Mozart’s Jupiter

Mozart’s final symphony, the great “Jupiter,” offers a window into the further brilliance the world could have witnessed had the composer not died so young. The coda of the final movement percolates with astounding brilliance and otherworldly joy. Courtney Lewis and the Symphony open the program with two rhythmically driving pieces from distinctly different eras: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Third Brandenburg Concerto and Bohuslav Martinů’s Double Concerto for Strings, Piano and Timpani.

Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade

Tchaikovsky wrote his String Serenade in the model of his great idol, Mozart, and imbued it with his own hallmark Romanticism. Likewise, Francis Poulenc looked back to Mozart and Haydn in his Neoclassical Sinfonietta, a tightly woven piece brimming with a broad, colorful spectrum of character and style. Thomas Wilkins returns to the podium for this program that seamlessly blends old and new. 

Mozart’s Prague and Prokofiev

Jacksonville favorite Joshua Roman brings his songful tone and prodigious technique to Prokofiev’s “Symphony Concerto,” a work that demands every tool in the kit from both soloist and orchestra. The program opens with a dramatic work from Mozart’s most mature period, his masterful “Prague” Symphony.

Dvořák’s New World

Antonín Dvořák spent the summer of 1893 in Iowa, and it was America’s endearing, wide-open terrain that inspired the spacious sounds of his Ninth Symphony. The roots of the second movement’s famous English horn tune, sometimes known as “Goin’ Home,” can be traced to Dvořák’s exposure to African-American spirituals. Jessie Montgomery’s tribute to our National Anthem’s 200th anniversary opens the program. Associate Conductor Gonzalo Farias takes the podium in his Jacksonville Symphony Masterworks debut.

Beethoven’s Eroica

The radical opening of Beethoven’s 1803 “Eroica” Symphony is so unlike anything that came before it, some say it is one of the earliest hallmarks of music’s Romantic Era. Strauss’ Metamorphosen, composed in the last days of the European theater of World War II, is an elegy to the passing of that same cultural era. Join Courtney Lewis and the Symphony for a visit to the genesis and twilight of German Romanticism.

Britten and Schumann

The Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings is testament to Benjamin Britten’s flare for setting poetry to music. Tenor (to be announced) and principal horn player Kevin Reid navigate this anthology of text tethered by a common atmosphere of night, sleep, and dreams. As the Serenade paints the night, so Schumann’s final symphony, the “Rhenish,” depicts the landscapes of the Rhine River through a tapestry of evocative melodies.landscapes of the Rhine River through a tapestry of evocative melodies.

Beethoven’s Seventh

Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is not famous for the fire and muscle of his Third and Fifth, but rather for the slow and pensive second movement. A rhythm that feels like the pulse of life runs as a current under a soulful theme full of beauty and longing. Organist Greg Zelek returns to the mighty Bryan Concert Organ to begin the program with Joseph Rheinberger’s lush Second Organ Concerto. Acclaimed British conductor Matthew Halls returns to lead the Symphony through this profound journey.

Schumann and Bartók

Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta is a bone-chilling testament to the postwar period of the 20th century, and Schumann’s Second Symphony is inscribed with moody and rebellious sounds in response to the composer’s terminal illness. Follow Courtney Lewis as he leads the Symphony through this deep psychological exploration.

Mahler’s Song of the Earth

Sometimes referred to as Gustav Mahler’s tenth symphony, The Song of the Earth is no ordinary song cycle, titled by the composer “a Symphony for Tenor, Contralto and Orchestra.” Drawing from German adaptations of ancient Chinese poems, the songs explore themes of tragedy and the imminence of death, ultimately asserting a passionate delight in the beauty of living. Witness this narrative through a theatrical lens in this Jacksonville Symphony dramatic staging of Mahler’s profound testament to love and life.

The Late Romantics

On Christmas morning 1870, Richard Wagner’s new wife, Cosima, awakened to quite the surprise: 15 musicians on the staircase outside of her bedroom performing a new piece Richard had written for her birthday. In this instrumental pastorale Wagner lovers will hear many favorite horn calls and bird songs from the composer’s Ring-Cycle opera, Siegfried. Richard Strauss’ Le bourgeois gentilhomme Suite – a stark departure from the composer’s traditionally High Romantic work – is a Neoclassical gem with lively material compiled from his incidental music for a play about a nouveau riche man hoping his riches will elevate him to the status of gentleman.