Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces 2009-2010 Season

Tim Northcutt and Jessica Di Santo sent me a detailed press release about the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2009-2010 season.  Although the ISO is not exactly theatre, I very much enjoyed the two events that I experienced there last year: “Guys and Dolls” and “Yuletide Celebration.” 

There are several items on this year’s schedule that sounded like fun just by looking at the ISO press release, but then when I read Lou Harry’s picks on his April 9, 2009 A&E blog post for the Indianapolis Business Journal, and when I read Tom Aldridge’s picks in the April 8, 2009 edition of Nuvo, and when I read my favorite Indy classical music blogger’s excitement in her April 10, 2009 post about the ISO’s inclusion of Mahler, I became even more intrigued.

So I’m sharing the ISO press release here on my theatre blog in order to have it handy.  I rarely have a free night that isn’t already committed to seeing theatre, but as I say, the ISO is a treat worth making time for.

Also I love having new items to put in my blog’s “Season Announcements” category.  The press release said that photos are available on request.  I will request one and add it to this post.  I resisted adding photos to my blog at first, but now I am addicted to them.

By the way, there is even more information about the ISO’s 2009-2010 season on the ISO website,

Here is the press release:



Season Highlights Include Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Violinist Joshua Bell and Pianist Garrick Ohlsson; Pop Music Icon Maureen McGovern, the First Joint Appearance by Shirley Jones and Florence Henderson, and The Music of Pink Floyd Among Signature Special Events

New six-concert Symphonic Hits Series Features Popular Masterpieces

Subscription Prices Remain Same as Last Year; Renewing Current Subscribers May Request Optional 15 Percent “Loyalty Discount,” and New First-Time Subscribers Receive 30 Percent Discount

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced today its 2009-2010 season of classical, pops, family and special events that will feature some of the great classical artists of our time, including violin sensation and Bloomington native Joshua Bell, a one-night only appearance by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, renowned Chopin interpreter Garrick Ohlsson and outstanding violinists Christian Tetzlaff, Vadim Gluzman (in his ISO debut) and Leila Josefowicz.  The ISO’s diverse pops lineup includes pop music icon Maureen McGovern, the first joint appearance by legendary stage and screen stars Shirley Jones and Florence Henderson, and pianist and songwriter Tony DeSare, plus a special Thanksgiving holiday appearance by renowned jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and The Music of Pink Floyd in March among the many highlights in the lineup at the Hilbert Circle Theatre.

“We are very excited about the extraordinary variety of programs in our 2009-2010 season,” said Simon Crookall, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  “Our audiences will be able to hear some of the world’s most popular music with some outstanding artists, performed by one of America’s great symphony orchestras.  Truly a world-class experience here in Indiana!”


          Music Director Mario Venzago, who will be on the podium for 10 of the 20 Lilly Classical Series programs, will celebrate his eighth season in Indianapolis with a mix of timeless masterpieces that span more than 200 years in classical music history, with particular emphasis on Russian masters such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.  Among the highlights this season will be performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”), Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (“The Organ Symphony”), Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”) and Symphony No. 5 (“Reformation”) as part of a 200th anniversary celebration of the composer’s birth, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”), selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Antonin Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World”), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird, to name a few.

           The season also will spotlight numerous crown jewels in the concerto repertoire.  Piano masterpieces will include performances of Frédéric Chopin’s Concerto No. 2, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 and his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Mozart’s Concerto No. 23, Franz Liszt’s Concerto No. 2, Maurice Ravel’s Concerto in G Major and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. 

           The season’s violin showpieces will feature Ravel’s Tzigane, Jules Massenet’s “Meditation” from Thaïs, and Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy performed by the incomparable Joshua Bell, Johannes Brahms’ Concerto with world renowned Christian Tetzlaff, Mendelssohn’s Concerto with ISO Principal Guest Concertmaster Alex Kerr, and Tchaikovsky’s Concerto featuring Ukrainian-born virtuoso Vadim Gluzman.

           These popular works will be offered as part of a new six-concert Symphonic Hits Powered by Lilly series within the classical season that may be purchased on subscription via the flexible Your Season Your Way option or Symphony on Demand voucher packet, while the remaining 14 classical programs will be available through traditional seven-concert or 14-concert subscription packages (See Season Calendar for Symphonic Hits Programs).  Symphonic Hits concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. instead of the usual 8 p.m. start time.


          As part of the Indianapolis Symphony’s continued commitment to creating new works and celebrating the music of living composers, the ISO has commissioned a new piece by noted composer and ISO Principal Trombonist James Beckel – In The Mind’s Eye – Images for Horns and Orchestra – that will showcase the superb artistry of his five peers in the ISO’s horn section:  Principal Robert Danforth, Assistant Principal Richard Graef, Jerry Montgomery, Julie Beckel and Jill Boaz.  Other works by living composers will include John Williams’ new Air and Simple Gifts, which was premiered at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Chancellor of Composition Claude Baker’s Schubert-inspired Aus Schwanengesang, Latino composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Mariel, and prolific American composer Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto 4-3, written for the trio Time for Three that features ISO Concertmaster Zach De Pue.


           In addition to superstars Bell, Ma, Ohlsson, Josefowicz and Tetzlaff, other artists who return to center stage with the Orchestra this season will include pianists Gabriela Montero (in the Opening Weekend and Gala concerts), Indianapolis audience favorite Stephen Hough, Stewart Goodyear, Terrence Wilson, Yuja Wang and Dejan Lazic. The violin repertoire will be presented by returning artists such as 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) Gold Medalist Augustin Hadelich, ISO Concertmaster Zach De Pue and noted IU alum Corey Cerovsek.  Joining the ISO for return visits as soloists will be the string trio Time for Three, baritone Hugh Russell, soprano Karen Gauvin and mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer.  Renowned Maestros who will come back the Hilbert Circle Theatre podium are Andrew Litton, newly named Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Cornelius Meister, dynamic young Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu, renowned British conductor Mark Wigglesworth, James Gaffigan, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Larry Rachleff.

          Making their Indianapolis Symphony Lilly Classical Series debuts will be Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham (who portrayed composer Antonio Salieri in the film Amadeus), Isaac Stern protégé violinist Vadim Gluzman, 2006 IVCI Laureate and 2007 Michael Hill International Violin Competition winner Bella Hristova, 1991 Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Artists champion cellist Daniel Mueller-Schott, seven-time Grammy Award nominee pianist Marc-André Hamelin, BBC National Orchestra of Wales Principal Conductor Thierry Fischer, and in his American and ISO debut, 2007 Prague International Conducting Competition winner Krystof Urbanski.  ISO Associate Conductor Sean Newhouse also will make his Lilly Classical Series debut.


          For the Orchestra’s Gala and opening weekend of the Lilly Classical Series, Maestro Venzago will conduct an American composer showcase titled Salute to America! that will feature Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with narration by F. Murray Abraham, Leonard Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, John Williams’ Air and Simple Gifts with pianist Gabriela Montero and ISO principal musicians Alexander Kerr (violin), David Bellman (clarinet), and Perry Scott (cello), with Montero performing George Gershwin’s popular Rhapsody in Blue to round out the program.


           A North American leader in innovative pops series programming, Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly will conduct five of the eight exciting Printing Partners Pops Series programs he has created that will feature a broad spectrum of artists and musical styles.  Among the many highlights will be the first-ever on-stage joint appearances of legendary stage and screen actresses Shirley Jones and Florence Henderson, the return of pop music star Maureen McGovern, popular pianist, singer and songwriter Tony DeSare for Valentine’s weekend programs, and the world premiere of Maestro Everly’s newest Symphonic Pops Consortium program, titled Mysterioso.

           The season opens in September with Maureen McGovern (who will return in December to host Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration) performing many songs from her newest compact disc, A Long and Winding Road, that features her renditions of timeless classics such as Bob Dylan’s “The Times, They Are a Changin,'” Simon and Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy),” James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain,” and the Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road,” among others.

           Academy Award-winning actress Shirley Jones and Indiana’s own Florence Henderson will sing many Broadway hits and pops favorites from their distinguished days on the musical stage and the silver screen and will share stories about their stellar careers in November.  Maestro Everly will unveil his newest Symphonic Pops Consortium creation on Halloween weekend that will meld the worlds of symphonic music with magic, illusion and comedy. Titled Mysterioso, the program will feature the “David Copperfield of Canada,” James Dimmarre, comedic magic by Les Arnold and Dazzle, quick change artists David and Dania, versatile young vocalist Christina Bianco and Theremin player Charles Richard Lester.

           Renowned singer, pianist and composer Tony DeSare will join the ISO on Valentine’s weekend to celebrate the best in pop music through his own unique style that features refreshing and jazzy interpretations of classic tunes across the American music spectrum, from Harold Arlen to Chuck Berry to Prince.  Other Printing Partners Pops Series highlights will include the return of an Indianapolis audience favorite, legendary award-winning composer, conductor and pianist Marvin Hamlisch in January, a full screening of the classic The Wizard of Oz with the Orchestra performing the music from the Harold Arlen score to accompany the film in March, and a program of popular classical symphonic works that have been featured in the soundtracks on major Hollywood films titled Classically Cinematic in April.

             The Pops Series season will close with the world premiere of Generations of Rock with Michael Cavanaugh  in June.  Back by popular demand following his ISO debut in performances of Billy Joel’s music in April 2008 to capacity crowds, Cavanaugh will return to the Hilbert Circle Theatre to present Rock ‘n’ Roll hits from the ’50s, ’60s, and 70’s, including the music of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John, Billy Joel and Queen, among others.


           Under the musical direction of Maestro Everly, the Indianapolis Symphony’s 24th annual production of its holiday spectacular, Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration, will be hosted by Maureen McGovern.  An Indiana holiday tradition, Yuletide Celebration features a talented cast of singers and dancers, larger-than-life puppetry and the traditional “Tap-Dancing Santas” in a massive Broadway-style holiday presentation that attracts more than 40,000 people each year to the Hilbert Circle Theatre each December.  McGovern’s career spans 37 years of award-winning recordings, concerts, the Broadway stage, film, television, radio and songwriting.  Best known for her top selling hits “The Morning After,” “We May Never Love Like This Again,” “Wherever Love Takes Me,” and “Can You Read My Mind,” she earned a Grammy Award in 2005 for the children’s compact disc Songs from the Neighborhood:  The Music of Mister Rogers, and Grammy nominations for “Best New Artist” (1973) and “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance” (1998), plus Drama Desk Award nomination  for her portrayal of “Marmee” in Little Women, The Musical in 2005.


           Headlining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2009-2010 Season of special event concerts will be the highly anticipated return of one of the great classical artists of our time – cellist Yo-Yo Ma – who will visit the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage on October 1 for the first time in 13 years following his sold-out appearance in the 1996 Opening Night Gala.  The venerable cellist and musical goodwill ambassador to the world will perform Dvorák’s colorful and expressive Cello Concerto, which will be complemented by the Orchestra’s presentations of Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks under the baton of Maestro Venzago.

          Also back by popular demand will be jazz trumpet sensation Chris Botti, who performed his eclectic blend of pops, jazz and classical genres before capacity crowds in his ISO debut, to join Maestro Everly for a one-night-only concert during Thanksgiving week on November 24.  A graduate of the IU Jacobs School of Music where he studied under jazz legend David Baker, Botti has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide, including his top-selling compact discs When I Fall In Love and To Love Again, The Duets, which topped the Billboard jazz album charts in 2004 and 2005, and Chris Botti Live with Orchestra and Special Guests, which reached the second spot on Billboard. 

           Holiday special events will include the Orchestra’s collaboration with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir to perform George Frideric Handel’s popular liturgical oratorio masterpiece, Messiah, December 19 at Clowes Memorial Hall, and ISO Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard and the ISO will welcome tenor Richard Croft, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and the Apollo’s Voice Chamber Chorus for presentations of Franz Joseph Haydn’s St. Nicholas Mass and Benjamin Britten’s St. Nicholas in the 11th annual Classical Christmas concert on December 12.  The orchestra will collaborate with Dance Kaleidoscope to ring in the New Year with a variety of choreographed Viennese waltzes in one New Year’s Eve in Vienna concert on December 31.

Other special presentations will feature the ISO’s 25th annual Celebration of Black History concert in February (date to be announced), and a one-night-only performance of The Music of Pink Floyd that will include many of the group’s hits, such as ‘The Wall,” “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were here” on March 20. 


          Since 1984, a key element of the Orchestra’s mission is its programming for young audiences through the St.Vincent Family Series concerts.  This series features thematic programs of shorter classical and popular works performed in concerts that are one-hour long and designed especially for young listeners.   ISO Associate Conductor Sean Newhouse has created an exciting and engaging lineup of Family Series programs to enlighten and entertain audiences of all ages.  As an added treat, before each concert audiences are invited to go on a “Music Explorer” journey to many hands-on activities located in the lobby, and after the performance, guest artists meet informally with the audience near the stage for “Family Chat” discussions about the program.  This year, Family Series concerts will be performed on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m.

           The St.Vincent Family Series kicks off October 25 with Everyone’s a Composer, a program which delves into the mind of the composer through works by living composers such as Mr. Smith’s Composition by Gregory Smith, selections from Gabriela Lena Frank’s Peregrinos (Pilgrims) that was premiered by the ISO last February and Lucas Richman’s Be a Composer, which will provide concertgoers the opportunity to compose music themselves.  On February 28, Magic Circle Mime Company will join Maestro Newhouse and the ISO on stage to present The Listener that will utilize pantomime and actors to bring the art of listening to life, and a new multimedia version of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf will be accented by state-of-the-art stop-motion model animation of the story from the Oscar-winning team at Break Thru Films International. The classic tale will be told through music and video that will be projected onto a large screen above the musicians on April 18.  The series also includes the December 6, 6 p.m. performance of Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration starring Maureen McGovern.


           The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s subscription prices will remain the same as last year for the upcoming 2009-2010 season.  To attract new audiences and subscribers to ISO concerts, new first-time subscribers will receive a 30 percent discount off the full subscription price.  Current subscribers who renew their subscriptions by telephone or in person only may exercise the option to take a 15 percent “Loyalty Discount” to reward their longtime support. This discount does not apply to online or mail order renewals.

            The public may renew current subscriptions or become a new subscriber beginning Monday, April 13, by visiting the ISO’s website at, by phone at (317) 236-2040, by fax at (317) 236-2038, by mail or in person at the Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office.  The deadline for subscription renewals is June 12.

 All Special Event tickets will be on sale to subscribers and donors beginning April 13 and will go on sale along with other single tickets to the general public on August 24.  For more information about all Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra presentations, call the Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office at (317) 639-4300.  Outside Indianapolis call toll free (800) 366-8457.


 Founded in 1930, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is the largest professional performing arts organization in Indiana, is one of only 17 full-time year-rounds orchestras in North America, and performs 200 concerts each year for more than 350,000 people.  Renowned for its 79-year legacy of acclaimed recordings, nationwide radio broadcasts and service to the community, the ISO serves a broad spectrum of audiences via classical, pops, family, holiday, educational and free community outreach concert programs.  A key part of the Orchestra’s mission is education, and its diverse programs earned the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Education from the City of Indianapolis.  ISO musicians and staff have created 20 different pioneering learning opportunities that serve nearly 100,000 Hoosiers annually comprising audiences of all ages that are inspired by the power of music.

 Hope Baugh –

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