September 26th - 8pm - Pops Series
One of the most talented, successful, and important filmmakers of our time, Steven Spielberg, has become the cinematographic voice of his generation. From iconic characters like Indiana Jones, primordial creatures like those in Jurassic Park, to poignant historical stories like Schindler’s List, Spielberg’s screen achievements could not exist without their musical support. We will honor the great work of this legendary filmmaker through the inspired music that underpins his work.
Tales of Hemingway
October 10th - 8pm - Symphonic Series
Opening Night is always special at the Philharmonic, and this year we usher in a new season of great music-making with Leonard Bernstein’s brash, jazz-inspired Three Dance Episodes from On the Town. We then present brand-new American music we have co-commissioned for popular cellist Zuill Bailey. Michael Daugherty composed The Tales of Hemingway, a three-movement cello concerto inspired by the epic life of the great author. Don’t be surprised if the music at one point erupts into a brawl at a Cuban bar! We cap the evening with Robert Schumann’s uplifting and spirited Symphony No. 4. It’s music that is at one turn majestic, at another touchingly intimate, and at its finale, life-affirming and triumphant.
The Music of Queen and Journey
October 24th - 8pm - Pops Series
Legendary frontmen Freddy Mercury and Steve Perry fronted groups of amazingly-talented rock musicians. With stadium-filling anthems and hard driving beats, both Queen and Journey lend themselves to an epic symphonic treatment, and our friends from Canada, Jeans n’ Classics, know just how to recreate the magic on the Warner stage. Including Queen’s classic hits like ‘We are the Champions’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to Journey’s ‘Separate Ways’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’, this will be a night of anthem rock that will sweep you back in time when it was okay to have faded jeans and feathered hair.
The Romance of Schumann
November 7th - 8pm - Symphonic Series
We highlight composers who all were virtuoso performers. Franz Liszt, a superstar concert pianist, was also a highly-regarded conductor and composer who wrote larger-than-life symphonic works like his beloved Les Preludes. Robert Schumann, a poet at the piano himself, wrote his Piano Concerto as a vehicle for himself and his beloved wife Clara. Young star Andrew von Oeyen, fresh from a triumphant debut at Chautauqua last summer, makes his Erie Philharmonic debut. American composer John Adams pays tribute to musical genius in his own special way, creating an orchestrated version of Liszt’s dark, slowly floating The Black Gondola. For our finale, consummate musician and violist Paul Hindemith provides a sizzling showpiece for orchestra in his Symphonic Metamorphosis, where every member of the Philharmonic gets the spotlight in this creative and vivid score.
Come Home for the Holidays
December 5th - 2:30pm and 8pm - Pops Series
December traditions are special to us, and the Erie Philharmonic’s annual Home for the Holidays Concerts are a great way to relive your own Christmas past while sharing the joys of the season with friends and family. We are excited to invite local star tenor Daniel Cabanillas to make his Philharmonic debut as he joins us with the Erie Philharmonic Chorus, Young People’s Chorus of Erie, and other wonderful holiday surprises.
Romeo and Juliet
January 23rd - 8pm - Symphonic Series
This concert will feature the drama and passion of Russian music, beginning with Glazunov’s glowing Intermezzo Romantico, a musical tribute to the language and spirit of Tchaikovsky. We then introduce young Bulgarian-American violinist, Bella Hristova, who will inhabit the dark corners of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto with virtuosity and her intense musical personality. The evening’s centerpiece is Prokofiev’s beautiful and searing ballet score from Romeo and Juliet. Brilliantly evoking the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets while also capturing the intimacy of young love between Romeo and Juliet, this is a score rife with special details and sonic surprises.
Crazy for Gershwin
February 6th - 8pm - Pops Series
George Gershwin was one-of-a-kind. Equally at home on the concert stage as well as on Tin-Pan Alley, Gershwin exemplified what it meant to be an American composer – a true fusion of indigenous styles like jazz and popular song with symphonic forms like the concerto and tone poem. We celebrate his talent and genius in one big night.
Acclaimed pianist Inna Faliks plays Rhapsody in Blue and accompanies vocalists Jasmine Muhammed and Phillip Gay while the Philharmonic performs beloved scores from Porgy and Bess, and American in Paris, and Broadway hits in this not-to-be-missed night of Gershwin favorites.
An Evening in Paris
March 5th - 8pm - Symphonic Series
Springtime in Paris! We will look at the special relationship that some of our most important composers had with the City of Lights. Mozart wrote to his father that he expected the Parisians to erupt in applause during the performance of his Symphony No. 31. Frederick Chopin remains to this day one of the most important French musical voices from the 19th Century, and his rhapsodic 2nd Piano Concerto is the perfect vehicle for rising pianist Tanya Bannister, who has already recorded an acclaimed version of that very concerto. Maurice Ravel is perhaps best known for his effervescent, brilliantly detailed music, but in this Pavane, he shows us his deft touch for a simple, haunting melody played by a single French horn. Enfant terrible Igor Stravinsky set the Parisian ballet world on its ear more than once, and we are pleased to round-out our evening with this stylish, wonderfully intriguing ballet music from Pulcinella, a 1920 nod to a bygone era of Neapolitan commeddia dell’arte.
Celtic Celebration with Cathie Ryan
March 19th - 8pm - Pops Series
In our Pops finale, we delve into all the fun of St. Patrick’s Day weekend and invite one of the top interpreters of Celtic music to the Warner Stage. Cathie Ryan, former front woman of ‘Cherish the Ladies.’ She brings her special blend of traditional Irish music with her own band, mixed with the lush symphonic arrangements of Jeff Tyzik in a special night of song, dance, and Erin go bragh!
The Glory of Beethoven
April 30th - 8pm - Symphonic Series
We bring our season to a glorious close with three B’s (apologies to Mr. Bach!) In his Tragic Overture, Brahms presents weighty ideas in which seriousness and passion intermingle to create a musical statement of romantic fervor. Predating Brahms, Hector Berlioz’s La Mort de Cleopatre goes even further in wild extremities of harmony and dramatic expression. With a flair for the stage, Berlioz crafts a monodrama for soprano solo and orchestra that gives voice to Cleopatra’s anguish and eventual demise. Beethoven’s Mass in C is a deeply-felt statement of musical joy. Though not a churchgoer himself, Beethoven managed to find sufficient inspiration in the text of the Latin Mass to give voice to his all-embracing, triumph-of-mankind philosophy. The Erie Philharmonic Chorus will join with voices from Mercyhurst University and soloists from the Pittsburgh Opera to create this sensational, joyous season finale that only a master like Beethoven could attempt to achieve.