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Out of this world

Theme from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ big-name guest artists highlight upcoming season

Last weekend, Eckart Preu and the Spokane Symphony tantalized listeners with a “truncated allusion” to “Also sprach Zarathustra” during a lesser-known Richard Strauss piece.

Next season, they’ll deliver the entire cosmic package.

“Also Sprach Zarathustra” – also known as the theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” – is the most spectacular piece in the symphony’s just-announced 2013-14 season. It requires an extra-large cast of musicians.

“This concert is the biggest one in the series – a big orchestra and a big soprano,” said Preu, in a season announcement event Monday night for season subscribers at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. “I never thought I’d be able to play it this with the orchestra.”

It’s part of a 150th anniversary celebration for composer Strauss on April 12-14, 2014, which also includes Strauss’s “Four Last Songs.”

The season will also include some in-demand guest artists, beginning with cellist Zuill Bailey, an international star who is the incoming artistic director of Spokane’s Northwest Bach Festival.

“We wanted to welcome him to town,” Preu said.

Other big classical names include pianist Jon Nakamatsu, who will play Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and pianist Jeremy Denk, who will play Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major.

“There’s probably not a hotter ticket in piano right now than Jeremy Denk,” Preu said.

The SuperPops season opens with a concert titled “Symphony Idol,” featuring singers who were “American Idol” top 10 contestants. Other highlights include a screening of the classic Humphrey Bogart movie “Casablanca” with the score played live, an in-concert version of Jerome Kern’s “Showboat,” and “Video Games Live,” an interactive musical spectacle that was canceled this season due to the musician’s strike.

“The aim for the whole season? Something for everybody,” said resident conductor Morihiko Nakahara, who will conduct most of the SuperPops concerts.

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