Jacksonville Symphony plans world premieres, classics, opera, jazz

2023-24 season offers rich variety of performances


The Jacksonville Symphony and Music Director Courtney Lewis have unveiled a diverse slate of programming and performances, acclaimed guest conductors and world-renowned guest artists for the symphony’s 2023-24 season. The symphony’s 74th season, which runs from Sept. 15 to June 8, 2024, seeks to create concert experiences that will enrich the lives of patrons with inspirational performances of the very best music has to offer.

“I believe symphonic music has the power to transport us to another world and to inspire us in ways that few other art forms can,” said Lewis. “The ’23-24 season is full of the music you know and love, performed by an orchestra that reaches new heights of artistic excellence every year. I simply cannot wait to share it with you!”

Classical, Pops and More

Commencing the season are two free community concerts on Sept. 15 and 16 conducted by Associate Conductor Kevin Fitzgerald, an honored Jacksonville Symphony tradition that welcomes all of Jacksonville to Jacoby Symphony Hall for a preview of the season’s musical offerings.

The Florida Blue Classical Series is packed with concertos and symphonies by classical legends like Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Johannes Brahms and more.

On Sept. 29 and 30, the series opens with a major new organ concerto commission produced by award-winning composer Lowell Liebermann and performed by Paul Jacobs, the first organist ever to win a Grammy. Later in the season, Courtney Bryan returns for the world premiere of another Jacksonville Symphony commission.

More standout performances include Concertmaster Adelya Nartadjieva’s solo in Vaughan Williams’ soaring “The Lark Ascending,” three performances by award-winning pianists Simone Dinnerstein, Joyce Yang and Conrad Tao as part of the David M. Hicks Piano Series, with a special celebratory performance of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” for its historic 100th birthday.

The Paysafe Pops Series is brimming with performances featuring tributes to musical greats like “The Music of Earth, Wind and Fire,” “The Music of John Williams,” “Women Rock!” and other creative, collaborative programs that showcase Prince, Elvis, Queen, Paul McCartney and more.

Finally, the fan-favorite FIS Symphonic Night at the Movies Series returns with live-to-picture performances of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Home Alone” and “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.”

Going Above and Beyond

The Friday morning Coffee Series offers eight concerts sampling music from a variety of genres including “A Journey from Bach to Beethoven,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration,” “Music of the Knights” and much more. There will also be four Thursday evening concerts in the Symphony In 60 Series, including the return of fan-favorite “At the Ballet II,” featuring dancers from the Florida Ballet on the Jacoby Symphony Hall stage. Subscribers to this series also receive two tickets to a Florida Blue Classical Series concert of their choice.

The Concert Organ Series will also return with three Saturday evening concerts spotlighting the monumental Bryan Concert Organ and esteemed guest artists.

Another major highlight of the 2023-24 season is the symphony’s grand opera production of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” produced by Stage Director Gregory Keller. As one of the most cherished operas of all time, this symphonically staged production will feature an award-winning cast of international guest artists, the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and the symphony orchestra.

New this season, the Jacksonville Symphony will host the Jacksonville Jazz Collective, a collection of local and national talent that will bring the riveting rhythms of swing and other jazz tunes to Jacoby Symphony Hall. Curated by Principal Tuba and Jazz Collective Director, James Jenkins, the Jazz Series will feature an invigorating big band concert, an intimate trio performance and a finale featuring the iconic jazz trumpeter, Terence Blanchard.

Holiday specials will also make their return with festive traditions including “Holiday Pops,” the “Jacksonville Symphony’s First Coast Nutcracker” and “Handel’s Messiah.”

The Jacksonville Symphony’s education and community engagement programs offers opportunities for the whole family to enjoy including two family concerts, five performances by the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO) and a special Young People's Concert for students and young listeners. Talented community members are also encouraged to sign up for the newly created Civic Orchestra Side-By-Side, a concert that welcomes community musicians to join the Jacksonville Symphony on stage for an unforgettable performance experience.

Tickets and Subscriptions

Subscriptions are on sale now with single tickets available in mid-August. For more information on the 2023-24 season and how to secure the best seats, go to JaxSymphony.org or call the box office at 904-354-5547.