Yale Symphony Orchestra’s new season features traditional offerings and new collaborations

A concert featuring the works of Russian masters, a symphony by one of the first African-American women to be commissioned by a major symphony orchestra, a Family Weekend concert with the Yale Glee Club, and a performance of “West Side Story” as part of a collaboration with the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater are among the highlights of the Yale Symphony Orchestra’s (YSO) 51st season.
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A concert featuring the works of Russian masters, a symphony by one of the first African-American women to be commissioned by a major symphony orchestra, a Family Weekend concert with the Yale Glee Club, and a performance of “West Side Story” as part of a collaboration with the Shen Curriculum for Musical Theater are among the highlights of the Yale Symphony Orchestra’s (YSO) 51st season.

The YSO will open its season on Saturday, Oct. 1, with a performance of works by three Russian masters who exemplify the romantic spirit of Russian music. These include Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise from “Eugune Onegin,” Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. YSO violinist Emily Switzer, winner of the 2016 William Waite Concerto Competition will be the soloist. The concert will take place at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, corner of Grove and College streets. Tickets are $12-$17; $3-$6 for students. 

The season continues with a Family Weekend concert on Oct. 8, when the YSO joins the Yale Glee Club for a free concert, open to the public, to welcome friends and family members of the Yale community. The concert will feature the East Coast premiere of Symphony No. 3 by Florence Price, one of the first African-American women to be commissioned by a symphony orchestra. Symphony No. 3 premiered in 1940 by the Detroit Civic Orchestra. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall.

A Halloween show will take place at 11 p.m. on Oct. 31 in Woolsey Hall. The orchestra will announce the details of this concert at later date.

On Nov. 12, the YSO will celebrate the music of Austria in a concert featuring guest conductor Andreas Stoehr. The performance will feature Beethoven’s “Coriolan Overture,” Berg’s “Seven Early Songs” (sung by mezzo-soprano Janna Baty), and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major. This event takes place at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall. Tickets are $12-17; $3-$6 for students.

The Yale Glee Club, directed by Jeffrey Douma, will perform with the YSO in a concert on Feb. 11 that will feature Carl Orff’s masterwork “Carmina Burana,” Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht, conducted by YSO assistant conductor and principal trumpet player Eli Brown. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall. Tickets are $12-$17; $3-$6 for students.

In the first-ever collaboration with the Shen Cirriculum for Musical Theater, the YSO will present a full concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s most popular work, “West Side Story.” The concert will take place at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall. Tickets are $12-$17; $3-$6 for students. 

The YSO will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 10 in E-flat Major in a concert on April 22, joined by pianists Robert Blocker (dean of Yale School of Music) and Eva Virsik. The event, at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, will also feature Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

The YSO’s final performance of the school year, a Commencement Concert on May 19, will take place at 6 p.m. in Battell Chapel, corner of Elm and College streets. This concert is open to the public, free of charge.

To order tickets, or for more information about the YSO’s fall season, visit the orchestra’s website.

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