ROCKFORD (RSO) -- The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that single tickets are now on sale for the 2011/12 concert season at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.
Ticket buyers can select exact seating when purchasing tickets on the RSO website at www.rockfordsymphony.com. Tickets are also available for purchase by calling 815-965-0049 or visiting the Coronado Performing Arts Center Box Office at 314 N. Main Street.
The 2011/12 RSO Classics Series will open with Gershwin’s Piano Concerto (a signature work for pianist David Syme) and closes poetically with Rachmaninov’s final composition. In between, Music Director Steven Larsen draws from the inspirations of dance, faith, ancient tales, and romance. The Pops Series will entertain with the timeless tunes of “Mancini & More” and the cheer of Holiday Pops, plus audience favorite Steve Lippia will return with songs of Sinatra. Accomplished guest artists known for their incredible talents will appear throughout the season, including the return of pianist David Syme, and featuring RSO concertmaster Michele Lekas, Rockford accordionist Michael Alongi, RSO harpist Nanette Felix, and the Mendelssohn Chorale.
Listed below are details for each performance, including music and guest artist information for the RSO’s Classics Series and Pops Series. The RSO website has more information at www.rockfordsymphony.com. Additional RSO educational activities and special events throughout the season will be announced at later dates.
ComEd Classics Series
Opening Night with Gershwin
Opening night at the RSO is Saturday, September 17, 2011, with a concert featuring pianist David Syme in his second appearance with the RSO. The program celebrates American music with works by three American composers from three generations. James Beckel’s Toccata for Orchestra opens the season with jubilation. George Whitefield Chadwick used impudent Yankee wit and technical brilliance to create Symphonic Sketches, four scenes of turn-of-the-century America. “American original” David Syme returns to play George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto, who fused jazz with symphonic music to create one of the world’s most popular piano works.
Beckel: Toccata for Orchestra
Chadwick: Symphonic Sketches
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F Major
David Syme, piano
The Mendelssohn Chorale joins the RSO as the ComEd Classics Series continues on Saturday, November 12, 2011, with a concert of music inspired by texts and melodies of faith. Earl George takes the familiar “Old Hundredth” hymn as the basis for his electrifying overture. Brahms borrows the “Chorale of St. Anthony” as the theme of his Variations. Gabriel Fauré takes the traditional Requiem to ethereally beautiful heights, and César Franck obeys the command of Psalm 150 to praise God through music and dance.
George: A Thanksgiving Overture
Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn
Franck: Psalm 150
Tales from the Mideast
The first concert of 2012 will take place Saturday, January 14, 2012, as the RSO travels to the Mideast through ancient tales woven into music by composers Mendelssohn, Hovhaness, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Rockford’s own Michael Alongi will perform, lending his accordion to Persian poems set to music, invoking mystery, contemplation, fantasy, romance, and adventure. Mendelssohn tells the tale of St. Paul through a lens of Bach-inspired Christianity. Rimsky-Korsakov spins the tales of “One Thousand and One Arabian Nights” in orchestral splendor.
Mendelssohn: Overture to St. Paul
Hovaness: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Michael Alongi, accordion
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the RSO presents a delectable concert of bite-sized miniatures certain to warm the heart and quicken the pulse on Saturday, February 11, 2012. Pop the cork with the effervescent Overture to Die Fledermaus, then settle into romantic moods ranging from sensuously sublime to delectably danceable to “music this hot should have a parental guidance rating.” Highlights include RSO Concertmaster Michele Lekas playing Sarasate’s dazzling Carmen Fantasy.
J. Strauss II: Overture to Die Fledermaus
Delius: La Calinda
Sarasate: Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen
Michele Lekas, violin
Saint-Saëns: Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah
Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Humperdinck: Prelude to Hansel & Gretel
Khachaturian: Adagio from Spartacus
Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1
Schubert, Still, & Stravinsky
On Saturday, March 10, 2012, the ComEd Classics series continues with four delightful works that look back in time for inspiration, beginning with the overture to Gioachino Rossini’s comic opera, Cinderella. Franz Schubert’s sparkling Symphony No. 5 shows him as a worthy successor to the Viennese style of Haydn and Mozart. RSO harpist Nanette Felix plays Ennanga by William Grant Still, named after a Ugandan folk harp and recalling Still’s own African heritage. Igor Stravinsky’s charming ballet, Pulcinella, recycled 18th century Italian music in a vivid tribute to the theatrical tradition of the commedia dell’arte.
Rossini: Overture to La Cenerentola
Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B flat
Nanette Felix, harp
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite
The ComEd Classics Series concludes on Saturday, April 21, 2012, with a concert of works inspired by dance. Dance and music are ancient partners in melody, rhythm and movement that can never be separated. Peggy Stuart Coolidge drew inspiration from American folk dance, while Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story harnessed the drama of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the musical style of contemporary New York. Sergei Rachmaninov’s last composition, Symphonic Dances, sums up a lifetime of writing beautiful music with an autumnal masterpiece.
Coolidge: Pioneer Dances
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances
The RSO Classics Series is graciously sponsored by ComEd. All concerts are held at the Coronado Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Great savings are available by purchasing a subscription package with discounts off single ticket prices and other great benefits. Subscription packages including the classics concerts are still available and range from $103 to $418. Student subscriptions to the Classics Series are $36.
Rockford Health System Pops Series
Mancini & Moonlight
The RSO kicks off the Rockford Health System Pops Series on Saturday, October 15, 2011, with a concert featuring Broadway singers Nat Chandler and Teri Dale Hansen. The audience will be swept away by lush arrangements of the timeless tunes of Henry Mancini, including ‘Moon River’ and ‘The Days of Wine and Roses’ and orchestral features such as the ‘The Baby Elephant Walk,’ ‘Theme from Peter Gunn,’ ‘The Pink Panther,’ and ‘Victor Victoria.’ Nat Chandler returns to the RSO after rave reviews as Dean Martin in The Rat Pack last season. The performance will also feature popular songs by contemporaries of Mancini, including Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer.
The RSO celebrates the Christmas season on Saturday, December 17, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 18, 2011, at 3 p.m., with its annual Holiday Pops concert at the Coronado Theatre. The Mendelssohn Chorale and the winner of the B103 Christmas Choir Competition join the RSO for this beloved annual performance. The audience will lend their voices during a sing-along of carols and holiday tunes!
Finally, the RSO will conclude the Rockford Health System Pops Series on Saturday, March 31, 2012, with Simply Swingin’ starring Steve Lippia, who is returning to the RSO after rave reviews for his performance in 2006. Steve is a performer who has become one of the most prominent, in-demand vocalists and has quickly established his place among the finest interpreters of standards and traditional pop music. Steve will treat the audience to an evening of great hits such as ‘Beyond the Sea,’ ‘Unforgettable,’ ‘Mack the Knife,’ ‘Almost Like Being in Love,’ ‘What Kind of Fool Am I,’ and ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ as well as some all-time Sinatra favorites!
The RSO Pops Series is graciously sponsored by Rockford Health System. All Saturday concerts are held at the Coronado Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Subscription packages including the pops concerts are still available and range from $54 to $418. Student subscriptions to the Pops Series are $18.
The Nutcracker with the Rockford Dance Company
This annual presentation of the popular Nutcracker ballet is changing weekends from Thanksgiving to Saturday, December 3 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, December 4 at 3:00 pm. Audiences young and old will delight in the magic of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker as Clara takes an enchanted journey filled with the beloved melodies and dance that have captivated for more than a century. Guest dancers from internationally renowned dance companies will join the RSO and the local talent of the Rockford Dance Company.
RSO is adding a special mid-week matinee performance on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 3:00 pm. This all Beethoven program is conducted by RSYO Conductor Daniel Black and features a special performance by RSO Music Director Steven Larsen as Herr Beethoven! Highlights of the program include movements from some of Beethoven's most popular symphonies! Plus, guest pianist Joel Ross will perform segments from Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor and the infamous Emperor Concerto. All tickets value priced, starting at just $10!
All programs, artists, and prices are subject to change.