dvořák. The Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein, a musician of profound insight, will guide us through a folk-inspired Piano Concerto No. 3 by Bartók. In February, I am happy to present to you the newest world-class musician who has made the Rogue Valley his home. Dan Kocurek, the former principal trumpet of Dallas Brass, will show his admirable versatility in two pieces of a very different character.
The 2016-17 truly is not a calm before the 50th anniversary storm. For our final program of the season, I have again turned to the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers to give you the immortal Requiem by Mozart. Another popular gem, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, will feature the exceptionally talented Jodi French on piano. You can hear the proto-version of “Ode to Joy” in the Choral Fantasy; remember these sounds, as they will crystallize into their final form in our 50th year.