March 23, 2023
Annapolis, US 52 F

Annapolis Symphony announces 2015-2016 season

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Annapolis Symphony OrchestraSeason tickets for new and renewing subscribers are now on sale for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s (ASO) 2015-16 Season.  The programs chosen by Music Director José-Luis Novo feature a stellar group of guest soloists and an intriguing selection of symphonic showpieces.

The season is comprised of the five program Lexus Classic Series, a Holiday Pops concert presented by PNC Wealth Management, and two performances of a Family Concert, all performed at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.  The ASO will again perform a free outdoor Pops in the Park concert, also presented by Lexus, on Labor Day weekend at Quiet Waters Park.  In addition, the orchestra will travel to North Bethesda, MD in March 2016 for a single concert at The Music Center at Strathmore.

Embarking on his 11th season as ASO Music Director, Maestro Novo crafted five elegant programs for the Lexus Classic Series.  His repertoire includes works by much loved composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Dvoøák and Mahler, plus several less familiar but equally rewarding pieces like Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety and Ives’s The Unanswered Question.  Adults and children alike will be captivated by Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

The celebrated cellist Lynn Harrell, distinguished pianists William Wolfram and Michael Roll, and ASO Concertmaster Netanel Draiblate, will join the orchestra as guest soloists in the Lexus Classic Series from October 2015 through May 2016.  In a return engagement, singer Steve Lippia is headliner for a Simply Sinatra Christmas in December 2015.  The ASO will also bring back Michael Boudewyns and Sara Valentine of Really Inventive Stuff for Family Concerts featuring The Toy Symphony and Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in May 2016.

Maryland Hall will finish work on the orchestra’s acoustic shell this summer by installing reflective ceiling panels.  “With the complete shell in place everyone will know what a gem of a concert hall this has become,” said ASO Executive Director Jeth Mill.  “The improvement with last year’s renovation was dramatic and the addition of the ceiling panels will take performance quality to an even higher level to the delight of our musicians and audience alike.”

Subscribers get the best seats at the most affordable prices.  Subscriptions to the five concert Lexus Classic Series range in price from $163 to $298 and are available by calling the ASO Box Office at 410-263-0907 or in person at Maryland Hall Room 204.  First time subscribers enjoy a 50% discount for seats in Section B and C.  Single tickets will be available at the ASO website starting August 3, 2015 with prices ranging from $35 to $65 with student tickets available for $10. 

Season support for the ASO is generously provided by Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Baltimore/Annapolis Lexus Dealers, Maryland State Arts Council, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, the Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and a host of other corporate, foundation and individual donors.

2015-2016 LEXUS CLASSIC SERIES                                                                                               

OPENING NIGHT SHOWCASE                                                     October 2 & 3, 2015 at 8:00pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

William Wolfram, piano     

Wagner                                Overture to Tannhäuser

Sibelius                                Pohjola’s Daughter                       

Falla                                     Interlude & Dance from La Vida Breve

Bernstein                            Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety

The season opens with a showcase of prominent composers from four different countries; Wagner from Germany, Sibelius from Finland, Falla from Spain and Bernstein from the USA, and how they helped create a national identity through their music.  The distinguished American pianist William Wolfram is soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety.  The piece takes its title from W. H. Auden’s poem of the same name, and is dedicated to Serge Koussevitzky.

DEBUSSY, DVOØÁK & BRAHMS                                                 November 13 & 14, 2015 at 8:00pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Netanel Draiblate, violin                                                            

Debussy/Büsser               Petite Suite

Dvoøák                                  Concerto for Violin in A Minor

Brahms                                 Symphony No. 3 in F Major


This program explores friendly relationships between composers Henri Büsser and Claude Debussy as well as Johannes Brahms and Antonin Dvoøák.  Debussy entrusted Büsser to orchestrate the Petite Suite which was originally composed for piano four hands and to conduct several early productions of Pelléas et Mélisande.  Paradoxically, Büsser won the first Prix de Rome in the year Debussy won the second.

Brahms and Dvoøák were not only friends, but admirers of each other’s talent.  Brahms introduced Dvoøák to Simrock, the German publisher who would encourage Dvoøák to write a violin concerto.  He turned to violinist Joseph Joachim, the same violinist that Brahms consulted, for professional advice on the solo part.  Concertmaster Netanel Draiblate makes his debut as a concerto soloist with the ASO.

SYMPHONIC TITANS                                                                      March 4 & 5, 2016 at 8:00pm                                      

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Lynn Harrell, violoncello                                                              March 6, 2016 at 3:00pm

                                                                                                                The Music Center at Strathmore

Shostakovich                     Concerto for Violoncello No. 1 in E-flat Major

Mahler                                 Symphony No. 1 in D Major Titan

Mahler and Shostakovich are among the most important figures in the development of the symphony as a form, and the carriers of the traditions from late romanticism to modernism.  Mahler had a clear influence in the compositional style of Shostakovich, so having both composers in the same program is a logical association that makes sense artistically.  Lynn Harrell is a titan among cello soloists.  He will perform the Shostakovich concerto with the ASO in two evening concerts at Maryland Hall followed by a Sunday matinee at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS                                                         April 1 & 2, 2016 at 8:00pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Michael Roll, piano                      

Beethoven                         Coriolan Overture

R. Schumann                      Concerto for Piano in A Minor  

Ives                                       The Unanswered Question

Schubert                              Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major

Beethoven, Schumann and Schubert spent the greater part of their musical careers trying to find answers for existential questions, often times finding inspiration on literary sources.  But it was American composer Charles Ives who made the boldest and most successful attempt at putting into musical sounds what Ives calls “The Perennial Question of Existence.”  The eminent English pianist Michael Roll returns to Annapolis to perform Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor.

ORCHESTRAL BRILLIANCE                                                             May 6 & 7, 2016 at 8:00pm                                          

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                         Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts                              

Smetana                              The Moldau

Fung                                      Dust Devils

Britten                                  Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Franck                                   Symphony in D Minor   

Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra is a vivid example of the virtuosic capabilities of an orchestra, even using a simple theme by a British Baroque composer Henry Purcell.  But Smetana, Fung and Franck are highly original composers in the way they treat the orchestra as an instrument.  Smetana accomplishes a vibrant depiction of a major Central European river, Fung presents a most interesting essay in orchestral colors and textures with her “Dust Devils” and Franck was a pioneer developing a concept of cyclic music that is very apparent in his only symphony.


Presented by PNC Wealth Management

SIMPLY SINATRA CHRISTMAS                                                    December 18, 2015 at 8:00pm                   

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Featuring Steve Lippia                                                                  Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration!

“Nature has blessed Steve Lippia with a set of pipes that conjure an astounding approximation of Frank Sinatra’s voice.”… Chuck Darrow, Currier Post

Simply Sinatra Christmas is a wonderful blend of holiday cheer and jazz/swing standards including many Christmas favorites like The First Noel, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Let It Snow, White Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Jingle Bells and the Christmas Waltz.  In addition to the Christmas tunes, are essential Sinatra songs such as Come Fly with Me, All The Way, Summer Wind, Lady Is a Tramp, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Luck Be a Lady. 

POPS IN THE PARK                                                                          September 6, 2015 at 5:30pm

Presented by Lexus                                                                        Quiet Waters Park

José-Luis Novo, conductor                         

The annual Lexus Pops in the Park concert is one of the ASO’s most popular programs.  Presented free of charge on Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 5:30pm at Anne Arundel County’s Quiet Waters Park amphitheater, it is a highlight of Labor Day Weekend.  This family-friendly concert is perfect for all ages and features pops favorites and light classics performed by the entire orchestra.  Food concessions will be available at the park.  Concertgoers are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and a picnic meal or snacks.  In case of rain the concert will be rescheduled on Monday September 7, 2015 at 5:30pm. 

ASO FAMILY CONCERTS                                                               May 14, 2016 2:00 & 3:30pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Michael Boudewyns and Sara Valentine

Really Inventive Stuff

L. Mozart                             Toy Symphony

Britten                                  Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Squeaks, tweets, rattles and honks!!  Really Inventive Stuff brings you The Professor, a whimsical Austrian sound scientist, who travels the world with his amazing acoustical laboratory but needs your help to complete the melody of Mozart’s The Toy Symphony.  Come prepared to play along as the audience becomes the missing instrument.

Then Britain’s own Symphonia Semi d’Quaver, the internationally renowned “Orchestra-ologist,” consummate animateur, and devoted fan of Henry Purcell, will host Benjamin Britten’s classic introduction to the orchestra with wit and a wink.  In addition, children and families may “Meet the Musicians” at 1:15 and 4:30pm on the day of Family Concerts. 


The ASO will again offer free Pre-Concert Lectures by Dr. Rachel Franklin at 6:45pm prior to each Lexus Classic Series concert.  The talks feature a unique look at the repertoire to be performed at that evening’s concert.  ASO education and outreach programs also include Educational Concerts, Music Van, Adopt-A-School, Symphony Study, Music Heals and Ticket to Health.

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