Music Director Teddy Abrams.  Photo-Louisville Orchestra

New Season Features World Premiere Performances, Masterworks, Innovative Community Partnerships and Special Guests, Including Bela Fleck, Seth MacFarlane, Augustin Hadelich and Pink Martini

Entire contents are copyright © 2015 Arts-Louisville. All rights reserved.

In the 2015-16 season announcement Media Release, the Louisville Orchestra describes the leadership of Music Director Teddy Abrams as “galvanizing,” but that is something of an understatement. It wasn’t that long ago that the Orchestra was at one of the lowest points in its storied history: bankruptcy and labor disputes were the words of the day, as they have been for far too many American symphonic organizations.  Two bold hiring choices by the LO board of directors: Andrew Kipe as Executive Director and Mr. Abrams as Music Director, have led to the Louisville Orchestra revitalizing its role in both the local arts community and the city as a whole. Now, this second season under the new leadership further realizes that potential.

Coming attractions include the world premieres of four new commissions, including two by the multi-talented Abrams himself; a keen emphasis on homegrown composition, from a season-launching account of Leonard Bernstein’s grand-scale MASS to a two-part Festival of American Music; a fully-staged production of Stravinksy’s Petrushka, presented complete in an unprecedented partnership with the Louisville Ballet; concerto collaborations with such eminent artists as banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck and violinist Augustin Hadelich; an exploration of the influence of J.S. Bach on German composers from Wagner to Hindemith; favorite masterworks encompassing Beethoven’s “Eroica,” Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and seasonal selections from Handel’s Messiah; and collaborations with local musicians that typify Abrams’s and the orchestra’s extraordinary and unwavering commitment to innovative community engagement. As Arts-Louisville recently affirmed, “Abrams is leading the Louisville Orchestra into the next great leg of its journey.

Commissioning new American music to expand and revitalize the orchestral literature is not only a key component of Abrams’s new appointment, but has long been central to Louisville’s mission; since receiving a 1953 Rockefeller grant to commission, record, and premiere music by living composers, the orchestra has won 19 ASCAP awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. In the coming season, the music director looks forward to leading the first performances of a new piano concerto by Jazz Education Network (JEN) Composer Showcase Award-winner Chase Morrin, with the composer himself at the keyboard. Abrams also presents the world premieres of two of his own new compositions: Fanfare and a suite for local community collaborators that will draw on Louisville’s vibrant music scene. Finally, further demonstrating the orchestra’s dedication to fostering new talent, Abrams and the orchestra premiere a new group composition commissioned from four students of his own alma mater, Philadelphia’s world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music. “I think that we can create a contemporary music that people love and care about and feel connected to,” Abrams explains. “Being at the forefront of music that is ‘now’ is at the heart of what the Louisville Orchestra is about.”

The Louisville Orchestra is now accepting new and renewing season ticket subscriptions by calling 502.589.8681 or by visiting Tickets to individual events will be available in August 2015.

[box_light]The 2015-16 Season:[/box_light]

CLASSICS SERIES includes 10 evening performances in Whitney Hall at Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts with the entire selection of full orchestra concerts with guest soloists. Subscriptions range from $625 to $205 for one seat to all 10 concerts.

MINI CLASSICS A and MINI CLASSICS B each include 5 evening performances for a subscription to selected concerts. Mini Subscriptions range from $335 to $120.

COFFEE CONCERT SERIES includes 7 classics concerts performed in the morning at Whitney Hall at Kentucky Center, Fridays at 10:30 am. Subscriptions range from $208 to $113.

Opening Night
  Saturday, September 26, 2015 | 8 p.m.  Classics Series & Mini A

Jubilant Sykes, soloist | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Bernstein: MASS
“Mass” seeks the meaning and relevance of faith in an increasingly secular and noisy world. Sometimes humorous, occasionally bawdy, and at times profoundly moving, Bernstein’s masterpiece, based on the Roman Catholic liturgy, includes passages sung in Latin with additional texts in English by Bernstein, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, and Paul Simon. An enormous piece, the work, scored for orchestra, two choruses, marching and rock bands, actors, and dancers, also features rock, blues, Broadway, and classical music.

Four Last Songs
  Friday, October 9, 2015 | 8 p.m. Classics Series & Mini B

Soloist TBD |  Jorge Mester, conductor

R. Strauss: Four Last Songs
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

Infused with transcendent peace and beauty, Richard Strauss’ final work meditates on life and death. And Maestro Mester brings the sweeping romance of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to the stage.

Friday, October 23, 2015 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday October 24, 2015 | 8 p.m. Classics and Mini A
Teddy Abrams, conductor

            Abrams: Composition for Community Collaborators (World Premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”)
Teddy and the orchestra are joined by several unlikely guests from the Louisville music scene for a rollicking suite of music written just for this remarkable evening.

Musical Offering
Friday, November 6, 2015 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday, November 7, 2015 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini B
Teddy Abrams, conductor

            R. Strauss: Don Juan
Wagner: Overture to Tannhauser
C.P.E. Bach: Sinfonia in B minor #5, WQ182
J.S. Bach (arr. Webern): Musical Offering
Hindemith: “Ragtime” from 1922
            Mozart: Symphony TBD

In an all-German program, Teddy deconstructs the mystical influences of J.S. Bach across the centuries. He performs and arrangement of Bach’s Musical Offering on harpsichord as the centerpiece of the program.

Rachmaninoff’s Second
Friday, January 8, 2016 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday, January 9, 2016 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini A
William Wolfram, piano | Jorge Mester, conductor

Martinů: Symphony No. 6
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
We welcome an extraordinary guest to the Louisville Orchestra. Tall and powerfully built, pianist William Wolfram has a technique to match. Able to summon torrents of sound for the grandest moments in the Romantic literature, he is also able to produce the subtlest gradations in volume with the most persuasive, luminous tone.

Brahms & Rachmaninoff
Friday, January 29, 2016 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday, January 30, 2016 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini B
Augustin Hadelich, violin | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Brahms: Violin Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
A new commission by students from the Curtis Institute of Music
The Cleveland Plain Dealer calls Augustin Hadelich a consummate showman but “…behind Hadelich’s talent was a molten intensity, a determination to explore the music’s passionate, earthy sides with gritty articulation and tender lyricism.” His LO debut promises an evening of brilliant music-making.

PETRUSHKA – An Orchestra & Ballet Collaboration
Saturday, March 5, 2016 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini B
Louisville Ballet | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Abrams: Fanfare (World Premiere)
            Philip Glass: Violin Concerto
Stravinsky: Petrushka

An all-out extravaganza that will be the talk of Louisville! The evening puts the orchestra on stage with the dancers of the Louisville Ballet for the first half of this electrifying performance. The orchestra then moves to the pit for a full presentation of Stravinsky’s dazzling ballet, Petrushka.

Festival of American Music I
  Friday, March 25, 2016 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday, March 26, 2016 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini A
Teddy Abrams, conductor |  clarinet soloist

Ives: Thanksgiving and Forefather’s Day
Copland: Clarinet Concerto
John Adams: Harmonielehre
Mason Bates: Mothership
Promising another signature “Abrams” event, Teddy packs this concert with audience participation and his own gifts as clarinet soloist. “I believe the orchestra must bring people together to grow as individuals and as a community,” explains Teddy. This concert will create that opportunity in a superbly entertaining fashion.

Festival of American Music II
Friday, April 8, 2016 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday, April 9, 2016 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini B
Chase Morrin, piano | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Morrin: Piano Concerto (World Premiere)
Copland: Symphony No. 3
“Fanfare for the Common Man” is woven into the heroic and stirring music of Copland’s Symphony No. 3. Called “America’s Symphony,” this work, and the jazz-infused piano concerto by the astonishing young talent Chase Morrin, will bring audiences to their feet.

Béla Fleck
Friday, April 29, 2016 | 10:30 a.m. Coffee Concert Series
Saturday, April 30, 2016 | 8 p.m. Classics Series and Mini A
Béla Fleck, banjo | Teddy Abrams, conductor

Mancini: Theme from Peter Gunn
            Fleck: The Imposter
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

What better way to close the Classics season than an explosively fun concert featuring a Louisville favorite? Béla Fleck joins the LO for a brilliant night of music. It’s our night to shine!

Once again, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt, assembles an amazing series for music lovers of all genres! All POPS concerts will take place at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Whitney Hall. POPS SERIES includes 6 evening performances in Whitney Hall at Kentucky Center featuring a variety of musical styles with full orchestra and guest artists. Music ranges from popular hits to Broadway and film music for an eclectic and high quality audience experience.  Subscriptions range from $350 – $134

Seth MacFarlane at the LO
  Saturday, October 10, 2015 | 8 p.m.

Seth MacFarlane, comedy & song  |  Bob Bernhardt, conductor

The genius behind Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, Seth MacFarlane is a brilliant comedian who comments on the strengths and weaknesses of American life. His talents as an actor and singer are undisputed. MacFarlane’s album of American Songbook standards, Music is Better Than Words, was nominated for a Grammy Award and received critical acclaim. He appears for one night only!

Nightmare on Main Street: Halloween at the LO Pops
Friday, October 30, 2015  |  8 p.m.

Bob Bernhardt, conductor

One two… Bob’s coming for you! Three, four… Scream for more! It’s Halloween at the LO and you’re invited to wear your best costume and shiver to an evening of ghoulish, favorite music from movies, shows and orchestral pops.

The Music of Led Zeppelin
Saturday, November 14, 2015  |  8 p.m.

Randy Jackson as Robert Plant  |  Brent Havens, conductor

A massive array of songs from Led Zeppelin performed by the most talented tribute group in the world, Windborne Music. A perfect fit with orchestras as lush harmonies and driving tunes allow musicians to dig in and rock. The show even features an electric violin!

Streisand Songbook
Saturday, January 16, 2016  |  8 p.m.

Ann Hampton Callaway, vocalist  |  Bob Bernhardt, conductor

An exquisite jazz-singer who has been named “Performer of the Year” by 2014, Ann Hampton Callaway is known for her divine voice and depth of emotion in her singing. She performs the amazing catalog made famous by Barbra Streisand including “The Way We Were,” “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and more.

Pink Martini
Saturday, March 19, 2016  |  8 p.m.

Bob Bernhardt, conductor

Pink Martini is a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure…if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, this would have been the band! Featuring a dozen musicians, the “little orchestra” Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages all over the world. Sold-out shows have audiences on their feet dancing to Latin-rhythms, bounding to pop favorites of yesteryear and swaying to glamorous smoky ballads.

Broadway ROCKS!
Friday, April 22, 2016  |  8 p.m.

Bob Bernhardt, conductor

A trio of talented Broadway veterans shares the spotlight in a high-energy concert performing selections from rock and contemporary Broadway hits. The show features music from Wicked, Hairspray, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, The Wiz, and Phantom of the Opera among many others.