Symphony San Jose Unveils First Season Under New Director

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Symphony San Jose Unveils First Season Under New Director

Symphony San Jose announces its 2023/2024 season, the first curated by new Executive Artistic and General Director Robert Massey, who took the helm of the organization last June. The season will include an array of offerings to include classical masterworks, new discoveries, popular programs, and movies performed with live orchestral accompaniment. The Symphony's flagship seven-concert Classics at the California Series will exclusively be comprised of works never-before performed by the Symphony.

"As I looked through our programs over the last 21 years, I started jotting down some iconic pieces we have yet to perform," said Massey. "As the list grew, I thought what better way to signal the start of a brand new chapter in the Symphony's history than to create an entire season filled with pieces being performed for the first time on our stage."

Masterworks of the classical canon. Symphonic masterpieces making their Symphony San Jose Classics Series premieres include Aaron Copland's Rodeo, Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 5, Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Richard Wagner's Prelude und Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde.

Symphonic music as a living art form. Just as one would never expect to walk into a museum and not see any works by living artists, one shouldn't expect the same at the concert hall. Of the 22 composers represented on the Classics at the California Series, eight of them are living, including Lera Auerbach, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Caroline Shaw, John Adams, Adam Schoenberg, Danny Elfman, and Arturo Márquez.

New faces on the podium. Symphony San Jose is unique among American orchestras as it uses a roster of internationally renowned "guest" conductors in lieu of a permanent music director. Returning to the podium in the 2023/2024 season are Carlos Vieu, Tatsuya Shimono, and Sarah Hicks. Four conductors will make their Symphony San Jose debut this season: Lidiya Yankovskaya, Nathan Aspinall, Christopher Rountree, and Vinay Parameswaran.

Virtuosic solo artists. Featured soloists on the 2023/2024 Classics at the California Series include mandolinist Jeff Midkiff, performing his own concerto (From the Blue Ridge), cellist/halldorophone Yves Dhar, violinist Sandy Cameron, soprano Jenny Schuler, tenor Ben Gulley, and San Jose's own Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jon Nakamatsu. Symphony concertmaster Robin Mayforth and principal flute MyungJu Yeo, along with Bay area harpsichordist Jonathan Salzedo, will be featured in J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

Symphony San Jose Chorale. The Chorale, under the direction of Elena Sharkova, will be featured in two programs, December's Christmas at the California and May's Passionate Puccini.

Other concerts. In addition to the Classics at the California Series, Symphony San Jose will present two pops concerts to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. The first is the holiday pops concert, Christmas at the California, with the full Symphony, chorale, dancers, Santa, and more surprises. The second is Cirque Musica, featuring the most dazzling cirque program in the world. The Symphony will present two movies, each by a legendary director/composer duo. Psycho, by Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Hermann, and E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial, by Steven Spielberg and John Williams. The region's flagship music education program, ArtSPARK, will return for three days to serve more than 6,000 area elementary students.



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