The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has announced a 2022-23 season that will include six classical performances and two “pops” concerts. The first concert in the new season will be presented on Saturday, October 22 featuring world-renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Interim SSO Director Paul Lambert said, “We are extremely pleased to announce this compelling and dynamic season that will include a remarkable series of conductors who we know will bring joy and beautiful music to concert lovers with a combination of six classical concerts and two pops concerts. We are pleased and excited by the talent and diversity of these conductors including two female conductors as part of the coming season – a first for the SSO.
“We are announcing this concert season at a time when we continue to be without a labor agreement with the musicians’ union. We want to be clear that we remain hopeful for a new agreement and look forward to working together to present this concert season. This concert season will showcase the extraordinary talent of the SSO musicians under the direction of a talented collection of guest conductors.
“We are looking forward to collaborating on these and future concerts with the musicians of the SSO family as we present our first full season coming out of the pandemic. We are thrilled to be re-engaging our patrons and believe we have a compelling lineup of classical and pops music that will attract new audiences into Symphony Hall,” Lambert said.
Two of the guest conductors that will be coming to Symphony Hall in the coming season, JoAnn Falletta and Theodore Kuchar, have been included in the group of the 10 best living conductors in the world, according to David Hurwitz, a music critic and executive editor of ClassicsToday.com, the first and only classical music daily.
The six classical concerts included in the concert schedule are:
Saturday, October 22 conducted by JoAnn Falletta, featuring Zoltan Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto with guest cellist Joshua Roman, and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, considered by many musicologists to be his best symphony;
Saturday November 5, Whispered Voices, conducted by Tania Miller, former Music Director of the Victoria (Canada) Symphony Orchestra, featuring “Messenger,” a work by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 (Linz), and Johannes Brahms; Symphony No. 3, from which Dvořák derived the inspiration for his 7th Symphony;
Saturday, January 14, 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with African American guest conductor Kevin Scott, featuring the extraordinarily beautiful music of African-American composers, including Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in D minor performed by Artina McCain, and William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 4, the Autochthonous;
Saturday, March 11, a program conducted by Mark Russell Smith featuring the work of female composers Joan Tower in her Fanfare #1 for the Unknown Woman, and Louise Farrenc in her Symphony No. 3; The program concludes with the powerful Piano Concerto #2 of Sergei Prokofiev, performed by Wei Luo;
Saturday, April 15, Asian-American conductor Tian Hui Ng, Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, will conduct a program featuring Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto, No. 2, an epic work of Romanticism, performed by Jiayan Sun, and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations;
Saturday, May 13, conductor Theodore Kuchar, Principal Conductor is the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, will lead a program featuring Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Thomas de Hartmann’s Cello Concerto with guest cellist Matt Haimovitz, and Jean Sibelius’s dramatic and ever popular Symphony No.2.
The first pops concert in the concert schedule is “Holiday Pops” on Saturday, December 3, 2022 with conductor William Waldrop featuring guest soprano Camille Zamora and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. The program will include some old and some new versions of holiday favorites.
On Saturday February 25, 2023 Byron Stripling, who also will perform on trumpet and vocals, will lead the second pops concert, celebrating Mardi Gras. He is a Springfield favorite, and is now the principal Pops conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
A diverse list of guest pianists will also be part of the concert season, including African American pianist Artina McCain, whose highlights include guest appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Oregon East Symphony; Wei Luo, a pianist born in Shenzhen, China who is recognized as one of the most significant pianists of her generation, having performed on many of the world’s leading stages; and Jiayan Sun, a native of Yantai, China and Julliard graduate who has performed frequently with The Cleveland Orchestra, The Hallé Orchestra, the Chinese and RTÉ (Ireland) National Symphony Orchestras, the Fort Worth and Toledo Symphony Orchestras, to name a few. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Smith College.