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Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces Next Stage Concert Programs For Fall 2020

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces Next Stage Concert Programs For Fall 2020

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Music Director Fabio Luisi (Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship) today announce NEXT STAGE, revised programming for Fall 2020 Texas Instruments Classical Series, Pops Series and Dallas Symphony Presents concerts. With the safety of DSO musicians and audiences foremost in planning and in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the programs will be performed with no intermission, will be composed of smaller, socially-distanced orchestral ensembles and will allow an audience of only 50-75 guests.

"After the shutdown in March, we were able to make music in unique ways and for many people across the Metroplex. These included more than 40 outdoor chamber music concerts, four programs in the Meyerson that were recorded and posted on our website, and, in partnership with DSO musicians, creation of original musical content from their homes," said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony. "There is no substitute for performances on our stage at the Meyerson with an audience. We look forward to safely welcoming small audiences back this fall, and though attending concerts will be different than in previous seasons, our musicians will continue to inspire you."

Building on procedures that began this summer, DSO musicians will volunteer for the concerts and will receive COVID-19 testing prior to playing. Strict distancing will be enforced in backstage areas, and additional cleaning will be part of musician common areas.

"We tested these protocols in June, and I felt safe and confident playing with my colleagues," said Angela Fuller Heyde, Principal Second Violin (Barbara K. & Seymour R. Thum Chair). "We are so grateful that our health and safety are being taken so seriously and that every possible precaution is being taken. I can't wait to be back on stage at the Meyerson!"

Tickets for Fall DSO concerts will be available first to subscribers. Concerts with demand that exceeds capped capacity may include on a case-by-case basis open dress rehearsals or additional performances added.

Subscribers will receive an added benefit beginning this season. Installation of a new robotic camera system and video studio at the Meyerson Symphony Center will allow the DSO to capture concerts for on-demand viewing or live streaming. Subscribers will have access to this collection of performances free of charge. Non-subscribers will be able to view for a fee. More details on the program will be available later this summer.

Music Director Fabio Luisi will lead the DSO in three programs this fall. Yefim Bronfman will join Luisi and the DSO for the music of Beethoven in concerts on September 10-13. Mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford and tenor Stuart Skelton will be the soloists in a unique chamber version of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) in programs October 9-11. Luisi's third program of the fall will be a celebration of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. Soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, tenor Piero Pretti and bass Wenwei Zhang will perform selections from Aida, Don Carlo, The Force of Destiny and others. Luisi is renowned for his interpretation of the music of Verdi. This new Verdi program replaces the originally programmed Requiem by Verdi which will be postponed to a time when a large gathering of chorus singers is possible.

"Plans and programs may change, but our commitment to music and performing for our audience is unwavering. I am very excited to come back to Dallas and share music in the Meyerson. Sadly, we will not be able to perform Verdi's Requiem at this time, but we will certainly prioritize programming this for a future season," said Luisi.

Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New (Dolores G. & Lawrence S. Barzune, M.D. Chair) will begin her second season with performances of George Walker's Lyric for Strings and Mozart's Symphony No. 38, "Prague". Principal Harp Emily Levin (Elsa von Seggern Chair) will be the soloist in Ginastera's kaleidoscopic Harp Concerto.

Additional fall concerts in the Texas Instruments Classical Series bring a variety of excitement and perspectives. Trombonist Jörgen Van Rijen will return to Dallas for the US premiere of Bryce Dessner's Trombone Concerto (October 1-4). Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov will bring the music of Beethoven to the Meyerson in concerts October 22-25. As part of the Women in Classical Music Symposium week, conductor Marin Alsop and violinist Hilary Hahn will join forces for a program of music by Mozart, Prokofiev, Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg and American composer Jessie Montgomery (November 5-8). The Dallas Symphony is also co-commissioning a new work by Montgomery to receive its world premiere in Spring 2022. Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker in a shortened version will round out the fall programming with performances on November 27-29 conducted by Andrew Grams.

Assistant Conductor Katharina Wincor (Marena & Roger Gault Chair) will return to lead an educational concert program which will be filmed and recorded to be made available to North Texas students. Alumni Soloists of the Sphinx Program as well as other guest artists will join Wincor for this project in November.

Dallas Symphony Pops patrons will enjoy music led by Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik (Dot & Paul Mason Podium) as well as special guests. Tyzik and frequent guest Byron Stripling will perform a program celebrating Jazz and Ragtime, with music by Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and Gershwin. Tony Award-winner Kelli O'Hara, known for her beautiful starring roles in The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and The King and I, will make her debut at the Meyerson in October. Soulful tunes and legendary vocals will be on the program for Queens of Soul, a look at the songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle and more. In addition, Guest Conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the brass and percussion of the DSO in a range of music spotlighting the excitement of those sections. Resident Organist Bradley Hunter Welch (Lay Family Chair) will join the performance from the Lay Family Concert Organ.

Some originally scheduled Pops Series and movie programming has been moved to later dates. Toy Story Live in Concert has moved to September 2021, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has moved to November 2021. "The Music of Selena" has now been rescheduled to June 2021, and "Lush Life: The Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn" has been postponed to March 2021. Both of those programs on the Pops Series will feature Jeff Tyzik conducting.

This summer, the DSO announced a new program for November 11. This concert, in partnership with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Project Unity, will honor lives lost to racial violence and injustice. Baritone Reginald Smith, Jr. will join the DSO and DBDT, and musicians from the Young Strings Program will perform in this concert. The program will include a newly commissioned work by Dallas-based Quinn Mason.

Throughout the Fall programming, the orchestra will feature works by Black composers including Adolphus Hailstork, Scott Joplin, Quinn Mason, Jessie Montgomery, Jelly Roll Morton and George Walker. This is a first step in diversifying the selection of works being performed and providing opportunities for composers of color. "We have much work to do in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion," said Noltemy, "but it is a priority for the DSO, and very soon we will share our comprehensive plan to ensure that the DSO takes a leadership role in this important work."

Much planning and preparation has been done this summer to address the health concerns related to concert attendance during COVID-19 spread in the community. Working with colleagues in the Dallas Arts District as well as with the consultation of a medical doctor who is a specialist in infectious diseases, the DSO has implemented health standards and protocols for concert-going.

Patrons who return to the Meyerson can expect the following safety and health procedures:

  • Concerts will be approximately one hour in length and have no intermissions.
  • We will ask all attendees to wear masks unless there is a health issue that prevents this.
  • We will have voluntary temperature checks available as attendees arrive at the Meyerson.
  • We will ask patrons to arrive at a specific time and enter through a specific door and use a designated restroom to ensure no proximity to other patrons.
  • We will have contactless ticketing to minimize close interactions.
  • We will ensure that audience members are not seated near other attendees.
  • We will stagger departures of attendees.
  • We will not have food and beverage service in September and October, but have complimentary drink vouchers for nearby restaurants.
  • Patrons are permitted to bring water into the concert hall.
  • There will be hand sanitizers throughout the building available for use.
  • We have installed HEPA filters in the Meyerson and have an ongoing deep cleaning process between concerts.
  • Valet parking will only be available for those who have disabilities.

The COVID-19 situation is fluid, and the DSO will continue to follow current governmental guidelines and safety recommendations.


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