Berkeley Symphony Announces Its 2024-25 Season

The historic institution will highlight the music of movement and hope, celebrating both the classical canon and emerging contemporary voices.

By: Jul. 09, 2024
Berkeley Symphony Announces Its 2024-25 Season
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Berkeley Symphony has announced its 2024–25 season, led by Music Director Joseph Young. Across eight dynamic programs (four Symphonic Series performances and four Chamber Series performances), the historic institution will highlight the music of movement and hope, celebrating both the classical canon and emerging contemporary voices.

Subscription packages are available now and may be purchased online at berkeleysymphony.org or by calling the box office at (510) 841-2800. Individual concert tickets will go on sale in the fall.

“Our 53rd season is an homage to the artists, audiences, and community members who make Berkeley special,” says Young, now in his sixth season with the orchestra. “Each program features elements that mirror the vibrancy and eclecticism of our Berkeley community. I want our core audience to feel seen and celebrated and I want to welcome new faces who see themselves reflected in our work as well.”

“The Berkeley Symphony's 2024-25 season has something for everyone,” says Marion Atherton, Executive Director of Berkeley Symphony. “As always, Joseph has shown his incredible talent for showcasing new works along with traditional favorites, immersing our audience in the full range of orchestral possibilities. I can't wait to share this season with our community!”

SYMPHONIC SERIES

The Symphonic Series opens with Stories from Home on Sunday, November 10 at 4 p.m. at Zellerbach Hall. Grammy-winning violinist Charles Yang joins the orchestra to present the Bay Area premiere of For A Younger Self by film composer Kris Bowers. Leonard Bernstein's lively Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Silvestre Revueltas's stirring Redes Suite represent North America's multifaceted cultural heritage, and soprano Lisa Delan evokes the bygone era of Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

The series continues with Music in Motion on Sunday, February 9, 2025 at 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Community Theater. With its vibrant rhythms, John Adams's masterful The Chairman Dances sets the stage for a stunningly creative performance melding music and movement. Then, cellist Inbal Segev joins the orchestra for Anna Clyne's mesmerizing DANCE, a concerto inspired by the poetry of Rumi. Rounding out the program is Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, hailed by Richard Wagner as “The Apotheosis of the Dance.”

The Symphony celebrates birth and renewal in Spring's Awakening at First Congregational Church of Berkeley on Sunday, March 16, 2025 at 4:00 p.m. Einojuhani Rautavaara's birdsong-filled Cantus Arcticus celebrates the union of humans and nature, a relationship whose delicate balance Huang Ruo considers in his urgent work Tipping Point. From its exuberant opening to its triumphant finale, Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 1, “Spring,” offers a poignant reminder of life's eternal cycle and the promise of new beginnings.

In its final symphonic performance of the season, Berkeley Symphony returns to Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, June 1, 2025 at 4 p.m. for Triumph, a reflection on the resilience of the human spirit. Gity Razaz's Methuselah (In Chains of Time), here receiving its Bay Area premiere, evokes ancient bristlecone pines, and rugged South America landscapes come to life in Astor Piazzolla's fiery Aconcagua, featuring bandoneon player Hanzhi Wang. The program concludes with Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, a powerful testament to redemption, enduring hope, and triumph over oppression.

CHAMBER SERIES

Alongside the Symphonic Series, four Chamber Series performances, each curated by a different Berkeley Symphony musician, will span a variety of styles and sensibilities.

Each program of the Chamber Series, now in its 12th season, will be presented first at the Piedmont Center for the Arts and repeated at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage, our newest venue.

The Chamber Series begins with Advocates and Influencers, a cross-century celebration of the piano, on Sunday and Monday, September 29–30, 2024. The program features Joaquín Turina's Spanish-shaded Piano Quartet in A minor, Concerto for Harpsichord (Piano) and Strings by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, and Clara Schumann's Piano Trio, hailed by many music historians as her finest work. Curator and genre-defying violist Darcy Rindt has performed with Jazz Mafia at the Hollywood Bowl and in New York's Central Park; and toured the country with Hamilton, in addition to composing and arranging with her alternative string quartet, Squid Inc.

The second performance of the series, Tradition, on Sunday and Monday, December 8–9, 2024, centers on music's lasting role in a changing culture. If refined romanticism — and a hint of the Russian folk melodies that would come to characterize his later works — suffuses Mikhail Glinka's youthful Trio pathétique, Johannes Brahms's Clarinet Trio is the work of a mature composer called out of retirement by a young friend and muse. And in The Klezmer's Wedding contemporary composer Srul Irving Glick vibrantly portrays Jewish life. Curator Roman Fukshansky, Berkeley Symphony's principal clarinetist, has performed with orchestras throughout the greater Bay Area, including the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra; and has taught at numerous institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The Chamber Series continues on Sunday and Monday, April 13–14, 2025, with A Viennese Sojourn, a program that hearkens back to the chamber salons of the Classical era — then ushers us into the 20th century. The cello steals the show in the Sicilienne for quintet by Maria Theresia von Paradis, a friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's and a brilliant musician in her own right. Ernst von Dohnányi's Serenade for String Trio takes cues from music of the 18th century but marches away in harmonies very much new. The concert culminates in Franz Schubert's monumental String Quintet in C Major, a work of unprecedented complexity and virtuosity. Curator René Mandel, Berkeley Symphony's acting co-concertmaster and former Executive and Artistic Director, was a founding member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra and continues to play with San Francisco Symphony, among other groups.

Reacquaint yourself with familiar faces and meet new ones in Connections, which rounds out the Chamber Series on Sunday and Monday, May 18–19, 2025. From the Romantic-era writing of Louise Farrenc to the 20th-century spectralism of Kaija Saariaho and the electroacoustic music of Los Angeles-based composer Jen Wang, this program explores the sonic potential of the flute, cello, and piano together. Curator and flutist Stacey Pelinka, who has performed with such orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera, is a co-founder of the Eco Ensemble and a longtime member of the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.

ABOUT BERKELEY SYMPHONY

Berkeley Symphony is unique among Bay Area and American orchestras for its commitment to innovation, community, and excellence. Founded in 1971 in the intellectual and artistic nexus of Berkeley, California, the Orchestra is committed to performing, premiering, and commissioning new music that reflects the cultural diversity and heady creative climate of its home city.

Berkeley Symphony entered a new era in the 2019–2020 season under the leadership of Joseph Young, whose February 2019 debut was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. In addition to building on the Orchestra's artistic innovation, creativity, and adventurous programming, Maestro Young, Berkeley Symphony's fourth Music Director in its 50-year history, is committed to amplifying the voices of underrepresented artists as well as telling diverse stories that reflect the local community.

TICKET INFORMATION

Subscriptions to the Symphonic Series and the Chamber Series are on sale now. For the Symphonic Series, three concert subscriptions range from $80 to $232. The Chamber Series subscriptions are $128. Subscriptions can be purchased by calling the box office at (510) 841-2800 or visiting berkeleysymphony.org.




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