Jacksonville Symphony’s 70th season to center around Beethoven

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The 2019-2020 season for the Jacksonville Symphony will be the organization’s 70th and is built around one of the most famous composers, Ludwig van Beethoven. 

Born in 1770, Beethoven is known for paving the way for the future of the musical art form. December 2020 will mark his 250th birthday. Featured on the season for the local Symphony will be Beethoven’s Mass in C, “Emperor” Piano Concerto and Violin Concerto. The Symphony will end the season with a performance of one of the most recognized symphonies of all time: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony featuring the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and the University of North Florida Chorale. 

In addition to Beethoven’s masterpieces, the “Florida Blue Masterworks Series” will include several classical favorites such as Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Second Symphony, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and Edward Elgar’s Violin Concerto. Nathan Aspinall will return to the Jacoby Symphony Hall podium for a program featuring Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances,” and guest conductor Anu Tali will make her first Jacksonville appearance with Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony.

“We’re also excited to take you on some adventures with captivating music you may not have heard before,” said Courtney Lewis, Jacksonville Symphony music director. “You will hear Franz Schreker’s music, full of resplendent color much like Richard Strauss. Music by Henri Dutilleux is virtuosic for every instrument in the orchestra and we’ll also perform masterpieces by Lutosławski and Thomas Adès.”

One of the highlights for the Symphony’s 2019-2020 season is the upcoming trip to Washington D.C. The Symphony was accepted into SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras as one of four ensembles from across the country. The Symphony performs a program including Copland’s Clarinet Concert (with New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill) and two works written specifically for the city of Jacksonville: Courtney Bryan’s “Bridges” (to be premiered in April 2019) and Duke Ellington’s “Celebration.” 

The Symphony’s third “Fanfare! Opening Night” features Jacksonville native Marcus Roberts and his jazz trio performing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” to celebrate the beginning of another season. Soprano Susan Graham headlines the Symphony’s 2020 Gala taking place on March 7 and violinist James Ehnes returns to Jacoby Symphony Hall in November. Pianist Natasha Paremski joins the Symphony for Brahms in October and pianist Daniel Hsu, Cliburn Competition medalist, performs Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto in May.

The “Symphonic Night at the Movies Series” returns with “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” “Jurassic Park” and Disney Pixar’s “Up.” 

“Hooray for Hollywood” will open the “Fidelity National Financial Pops Series” in October with Michael Krajewski conducting some favorite movie music. Michael Cavanaugh joins the Symphony for a program celebrating “Piano Man” Billy Joel. Cavanaugh was handpicked by Billy Joel to star in the Broadway Musical “Movin’ Out.” The Doo Wop Project returns with an all-new program, and the Symphony honors the legacy of Aretha Franklin. In March, Steven Reineke, music director of the New York Pops, will conduct a program of Broadway favorites. The Jacksonville Symphony season finale will feature the annual traditions of “Holiday Pops” and “Patriotic Pops.” 

Beethoven’s epic Fifth Symphony can be found on the 2019-2020 “Raymond James Coffee Series,” along with Camille Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony performed on the Bryan Concert Organ. The music of Aretha Franklin joins the Coffee Concert schedule, and the Symphony performs a program of romantic favorites on Feb. 14 and 15. 

For the full 2019-2020 season, visit JaxSymphony.org. Subscriptions for the 2019-2020 season are currently being sold and single tickets will go on sale in August 2019. For additional information, call the Symphony Ticket Office at (904) 354-5547.

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