20 conductors take podium duties in the Dallas Symphony’s 2018-19 season

Tue Feb 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm
By Wayne Lee Gay

Violinist-conductor Leonidas Kavakos will become the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s artist in residence in the 2018-19 season.

The absence of a music director–a quandary the Dallas Symphony Orchestra currently faces in light of the departure of Jaap van Zweden for the New York Philharmonic—brings up not only challenges of musical philosophy and technique, but of programing and continuity.

But, while it’s likely that a new music director for the 2019-20 season will be named sometime in upcoming months, the reality of the music business demands a fully-scheduled season for 2018-19, which the orchestra announced Monday.

Dallas Symphony audiences will get a taste of a wide variety of conductors in a season agenda that will feature nineteen guest conductors and the orchestra’s assistant conductor Ruth Reinhardt filling all the slots. As in recent years, the season will vary with twenty different programs on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at Meyerson Symphony Center, extending from September through May.

Three large-scale choral-orchestral works will appear during the course of the season. Colorado Symphony music director Brett Mitchell will conduct Orff’s ever-popular Carmina Burana on October 5-7, James Gaffigan will conduct Rachmaninoff’s choral symphony The Bells on April 11-14, and Matthew Halls, who was controversially fired from the Oregon Bach Festival in September of 2017, will conduct Haydn’s oratorio The Creation on May 24-26.

Another particularly interesting event will feature leading American composer John Adams conducting his own Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Violin Concerto with guest soloist Leila Josefowicz on January 31-February 2. Apart from that, contemporary music, which has been a weak spot for the orchestra in recent seasons, will continue to play a relatively small role in the season. The only other performance of contemporary music on the main classical series will occur when conductor Mitchell performs Christopher Theofanidis’s Rainbow Body on October 5-7 on the same concert with Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Late romantic music, which played a large role in the orchestra’s repertoire during Van Zweden’s regime, will dominate three concert programs. Claus Peter Flor will conduct a program devoted to works of Wagner and Richard Strauss on September 27, 28, and 30; Donald Runnicles will conduct Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and tenor Russell Thomas January 10, 11, and 13; and van Zweden will return to the podium for Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 onĀ March 14 and 15.

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos will serve as artist-in-residence for the orchestra, performing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero on October 19-21; Kavakos will then conduct and perform as soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 on a program on which he will also conduct symphonic works of Mozart and Dvorak on October 19-21.

The season will feature, spread across two programs, the complete Roman Trilogy of Respighi, with Adams conducting Roman Festivals on his concerts on January 31-February 2 and Juraj Valcuha conducting Pines of Rome and Fountains of Rome along with works of Mendelssohn and Richard Strauss on March 7-10.

Violinist Augustin Hadelich, who has become particularly popular with audiences in the region, will return to perform Sibelius’s Violin Concerto on April 4, 6, and 7 with conductor John Storgards. The off-site Remix series at Moody Performance Hall, across the street from the Meyerson Symphony Center, will feature Dallas Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Ruth Reinhardt in works of Mendelssohn and Ravel on September 20-12; concertmaster Alexander Kerr will lead the Remix concert of music of Mozart, Bartok, and Arvo Part on March 8 and 9.

The season will also include, as in recent years, a series of three organ recitals on the Lay Family Organ at Meyerson Symphony Center, a full pops series, and the annual array of Christmas concerts.

Complete details and ticket information are available at mydso.com and by calling 214-692-0203.

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