Jacksonville Symphony to present ‘Symphony in 60’ and Masterworks concerts Jan. 4-6


The first week of January brings the second “Symphony in 60” of the season, as well as the fifth Masterworks concert for the Jacksonville Symphony after a month-long hiatus for the holidays.

The Symphony in 60 concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacoby Symphony Hall in Jacksonville. The concert will be preceded by a happy hour, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. The Masterworks concerts will take place Friday, Jan. 5 and Saturday, Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.

Courtney Lewis will return as music director after announcing a three-season contract extension through the 2020-2021 season. In his first three seasons with the Jacksonville Symphony, Lewis was responsible for creating Symphony in 60, an abbreviated Masterworks concert that also features a pre-concert happy hour and post-concert party on-stage with Symphony musicians.

On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Symphony will present the second of three Symphony in 60 performances this season, “The Inextinguishable,” featuring Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable.” At the concert, the Jacksonville “gifts-with-a-purpose” company, Rethreaded, will host a pop-up shop.

“The Fourth Symphony, or ‘The Inextinguishable’ as he titled it, was written between 1914 and 1916,” Lewis said. “The work was a response to the violence of the First World War, Nielson’s marital strife and a preoccupation with what he described as ‘life force’ in music … The Symphony evokes the most primal sources of life – what you might think of as survivor instinct, or the will to live no matter what.”

For the Symphony’s two upcoming Masterworks performances, Lewis will be joined on stage by guest pianist Zhang Zuo. Zuo, who will also host a free piano masterclass Jan. 4 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Time-Union Center for the Performing Arts, has been hailed as “full of enthusiasm and glamour, radiating the vigor of youth,” (Chinese Gramophone) and “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry,” (Los Angeles Times).

For tickets and further information, visit www.jaxsymphony.org or call the ticket office at (904) 354-5547.