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From the Metropolitan Opera to Jacoby Symphony Hall; La Bohème with Gabriella Reyes and Gregory Keller

Performance Spotlight

From the Metropolitan Opera to Jacoby Symphony Hall La Bohème with Gabriella Reyes and Gregory Keller Three months. That is all that remains on the countdown for the Jacksonville Symphony to showcase its largest production of the season: Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Since its premiere in 1896, performing arts stages across the world have captivated audiences with its narrative that beautifully presents the many faces of love. We follow young artists who learn lessons about passion, joy, sacrifice, and everything in-between. The performances will be … Read More

Program Notes: Mozart’s Radiance

Program Notes, Laurie Shulman

Dawn: Chacony for Orchestra at Any Distance (2020) Thomas Adès The son of an art historian and a poet, Thomas Adès is a native of London He studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and King’s College Cambridge Adès achieved success early, having a retrospective of his music when he was only in his 30s His operas The Tempest, Powder … Read More

Program Notes: Mozart’s Defiance

Program Notes, Laurie Shulman

Mozart’s stormy, passionate Concerto in C minor, K.491 must have startled his Viennese audience. The dark subtext coursing through this music prompts us to wonder what feelings of despair the composer harbored. Classicist he certainly was, but this concerto pushes the envelope persuasively close to the brink of romanticism. Its central slow movement is a masterpiece of woodwind writing, in … Read More

Program Notes: Appalachian Spring

Program Notes, Laurie Shulman

Suite from Appalachian Spring Aaron Copland Born 14 November, 1900 in Brooklyn, New York Died 2 December, 1990 in North Tarrytown, New York For most of the 20th century, Aaron Copland was widely regarded as the Dean of American composers A native of Brooklyn, he studied with the eminent pedagogue Nadia Boulanger in Fontainebleau, France He was one of the … Read More

Program Notes: Beethoven to Brahms

Program Notes, Laurie Shulman

Leonore Overture No. 3, Op.72b Ludwig van Beethoven Born 16 December, 1770 in Bonn, Germany Died 26 March 1827 in Vienna, Austria Approximate duration 14 minutes Instrumentation: woodwinds in pairs; four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings Leonore is the heroine’s real name in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio. For most of the opera, she is disguised as the youth … Read More

Review: Mozart’s Dream

Symphony Review, Tim Tuller

The Jacksonville Symphony’s Florida Blue Classical Series returned with “Mozart’s Dream” this weekend, a concert featuring W. A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major bookended by two works from Czech composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. The concert began with Smetana’s well-loved Overture to “The Bartered Bride.” From the outset the strings displayed impressively strong intonation throughout the … Read More

Program Notes: Brahms’ Pastoral Symphony

Program Notes, Laurie Shulman

Like many of Ravel’s orchestral works, Pavane for a Dead Princess originated as a solo piano piece. The Pavane was slow, processional 16th century court dance, probably of Italian origin. Spanish princesses were called infantas, and Ravel is said to have chosen the title because he liked the way it sounded in French! His single movement is poignant, elegant, and … Read More

Nickel for Your Thoughts: Mozart’s Dream

Nickel for Your Thoughts, Program Spotlight, Tony Nickle

In his own words, Vice President & Artistic Administrator Tony Nickle shares what he believes to be the high points of the program, but with a little edge and humor for good measure. This week’s program features our second Mozart piano concerto of the season, nestled in between two pieces by Czech composers: Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. Mozart’s connection … Read More

Review: Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony

Symphony Review, Tim Tuller

The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra presented “Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony” this weekend, a program consisting of two nineteenth-century masterpieces led by guest conductor Jonathon Heyward. Richard Wagner’s Overture from “The Flying Dutchman” started the evening off with Mr. Heyward taking the reigns with confidence and conviction and the orchestra responding in kind. The strings were immediately notable for their warm yet incisive tone, which allowed them to maintain crystal clear clarity throughout even the quietest passages. The Jacksonville Symphony’s fantastic brass … Read More