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Knox-Galesburg Symphony Announces 2019-2020 Masterworks Season

The Knox-Galesburg Symphony announces its 68th season, the first with new Music Director, Vlad Vizireanu. This season will offer an entertaining mix of works from many time periods and styles, many of which heavily feature KGS musicians as soloists. Vlad is thrilled to be working closely with this community and your orchestra. Subscriptions start at $78 and more information can be found at www.kgsymphony.org

The Knox-Galesburg Symphony’s most recent year of music-making was like none other. The season was spent meticulously searching for a director who was not only skilled and experienced, but one who demonstrated a commitment to your orchestra’s values of inclusion, accessibility, and high quality music. This process, titled “The Search,” resulted in the selection of Vlad Vizireanu as the Music Director for the Knox-Galesburg Symphony.

Join us at the Orpheum Theater on October 19th, 2019 for Vlad’s premier Masterworks concert as Music Director. This program, “Dance, Dance Revolution,” will feature some of the most exciting and dance-worthy works available for symphony orchestra. Jordan Thomas, who played with the KGS last year, will be featured as harp soloist in Debussy’s “Danse Sacreë et Profane.” This entrancing lullaby of a waltz, contrasted with Bartok’s other-worldly and rhythmic “Romanian Dances for String Orchestra” is sure to entertain audience members of all musical interests. The final piece of the program is Rachmaninov’s “Symphonic Dances,” featuring the entire symphony as well as alto saxophone (an instrument not typically present in Symphonic works).

The word “dance” contains an infinite number of musical styles, and Vlad’s selection of music showcases this diversity. This programming exemplifies Vlad’s goal of bringing “a new sense of programming style” to the KGS. Vlad hopes to “infuse this season with a combination of new compositions, varied orchestral sizes, and an overall change of dramatic pace in the concert hall.”

The second Masterworks concert of the season on November 23, 2019, will also spotlight the many talents of our musicians. “Winds of Change” begins with Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 in C minor (“Nacht Musique”), a piece performed entirely by our woodwind section. This Classical standard will be followed by “Phoenix” for flute and orchestra, a contemporary piece of Anže Rozman’s. Primarily a composer for film and media, you may have already heard Rozman’s music on The Simpsons, or any of several Netflix, PBS, BBC, and CBS shows that he has composed for. As with the first Masterworks concert, this performance ends with the full force of the symphony, playing Brahms’ “Variations on St. Anthony Chorale.” With our wind instruments being heavily featured on the first half, including our own Jeiran Hasan as flute soloist for “Phoenix,” this program also demonstrates Vlad’s goal to feature “the orchestra as soloists.”

If he were still alive today, Beethoven would be celebrating his 250th birthday next year. For this reason our third Masterworks concert “Fate of the Furious” on February 22, 2020, will begin and end with two beloved works of his. The program opens with Beethoven’s “Overture to Fidelio,” which begins our concert on an exciting and easily recognizable note. Following this is Tchaikovsky’s “Fatum.” This piece was originally received so controversially that Tchaikovsky destroyed the manuscript and deemed the piece a failure. But after its release 3 years posthumously the piece has become a revered standard, and the KGS is excited to perform it under Vlad. This concert ends with Beethoven’s fifth Symphony in C minor, one of the most famous works of Western music ever composed. Unique to this program is that the entire symphony orchestra will be featured for all three pieces. By maximizing the strength of our sound, we hope to pay tribute to the grand and epic nature of Beethoven’s musical legacy.

The fourth and final Masterworks concert on March 28, 2020, features the string section as prominently as the woodwinds are featured in our second concert. The program, “Concerto for Orchestra,” will open with our own concertmaster Janis Sakai playing the solo for Mozart’s Violin Concerto in D major. The KGS is thrilled to be featuring our own musicians so much this season. The final piece of our 2019-2020 Masterworks Season is Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra.” In this concerto, the string section takes a role usually reserved for solo instrument, and the rest of the Symphony becomes their accompanist. This clever variation on the typical concerto format is a beloved and entertaining standard in the classical canon, ending our Masterworks Season with a bang.

Give our office a call at (309)341-7268, or visit kgsymphony.org, for ticket and subscription information. Subscriptions for the 2019-2020 Masterworks season start at just $78. If purchased by September 15th, this will guarantee you priority seating, along with all of the other benefits included with a KGS subscription. You can also feel free to give us a call with questions, suggestions, or comments at any point. We would love to hear from you! Vlad Vizireanu’s inaugural season is sure to be like none before, and we hope the community is as thrilled as we are for all of the exciting changes coming to your orchestra.

***Report Courtesy of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony***

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