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Take 20 minutes for Beethoven

Courtney Lewis

Courtney Lewis of the Jacksonville Symphony says a Beethoven piano sonata may be the pick-me-up we all could use right about now. I’m sure I speak for many of you when I say it’s been a long time since I had this much time on my hands. The effect of the coronavirus on the performing arts has been devastating. At … Read More

Kids learn more than music in youth orchestras

Behind the Scenes, Deanna Tham

Deanna Tham, principal conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras, says her favorite part of the job is watching kids learn to work together to create something bigger than themselves. There is a special moment in every musical performance, right before the sound starts. The conductor takes in a breath and absorbs the profundity of the entire work that is … Read More

A chance to shine for flute player

Program Spotlight, Musician Spotlight

Les Roettges, principal flute player with the Jacksonville Symphony, says he is excited about about an upcoming performance, which gives him a chance to step into the spotlight to perform one of his favorite pieces. I am thrilled to be the featured soloist on the upcoming Florida Blue Masterworks series concerts (January 31 and February 1). I have been the … Read More

Nutcracker requires intimate conversation between musicians, dancers

Deanna Tham

One of the best parts of holding the title of Assistant Conductor is how much community engagement the position affords. I get to travel with music to outside communities, bring the excitement of sound to students, and share the treasures of the score with people who may not have thought to step into the hall. This also includes collaborations with … Read More

Chris Bassett’s Top Picks for the 2019-2020 Season

Musician Spotlight

With a list full of some of my utmost favorite works in the orchestral repertoire, and some lesser known, these selected concerts make a phenomenal subscription for the first-time concert goer, veteran subscriber, or anyone looking to spend their evening at the Symphony no matter how often you join us. You’ll find John Williams’ final score in the Harry Potter™ series, return appearances from some of our favorites like violinist Stefan … Read More

Symphony in 60 offers classical music, an hour at a time

Courtney Lewis

Symphony in 60 is one of my favorite Jacksonville Symphony concert series. It’s a simple idea: Happy hour at 5:30, an hour-long concert at 6:30, and then an opportunity to meet the musicians and conductor over a drink. This season we’re expanding the series from three concerts to six. It’s really exciting to see the many recent developments in our … Read More

Melissa Barrett’s Top Picks for the 2019-2020 Season

Musician Spotlight

The opening bars of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony are my favorite of all Beethoven’s symphonies. Also on this program will be selections from Smetana’s Má Vlast (The Bohemian River). When I married my husband Michael, our recessional music was the wedding scene from this movement, so it holds a very special place in my heart. Up is an uplifting and heartwarming movie for all ages. I chose … Read More

Beethoven front and center in Symphony season

Courtney Lewis

After a summer guest conducting in Aspen and Minnesota, I’m back in Jacksonville and it’s time to get ready for our upcoming season. This year is a series of celebrations, as the Jacksonville Symphony turns 70, Ludwig van Beethoven reaches an ever-youthful 250, and we perform thrilling concerts not just at home, but also at the Kennedy Center in Washington, … Read More