The Venice Symphony is moving towards its future with its 2017-18 “Finding Maestro!” season, featuring seven conductors, seven concerts, as the orchestra searches for a new music director.
"This is going to be a very exciting season," executive director Christine Kasten says. "Our guest conductors are so talented and dynamic, and they have presented us with programs that will give our audience just about everything they'd want to hear. The conductors are bringing in guest soloists that we never imagined we'd have here in Venice. Many of our subscribers have already locked in their seats for the season."
Imre Pallo is currently interim music director/conductor, but a new maestro will begin his or her tenure in the 2018-19 season. As the candidates for the position conduct concerts this year, input from the board, the musicians and the audience will be considered before a decision is made. The search committee reviewed 164 applications for the post before narrowing it to the seven finalists.
So, here they are, along with the programs they will lead and the soloists making their appearances here.
Nov. 17 and 18: Majestic Moments. Teresa Cheung, music director of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, will conduct Weber’s Overture to Oberon, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in e minor, Op. 64, and Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in b minor, Op. 104, spotlighting cello soloist Jonathan Swensen.
Dec. 15 and 16: Holidays Pops. Traditional and modern selections for the season, led by Wesley Schulz, who’s currently music director and conductor of Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Festival Orchestra. Expect to hear excerpts from The Nutcracker, Richman’s Hanukkah Festival Overture, Phillips’ Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, Berlin’s White Christmas, Williams’ Sound the Bells, and more.
Jan. 12 and 13: Emotional Landscapes. Imagine images of winter in Tchaikovsky’s Snow Maiden Suite, and feel the waves in Debussy’s La Mer. Soprano soloist Angela Brown will perform Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Conductor will be Stilian Kirov, music director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey’s Symphony in C.
Feb. 16 and 17: Beethoven to Broadway. Steven Jarvi, who recently completed his tenure as resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony, will lead the orchestra in a mix of classic and contemporary composers, featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Aaron Copland’s Saturday Night Waltz, and tunes from The Sound of Music and West Side Story.
March 16 and 17: A Symphonic Journey. Janna Hymes, currently music director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra and the Maine Pro Musica Orchestra, will conduct works including Die Fledermaus, Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, the latter featuring violinist soloist Irina Muresanu.
April 13 and 14: Taking Flight. Piano soloist Orion Weiss performs Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat Major, on the program along with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Korngold’s The Sea Hawk Overture and Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1. Silas N. Huff, a U.S. Army Music Officer currently acting as music director of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, conducts.
May 4 and 5: A Tribute to Music in Cinema. The season closes with this concert welcoming violin soloist Glenn Dicterow, who will perform John Williams’ themes from Far and Away and Schindler’s List. Also on the program: classics from Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio Morricone. Troy Quinn, music director of the Juneau Symphony and the Ocean State Symphony Orchestra, will lead the musicians.
All performances take place at the Venice Performing Arts Center. Season brochures and order forms are available at The Venice Symphony office, 230 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 3A, Venice or by calling (941) 207-8822 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Season information and a printable order form are also available at thevenicesymphony.org. Orders will be accepted for season tickets or for packages of four or more concerts. Tickets for individual concerts go on sale on Sept. 1, 2017.