March 7, 2014 in Features

For 2014-15 season, symphony ready to run the gamut

2014-15 season features bold, eclectic choices and comfortable favorites
By The Spokesman-Review

Highlights of the upcoming Spokane Symphony season include Pink Martini, above, as well as (inset from top) the Silver-Garburg Duo, Sergio Mendes and music by Frank Zappa.
(Full-size photo)

Spokane Symphony

2014-15 Season

Classics series

Sept. 20-21, “Opening Night,” with Eckart Preu and the Silver-Garburg Duo. Chris Rogerson’s “Noble Pond,” J.S. Bach’s Concert for Two Pianos in C BWV 1061, Felix Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Two Pianos E Major, and Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 4

Oct. 11-12, “Nights in the Gardens of Spain,” with Preu and pianist Joyce Yang. Marko Nikodijevic’s GHB/Tanzaggregat, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “The Enchanted Bird,” César Franck’s Symphonic Variations, De Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain,” and Marquez’s Danzón No. 2.

Oct. 25-26, “Mozart & Strauss,” with Preu and the Spokane Symphony Chorale directed by Julián Gómez-Giraldo. Anders Hillborg’s “King Tide,” Richard Strauss’ “Death and Transfiguration,” W.A. Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus,” and Francis Poulenc’s “Stabat Mater.”

Nov. 22-23, “Haydn & Dvorák,” with guest conductor Michal Nesterowicz and guest cellist Edward Arron. Wojciech Kilar’s “Orawa,” Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major, and Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9.

Jan. 24-25, 2015, “Debussy & Mahler,” with Preu. Claude Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun,” Mason Bates’ “Mothership,” and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5

Feb. 7-8, 2015, “Tchaikovsky,” with guest conductor Robert Moody and guest violinist Augustin Hadelich. Christopher Theofanidis’ “Rainbow Body,” Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and P.I. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Feb. 28-29, 2015, “Beethoven & Schubert,” with Preu and violinists Amanda Howard-Phillips and Mateusz Wolski. Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished,” Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa: Ludus (“Game”), and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.

March 28-29, 2015, “Eastern Journeys,” with Preu, clarinetist Daniel Cotter and the Symphony Chorale. Behzad Ranjbaran’s “Seven Passages,” Ana Lara’s “Angels of Darkness and Dawn,” Mohammed Fairouz’s Tahrir for Clarinet and Orchestra and Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.

April 18-19, 2015, “Musical Sorcery,” with Preu and guest pianist Valentina Lisitsa. Bach’s Sinfonia in D. Major BWV 1045, John Adams’ “Dr. Atomic Symphony,” Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

May 8-9, 2015, “Patricia Bartell Plays Piazzolla,” with Preu and guest accordionist Patricia Bartell. Frank Zappa’s “Dupree’s Paradise,” Astor Piazzolla’s Bandoneón Concerto, Camille Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 (“Organ Symphony”)


Sept. 27, “The King – The Music of Elvis,” conducted by Morihiko Nakahara

Nov. 1, Sergio Mendes, with Nakahara and the Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated pianist and composer

Dec. 20-21, “Holiday Pops,” with Nakahara, the Symphony Chorale and the Spokane Area Youth Choirs

Jan. 31, 2015, “Movie Music Spectacular” with Nakahara

March 7, 2015, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” with Nakahara and guest vocalist Cathie Ryan

April 25, 2015,Pink Martini, with Nakahara and the Portland-based “little orchestra”

Other programs

• Chamber Soiree, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Feb. 17-18, 2015, and April 21-22, 2015, at the Spokane Club

• Soiree on the Edge, Aug. 13 and 20, at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars

• Concerts in the Park, Aug. 30 at Pavillion Park and Sept. 1 at Comstock Park

• Symphony With a Splash, Nov. 7, Jan. 16, 2015, and March 20, 2015, at the Fox

• “The Nutcracker,” with the State Street Ballet, Dec. 4-7, at the Fox

• New Year’s Eve with Beethoven’s Ninth, Dec. 31, the Fox

• Season ticket packages to the Spokane Symphony 2014-15 season are on sale now. New subscribers get the Classics series for half price. Subscribers to the SuperPops series get guaranteed seats to Pink Martini, a show that typically sells out. Individual shows go on sale in mid-August. For information, visit or call the box office at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, (509) 624-1200. Tickets also are available through any TicketsWest outlet.

From John Adams to Frank Zappa. A to Z. With Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Bernstein, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Villa-Lobos and many others in between.

Spokane Symphony Orchestra conductor and artistic director Eckart Preu will begin his 11th season this fall by once again giving Spokane audiences classic works by the grand masters, eclectic pieces by avant garde composers and talented guest artists to share in their creation.

The guests for the 2014-15 season? There will be a lot of great piano playing from Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg of the Silver-Garburg Duo, Joyce Yang, Valentina Lisitsa, Sergio Mendes and Thomas Lauderdale, who is bringing Pink Martini back to town. Cellist Edward Arron, violinist Augustin Hadelich and Spokane’s own accordion master Patricia Bartell will bring their expertise to the stage of the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. The spotlight also will shine on symphony members Daniel Cotter (clarinet), Amanda Howard-Phillips (violin) and Mateusz Wolski (violin). Guest conductors include Michal Nesterowicz and Robert Moody.

Preu said that when he’s planning a season he doesn’t like to stick to a theme. “A theme in many ways is limiting,” he said, “because we want to provide so many different experiences.”

Instead, he looks to present pieces that relate to each other in some fashion, while still being quite different. For instance, next February’s Classics concert “Beethoven & Schubert” centers on works the two great composers created during trying personal times. Franz Schubert learned he was seriously ill as he worked on his colorful Symphony No. 8, while Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his second symphony as he grappled with his inevitable hearing loss. These two works will be bridged by Arvo Pärt’s Tabular Rasa: Ludus (“Game”), composed when the Estonian was in a period of artistic reinvention and public silence.

Preu has the freedom to bring to Spokane music by these lesser-known composers – or in the case of Zappa, composers who are not known for orchestral works – because audiences here are a little more receptive.

“In many parts of the country there’s a lot of conservativism, where basically people want to hear Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. And if it’s not by these three composers, it doesn’t sell,” Preu said. “I think there is a lot of music that isn’t done for that particular reason: because people want to play it safe, or the audiences are not willing to take the extra step and explore different things.”

Of course part of the symphony’s mission is to celebrate and honor the blockbusters, Preu said. So the season will feature, well, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. And Gustav Mahler, Johannes Brahams and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Antonin Dvorák, Josef Haydn and J.S. Bach. It’ll include an orchestral work made famous by an animated mouse (Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”), and one of the most well-known flute parts in the classical repertoire (Claude Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of the Faun.”).

Meanwhile, the SuperPop series once again features the popular Holiday Pops concert, a film-themed event – this year featuring the music of “Gone With the Wind,” “Star Wars” and the Harry Potter films, among others – a symphonic performance of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits, a night of hot jazz with the legendary Sergio Mendes, Celtic music timed for St. Patrick’s Day, and a performance by Pink Martini.

“Pink Martini is always a boost to our pops season,” Preu said. Indeed, Portland’s “little orchestra” sold out the Fox in 2013, six months after it sold out the Festival at Sandpoint.

“I’m really looking forward to this season,” Preu said. “I think it’s going to be a blast.”

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