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.