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Dallas Symphony MD Fabio Luisi Leads Ten Programs in 2023-24 Season, Including World Premieres by Jessie Montgomery, Xi Wang and Anna Clyne

DSO Launches Ring Cycle-in-Concert in May 2024 with Das Rheingold and Die Walküre

“Riveting, start to finish.” – Dallas Morning News on Fabio Luisi and the Dallas Symphony

In his fourth season as Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Grammy-winning conductor Fabio Luisi conducts eight programs in the Texas Instruments Classical Series, leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, and makes his debut in the Pops Series Presented by Capital One. Highlights of Luisi’s season include world premieres by composers Jessie Montgomery, Xi Wang and Anna Clyne; as well as the DSO debuts of Liszt’s A Faust Symphony, George Antheil’s A Jazz Symphony, David Chesky’s American Bluegrass and Franz Schmidt’s masterpiece oratorio, The Book with Seven Seals. In the spring, Luisi and the orchestra launch their ambitious Ring cycle-in-concert, a first in recent history for any U.S. orchestra, with two performances each of Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. Each of Luisi’s 2023-24 performances with the Dallas Symphony will also be available for streaming – generally within a week of the live event – through the Next Stage Digital Concert Series. These filmed performances can be accessed at the DSO’s website for $10 per concert or $125 for a season pass.

Embarking on his fourth year as Music Director, Luisi reflects:

“Since the beginning of my tenure, the orchestra and I have worked together to create a distinctive sound. We have learned to listen to each other to find the way we want to present ourselves as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Through the range of works – old and new, American and from around the world – I hope the audience will enjoy and discover how the sounds of the orchestra are relevant and vital to our current time.”

One of the conductor’s continuing goals in Dallas is to showcase American composers and American musical styles, demonstrated by his first concerts of the season, which also mark his debut on the Pops Series Presented by Capital One. The program features the music of Gershwin and Styne alongside the second movement of William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony and Drums – A Symphonic Poem by James P. Johnson, a frequent collaborator of Bessie Smith. Soprano Karen Slack and tenor Issachah Savage are the soloists (Sep 22–24).

Luisi and the DSO welcome as special guests pianist Emanuel Ax, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and the Dallas Symphony Children’s Chorus for the 2023 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. The performance will feature Leonard in selections from Carmen, Ax’s unsurpassed virtuosity in the works of Chopin and Ravel’s La valse. The festivities include a seated dinner, concert and after-party (Sep 30).

More American music is on tap in the season-opening concerts of the Texas Instruments Classical Series: Copland’s Clarinet Concerto marks the DSO debut of clarinetist Anthony McGill, and the program opens with an overture by William Schuman, legendary educator and winner of the first Pulitzer Prize in music. The concert is rounded out with the first performance by the DSO of Franz Liszt’s A Faust Symphony, a dramatic choral work for which the orchestra is joined by the Dallas Symphony Chorus and tenor soloist Carl Tanner (Sep 28 & Oct 1).

Luisi takes the podium once again in the fall to conduct the world premiere of a new work by Jessie Montgomery, on a program with George Antheil’s A Jazz Symphony, David Chesky’s American Bluegrass and Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto, performed by soloist Rudolf Buchbinder (Oct 12, 14 & 15).

In February, Luisi returns to the DSO to conduct another world premiere, this time by Xi Wang; violinist Karen Gomyo and trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth, making her DSO debut, join the orchestra for the world premiere of Wang’s DSO-commissioned Year 2020: Concerto for Trumpet, Violin and Orchestra. The program also features a performance to be recorded for a future album release by resident organist Bradley Hunter Welch (Lay Family Chair) of Saint-Saëns’s “Organ” Symphony, previously recorded by the orchestra in 1994 to celebrate the new Lay Family Concert Organ – at the time only three years old and just a little younger than the newly built Meyerson Symphony Center. Mahler’s “Blumine” movement from Symphony No. 1 in D rounds out the program (Feb 22-25).

A second recorded performance takes place in March, when Luisi and the DSO present Franz Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Schmidt wrote four symphonies, two operas and works for piano and organ, but his monumental achievement is this oratorio, of which Luisi is a longtime champion. Soloists are tenor Paul Appleby, bass Franz-Josef Selig, soprano Meghan Kasanders, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, tenor Matthew Pearce and bass-baritone Hadleigh Adams, along with the Dallas Symphony Chorus (March 1–3).

Luisi conducted a special concert of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the DSO in 2021, but this season marks his first presentation of a full Mahler symphony with the DSO alone. The towering Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor is joined on the program by the world premiere of Anna Clyne’s DSO-commissioned Piano Concerto, performed by soloist Jeremy Denk (March 28–30).

Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera from 2011-17, Luisi is always particularly in his element conducting vocal music. He leads the DSO and Dallas Symphony Chorus in Brahms’s A German Requiem, with soprano Golda Schultz, making her DSO debut, and baritone Matthias Goerne, a frequent DSO collaborator, as soloists (April 4–6).

The Ring cycle

Beginning in May 2024, the DSO and Luisi will present an opera-in-concert version of Richard Wagner’s complete Der Ring des Nibelungen, becoming the first U.S. orchestra in recent history to do so. The project debuts on May 1, with Das Rheingold and Die Walküre premiering on consecutive nights. Bass-baritone Mark Delavan sings the role of Wotan, with soprano Sara Jakubiak and tenor Christopher Ventris – both making their DSO debuts – portraying Sieglinde and Siegmund respectively. The cycle continues in fall 2024 with Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, followed by a week-long presentation of the full cycle. Luisi received his first Grammy Award for his leadership of the last two operas of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen with the Metropolitan Opera. The Deutsche Grammophon DVD release of the full cycle, recorded live, was named Best Opera Recording of 2012. The conductor also led three complete Ring cycles at the Dresden Semperoper from 2006-2008. He says:

“The Ring cycle is one of the deepest and most complex musical works that has ever been written. It is all of humanity brought to the stage – family, love, sex, loss, consequences and the quest for power. Across the entirety of the story, with beautiful music and beautiful text guiding you, you are transformed at the end.”

This project is generously supported by Mercedes T. Bass, Joanne Bober, Diane and Hal Brierley, Joe Hubach and Colleen O’Connor, Holly and Tom Mayer, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, The Morton H. Meyerson Family Foundation, Sarah Titus and Jean Ann Titus, and Kern and Marnie Wildenthal.

Remainder of current season (2022-23)

Coming up later this month, Luisi and the DSO embark on a three-city tour of the U.S. East Coast. With stops in Boston’s Symphony Hall (March 24), New York’s Carnegie Hall (March 26) and Woolsey Hall on the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut (March 28), they perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 along with 2022-23 composer-in-residence Angélica Negrón’s What keeps me awake. In Boston and New York, Garrick Ohlsson will also join Luisi and the orchestra for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Back in Dallas, Luisi conducts three remaining programs this season, the first two including Brahms symphonies to be recorded for an album release. Matthias Goerne joins the orchestra this month to perform songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn on a program with Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 (March 16–18), and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 will be performed and recorded in May along with Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto performed by soloist Francesco Piemontesi and the world premiere of Angélica Negrón’s much-anticipated Arquitecta, featuring Colombian singer Lido Pimienta (May 4–7).

Luisi’s ends his 2022-23 DSO season with two works by Carl Orff: the iconic Carmina Burana and the less familiar Catulli Carmina, which together comprise two-thirds of the composer’s Trionfi musical trilogy (May 11–14). Never before performed at the DSO, Catulli Carmina is scored for a full orchestra of percussion instruments, chorus and soloists.

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi, 2023–24 Season

(All concerts take place at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX.)

Pops Series Presented by Capital One
Sep 22, 23, 24
Karen Slack, soprano
Issachah Savage, tenor
GERSHWIN: Overture to Girl Crazy
STYNE: Overture to Gypsy
Selections from the American Songbook
DAWSON: Negro Folk Symphony, Movement II
JOHNSON: Drums – A Symphonic Poem

DSO Gala
Sep 30
Emanuel Ax, piano
Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano (DSO debut)
Dallas Symphony Children’s Chorus (Ellie Lin, Artistic Director)
BIZET: Selections from Carmen
CHOPIN: Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise No. 58 for Piano for Orchestra, Op. 22
RAVEL: La valse

Texas Instruments Classical Series
Sep 28 & Oct 1
Anthony McGill, clarinet (DSO debut)
Carl Tanner, tenor
Dallas Symphony Chorus
SCHUMAN: American Festival Overture
COPLAND: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
LISZT: A Faust Symphony

Oct 12, 14, 15
Rudolf Buchbinder, piano
Jessie MONTGOMERY: new work (world premiere)
ANTHEIL: A Jazz Symphony (1925 version)
David CHESKY American Bluegrass
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 83

Feb 22–25
Karen Gomyo, violin
Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet (DSO debut)
Bradley Hunter Welch, organ
MAHLER: “Blumine” movement from Symphony No. 1 in D
Xi WANG: Year 2020: Concerto for Trumpet, Violin and Orchestra (world premiere of DSO commission)
SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78, “Organ Symphony”

March 1–3
Paul Appleby, tenor (St. John the Divine)
Franz-Josef Selig, bass (The Voice of the Lord)
Meghan Kasanders, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Matthew Pearce, tenor
Hadleigh Adams, bass-baritone
Dallas Symphony Chorus
SCHMIDT: Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln (The Book With Seven Seals)

March 28–30
Jeremy Denk, piano
Anna CLYNE: Piano Concerto (world premiere of DSO commission)
MAHLER: Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor

April 4–6
Golda Schultz, soprano (DSO debut)
Matthias Goerne, baritone
Dallas Symphony Chorus
BRAHMS: A German Requiem, Op. 45

May 1 & 4
Mark Delavan, bass-baritone (Wotan)
Štefan Margita, tenor (Loge)
Deniz Uzun, mezzo-soprano (Fricka)
Ellie Dehn, soprano (Freia)
Jamez McCorkle, tenor (Froh)
Kyle Albertson, baritone (Donner)
Tamara Mumford, contralto (Erda)
Tómas Tómasson, baritone (Alberich)
Michael Laurenz, tenor (Mime)
Liang Li, bass (Fasolt)
Andrew Harris, bass (Fafner)
Valentina Farcas, soprano (Woglinde)
Annie Rosen, mezzo-soprano (Wellgunde)
Reneé Tatum, mezzo-soprano (Flosshilde)
Alberto Triola, stage director
WAGNER: Das Rheingold

May 2 & 5
Sara Jakubiak, soprano (Sieglinde)
Christopher Ventris, tenor (Siegmund)
Stephen Milling, bass (Hunding)
Mark Delavan, bass-baritone (Wotan)
Deniz Uzun, mezzo-soprano (Fricka)
Lise Lindstrom, soprano (Brünnhilde)
Marcy Stonikas, soprano (Gerhilde)
Miriam Clark, soprano (Ortlinde)
Deniz Uzun, mezzo-soprano (Waltraute)
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano (Schwertleite)
Kim-Lillian Strebel, soprano (Helmwige)
Sun-Ly Pierce, mezzo-soprano (Siegrune)
Reneé Tatum, mezzo-soprano (Grimgerde)
Melody Wilson, mezzo-soprano (Rossweisse)
Alberto Triola, stage director
WAGNER: Die Walküre

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© 21C Media Group, March 2023

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