N.C. Symphony Announces 2015/16 Season


North Carolina Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn and Sandi Macdonald, President and CEO of the North Carolina Symphony today announced programming for its 2015/16 season, the orchestra’s 83rd season and Llewellyn’s 12th season as Music Director.  

Llewellyn has programmed a season that features the superb talents of the musicians of the North Carolina Symphony, with concerts in 2015/16 that showcase great music ranging from some of the most beloved works in the classical repertoire, to vibrant new works, and collaborations with world-renowned composers and artists.   

“This season explores threads of inspiration from Ludwig van Beethoven that extend from some of his most monumental works, to music by other composers – from his time up to the present day.” Llewellyn said.  “The range of repertoire, gifted guest artists and our own highly skilled musicians will come together to showcase an extraordinary cross-section of talent at its best.”

The season opens in September 2015, with performances that feature George Gershwin’s Concerto in F performed by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, as well as a world-premiere work by Sarah Kirkland Snider. Other season highlights include the incomparable violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, who is making his sixth appearance with the Symphony, “An Evening with Jeffrey & Gabriel Kahane” which features the father-son team, holiday music with “A Baroque Christmas,” and “Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular,” and a collaboration with the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences that blends Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with a multimedia presentation of images from North Carolina State Parks to mark its centennial.  The season finale will take place in May 2016, with Grant Llewellyn leading Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 7.

The schedule also features concerts with guest artists including soprano Reneé Fleming and crooner Johnny Mathis, cellist Zuill Bailey; pianists Benjamin Grosvenor, and Alession Bax; and violinists Itzhak Perlman, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Brian Reagin and Caroline Shaw.

For subscription information, go to www.ncsymphony.org/subscriptions

Reneé Fleming to Perform for North Carolina Symphony Gala

The North Carolina Symphony Gala on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, will feature internationally-known soprano Renée Fleming, who will perform beloved songs and arias from opera and the stage for the first time with the North Carolina Symphony.  

Guest Artists and Conductors

Guest artists on the classical season include violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley, Brian Reagin, Philippe Quint, and Caroline Shaw, pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane, Awadagin Pratt, Benjamin Grosvenor, Inon Barnaton, and Alession Bax; and cellist Zuill Bailey. 

North Carolina Symphony Concertmaster Brian Reagin, Associate Concertmaster Dovid Friedlander, Assistant Concertmaster Rebekah Binford, Assistant Concertmaster Karen Strittmatter Galvin, Principal Second Violin Elizabeth Phelps Baron, Associate Principal Second Violin Jacqueline Saed Wolborsky, Principal Flute Anne Whaley Laney, and Assistant Principal Flute Mary E. Boone will be featured soloists from the orchestra this season. The North Carolina Master Chorale will also perform on the classical series.

Guest conductors Edwin Outwater, Robert Moody, Jeffrey Kahane, James Feddeck, Paul Agnew, Marcelo Lehninger, Andrew Grams, and Martin Herman will join the orchestra for selected concerts.

Collaboration with N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences 

In celebration of the centennial of the North Carolina State Parks, the North Carolina Symphony and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will present a multimedia experience that combines the stirring music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with breathtaking photography of nature across the state. Performances will take place Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, 2016 at Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh. Related events and programs will take place during the innovative celebration, including in the Museum’s Daily Planet Theater and Science Café in downtown Raleigh.

Co-Commissions of Works by Caroline Shaw and Judd Greenstein, World Premiere Work by Sarah Kirkland Snider

The 2015/16 season will include new works by nationally-renowned composers and artists, including co-commissions and a world premiere performance.  Caroline Shaw, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 will perform her work “Lo” in November 2015.  The piece was co-commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and a number of other U.S. orchestras. Judd Greenstein’s work “My City,” co-commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony through the Orchestra Engagement Lab, will be performed in May 2016.  Sarah Kirkland Snider’s new work, co-commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony and the Princeton Symphony and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, will premiere in September 2015 as part of the Symphony’s opening weekend.  

Trained primarily as a violinist from an early age in North Carolina, Caroline Shaw is a Grammy Award-winning singer in the choral group Roomful of Teeth.  In 2013 she became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her enigmatic composition “Partita for 8 Voices.” Judd Greenstein is a Brooklyn-based composer of structurally complex, viscerally engaging works for varied instrumentation, and is curator of the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York City.   Sarah Kirkland Snider's ties to North Carolina are profound: her family's historic residence is in Salisbury, and her new creation will draw on her North Carolina roots for inspiration.  

In 2015/16, the Symphony will also perform recent works by composers John Adams, Gabriel Kahane, Aaron Jay Kernis, Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, and Sean Shepherd.

Recording Project with Zuill Bailey, Philippe Quint, and Awadagin Pratt

In March 2016, the Symphony, led by Grant Llewellyn, will undertake a recording of Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C Major, Op. 56 with Philippe Quint, violin; Zuill Bailey, cello; and Awadagin Pratt, piano; as well as Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102 with Philippe Quint, violin; and Zuill Bailey, cello.  The North Carolina Symphony recorded Britten’s Cello Symphony with Bailey in February 2013.  The CD release, on the Telarc label, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart.  The CD went on to remain in the Top Ten for many months and received glowing reviews, including a recommendation by DC Hotlist that it belonged in “all classical collections.”  In the current season, the Symphony will also record Prokofiev’s Sinfonia concertante with Bailey on Feb. 20-21, 2015 at Meymandi Concert Hall.

Friday Favorites

The popular Friday noon concerts include Beethoven & Mozart, the latter featuring pianist Alessio Bax, led by Music Director Grant Llewellyn; Movie Music, led by Associate Conductor David Glover;  A Baroque Christmas, led by Paul Agnew and featuring Principal Second Violin Elizabeth Phelps Baron, Principal Flute Anne Whaley Laney, Assistant Principal Flute Mary E. Boone, and the North Carolina Master Chorale; Love Stories in February, led by Grant Llewellyn; Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, led by Resident Conductor William Henry Curry; and Tales of Two Cities, led by Grant Llewellyn.  

Pops and Young People’s Concerts

In addition to its outstanding classical series, the North Carolina Symphony will feature an impressive array of Pops and Young People’s Concerts at Meymandi Concert Hall.  In the 2015-2016 season, guest artists and programs for Pops include Grammy Award-winning legend Johnny Mathis, the Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular that combines holiday music with spell-binding grace from today’s greatest circus performers, Music from the Movies that showcases beloved music from films, A Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration™  that stars Oscar ‘Andy’ Hammerstein III, grandson of the beloved librettist and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, Beatles music from “The Fab Four” in Classical Mystery Tour, and The Rat Pack, 100 Years of Frank! ™ that highlights songs from Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. 

The Symphony will collaborate with DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center, on Oct. 20, 2015, when it performs Danny Elfman's “Music from the Films of Tim Burton.” This performance explores the collaborative relationship between music and storytelling, and the process and importance that this has in filmmaking, and will feature music from Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Alice in Wonderland, just in time for Halloween.  Tickets for this special concert can be ordered online at DPACnc.com; through DPAC Ticket Center: 919.680.2787, 123 Vivian Street, Durham, NC, or via Ticketmaster.com / Ticketmaster Charge by phone at 800.745.3000.

Young People’s Concerts in 2015-16 pair the Symphony with illusionist Lyn Dillies for Halloween in Hogwarts: The Music of Harry Potter, with Platypus Theatre for Emily Saves the Orchestra, and with the beloved children’s book character in Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead.  All Young People’s Concerts take place on Saturdays at 1 and 4 p.m. at Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh.

Statewide Series

Concerts in Chapel Hill, Moore County, Fayetteville, New Bern and Wilmington offer performances that include the same great programs and artists that make up the 2015/16 Raleigh Classical Series and Friday Favorites, as well as some programs and guest artists heard only in those communities. Statewide series programming will be announced later in the spring.

Ticket Information

For information about subscription options, dates, times and ticket prices, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at www.ncsymphony.org or call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.

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