LSM Newswire

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Portland Symphony Announces 2009-10 Season

Portland Symphony Orchestra Announces 2009-10
85th Anniversary Season, 30th Anniversary of Magic of Christmas
  • Concerts include actors, dancers, and multimedia components
  • Two programs with vocal soloists and full chorus
  • Guest artists include Dame Evelyn Glennie, Yuja Wang, and mandolin phenom Chris Thile
PORTLAND, Maine – For the Portland Symphony Orchestra's 85th anniversary, Music Director Robert Moody guides Maine's premier orchestra through the 2009-10 concert season filled with traditional and new works of classical repertoire, internationally celebrated guest artists and an entertaining variety of Pops and contemporary musical offerings. The PSO's 2009-10 season is sponsored by IDEXX Laboratories.

Among the many guests visiting Merrill Auditorium are Dame Evelyn Glennie in her first PSO appearance in 15 years; mandolin legend Chris Thile; pianist Yuja Wang; Byron Stripling on trumpet; and vocalists Natalie Fagnan, Mary Phillips, Lisa Saffer, John McVeigh and Timothy Jones. Guest ensembles include members of the Portland Stage Company, Choral Art Society, Cirque de la Symphonie, and Maine's very own Motor Booty Affair. Guest conductors include Matthew Fritz, Conductor of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's "Discovery" Series; Alfred Savia, Music Director of the Evansville Philharmonic; Scott Terrell, Resident Conductor at Charleston Symphony; and Matthew Troy, Assistant Conductor at the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra.

The PSO performs two premieres: the New England premiere of Concerto for Mandolin, a new work by Chris Thile co-commissioned by the PSO; and the Maine premiere of Chasing Light… by Joseph Schwantner, part of Ford Made in America Consortium, a partnership program of the League of American Orchestras and Meet the Composer.

Music Director Robert Moody said, "Our commitment to the greatest masterworks in our repertory is unbending. At the same time, we are also exploring works which are not yet part of the canon, but perhaps will be one day. I will always try to pair music that might challenge us a bit with "tried and true" music from the repertory. Pairing Brett Dietz's Headcase with Ravel and Mozart is an example of that approach. None of us will be here in 100 years to know for sure which works survive and thrive, but it is an immense privilege, and great responsibility, to be part of that initial journey."

Another first for the PSO this year will be two performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," which will close both the Tuesday Classical and Sunday Classical series. Executive Director Ari Solotoff explains: "Performing a work as powerful and momentous as Mahler's Resurrection Symphony is something that many orchestras aspire to. However it's a very expensive program, requiring chorus, soloists, and many more musicians than we usually have onstage. Having this program close both of our classical series makes it possible for more people to experience this incredible music. It is also a great example of the kind of efficient and strategic thinking we are using during these economically challenging times, as two performances of the same program can be more cost-effective than one."

"We've enjoyed 85 years of incredible music making with the PSO, but this year will be transformative," added Gordon Gayer, President of the PSO Board of Trustees. "At the same time the PSO continues to provide quality programming and educational activities in an economically sustainable way, our 2009-10 season promises to reinforce why the PSO is such an integral part of Portland's community and culture."

Music Director Moody adds, "I have always looked to music as an outlet and a celebration of all that life has to offer, especially during times of challenge. This season is all about experiences that are energetic, 'electric,' poignant, evolving, inspiring, entertaining, and moving. If we do our job right, people should still be recovering from the goose-bumps, and remembering this 85th anniversary season, for a long time to come."

Tuesday Classical:
Six concerts on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM

Tuesday, October 6, 2009: Heroes and the American Dream
Robert Moody, conductor
Actors from Portland Stage Company
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"
  • Boyer: Ellis Island: The Dream of America
Celebrates the American immigrant experience and the American dream. Brings elements of theatre and multimedia into the concert hall, employing actors and projected historical images from the Ellis Island archives.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009: It Is Enough
Robert Moody, conductor
Charles Dimmick, violin
  • Brahms: Academic Festival Overture
  • Berg: Violin Concerto
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Tuesday, February 16, 2010: Rach and Romance
Robert Moody, conductor
Yuja Wang, piano
  • John Adams: The Chairman Dances
  • Hanson: Symphony No. 2, "Romantic"
  • Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Tuesday, March 9, 2010: Life, Death, Transfiguration
Robert Moody, conductor
Natalie Fagnan, soprano; John McVeigh, tenor; boy soprano tba
Choral Art Society
  • Theofanidis: Rainbow Body
  • Richard Strauss: Tod und Verklärung ("Death and Transfiguration")
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber: Requiem
Tuesday, April 6, 2010: Sounds and Light
Alfred Savia, guest conductor
Evelyn Glennie, percussion
Sponsored by Verrill Dana, LLP
  • Schwantner: Chasing Light… (Maine premiere)
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
  • Masson: Snare drum Concerto
  • Joe Duddell: Snowblind for solo percussion and strings
  • Ravel: Bolero
The Portland Symphony PSO's performance of Joseph Schwantner's Chasing Light…is part of Ford Made in America, a partnership program of the League of American Orchestras and Meet The Composer.

Ford Made in America is made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

Major support is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and The Amphion Foundation.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010: Mighty Mahler
Robert Moody, conductor
Lisa Saffer, soprano; Mary Phillips, mezzo soprano
Choral Art Society
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"

Sunday Classical:
Four concerts on Sundays at 2:30 PM

Sunday, November 8, 2009: Great Stories to Tell!
Robert Moody, conductor
Narrator, dancers tba
  • Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite 1
  • Mendelssohn: Selections from A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Stravinsky: L'histoire du Soldat ("A Soldier's Tale")
Sunday, January 24, 2010: Head and Heart
Robert Moody, conductor
Timothy Jones, baritone
  • Ravel: Pavane pour une infante defunte ("Pavane for a dead princess")
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 25, "Little G minor"
  • Dietz: Headcase
A musical journey through a major stroke that the composer suffered when he was 29. Incorporates voice, electronic sounds, and projected images.

Sunday, March 28, 2010: Chris Thile in Concert with the PSO

Scott Terrell, guest conductor
Chris Thile, mandolin
  • Copland: Appalachian Spring (Original Version)
  • Schoenberg: Verklärte nacht ("Transfigured Night ")
  • Thile: Concerto for Mandolin (PSO co-commission, New England premiere)
Sunday, May 2, 2010: Mighty Mahler
Robert Moody, conductor
Lisa Saffer, soprano; Mary Phillips, mezzo soprano
Choral Art Society
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"

PSO Pops!

Four concerts on Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Four concerts on Sundays at 2:30 PM

October 24 - 25, 2009: Cirque de la Symphonie
Robert Moody, conductor
Sponsored by L.L. Bean
  • Ring juggling, magic, contortionists, aerial artistry on silk fabrics etc. to dramatic light classical music (no amplification) like Bizet's Carmen, Khatchaturian Sabre Dance, Tchaikovsky Swan Lake. It's like Cirque du Soleil backed by a full symphony orchestra.
November 14 - 15, 2009: Tribute to Louis Armstrong
Matthew Fritz, guest conductor
Byron Stripling, trumpet and vocals
Sponsored by Holiday Inn By the Bay and New England Coffee
  • Singing and playing in the legendary style of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, world-renowned trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling lights up the stage!
February 20 – 21, 2010: Isn't It Romantic?
Matthew Troy, guest conductor
  • The most romantic love duets from Broadway shows throughout the ages.
April 24 - 25: Play that Funky Music, PSO!
Robert Moody, conductor
Motor Booty Affair, guest ensemble
  • Is that Robert Moody in a white Saturday Night Fever leisure suit? PSO pays tribute to the music of the 70's.

Magic of Christmas

Eleven performances

Sponsored by Hannaford Supermarkets, IDEXX Laboratories, Northeast Delta Dental

December 11 – 20, 2009: 30th Anniversary Season
Robert Moody, conductor
  • Celebrating 30 years of Magic! Guest artists and program details to be announced in May 2009.

Pricing and Ticket Information:
  • Tuesday Classical subscription prices: $114 - $351
  • Sunday Classical subscription prices: $52 - $168
  • PSO Pops! subscription prices: $68 - $218
  • Magic of Christmas ticket prices: $25 - $55
Special pricing is available for students, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

Subscriptions and Magic of Christmas tickets now on sale. Single tickets for all series concerts on sale beginning September 1, 2009. Order through PortTix at 207-842-0800 or visit

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