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Concerts & Events
This season promises to be one of the most exciting yet, with a diverse range of repertoire and world-class performers. It also celebrates the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s 70-year history, and the 30th anniversary of a beloved Akron tradition, Gospel Meets Symphony.
AKRON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES 2023-2024 CONCERT SEASON
Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony stars the king of instruments, and it packs a powerful punch. The work is part spiritual journey, part sonic theater. Perkinson’s Worship, an orchestral fantasy on the familiar hymn tune, Old 100th, moves between jazz, gospel, and classical styles. Brilliant, sumptuous, and transcendent, Respighi’s Church Windows takes its title from celebrated Italian stained-glass artwork.
William Grant Still’s spirited and sophisticated "Festive Overture" exhibits traditional architecture, but exudes Hollywood style. It lies halfway between jazz and classical music. Dvořák’s warm-hearted, ecstatic, and deeply lyrical "Cello Concerto" is a showcase for both soloist and orchestra. The brooding intensity of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony—his final work—wields an inexorable power over audiences.
Don’t Miss the Merriest Concert of the Year! Sing along to your favorite holiday tunes, enjoy dazzling musical performances, and create magical memories this season with the Akron Symphony and a very special guest all the way from the North Pole!
Arvo Pärt borrows from the sound of ancient chants to create a style of purity and austerity. Mozart’s 29th Symphony is among his earliest masterpieces: imaginative, unpredictable, balanced, and perfect. Jazz musician-composer-arranger Mary Lou Williams holds a unique place in the development of jazz, especially through the incorporation of classical music into her work. Akron’s EarthQuaker Devices soars to new heights in a sequel to 2022’s live ASO recording.
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of Northeast Ohio’s proudest and most enduring musical traditions—Gospel Meets Symphony!
Lohengrin’s Prelude paints a picture of the descent of the Holy Grail, “radiating fiery beams and shaking the soul with emotion,” in Wagner’s own words. No symphonies surpass those of Bruckner for sheer magnificence of sound. He called the Fourth his
“Romantic” Symphony, for its connection to the spirit of medieval legends. The melodies resound with echoes of Schubert, but the magisterial drama comes from Wagner.
Composer Clarice Assad and trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden introduce a work co-commissioned by the ASO, based on paintings by surrealist Gertrude Abercrombie. The evening takes inspiration from folk song and popular music, in Higdon’s "Reel Time" to American folk traditions at the heart of Montgomery’s "Strum." Tchaikovsky echoes of Mozart and Brahms in "Souvenir de Florence" but in his own deeply personal voice.
The C Minor Mass is Mozart’s most exalted and personal sacred work. He composed it for his own wedding, partly to display the beauty of his bride’s soprano voice. He wrote the Mass in a burst of inspiration, fueled by his discovery of choral masterworks by Bach and Handel. Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin brings dances of the Baroque master to life, while serving as a tour-de-force vehicle for a virtuoso ensemble. Lili Boulanger was one of the brightest—and shortest-lived—talents of the early twentieth century. Her pastoral orchestral poem, On a Spring Morning, can only make us wish for what might been, had she lived beyond the age of 24.