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Dallas Symphony's New Season: Mendelssohn and Massive Choral Works

by Jerome Weeks 20 Feb 2011 6:10 AM

A new Mendelssohn Festival, the DSO’s first, plus a trio of heavy-duty choral works – Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Beethoven’s Fidelio and Berlioz’ Te Deum – are among the highlights of the symphony’s new season.


The Dallas Symphony will offer its first Mendelssohn festival next season, plus a trio of major choral works, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Fidelio and Berlioz’ Te Deum (warm up the Meyerson’s Fisk organ!). The DSO announced its 2011-12 season today,  and if the programming isn’t exactly groundbreaking — there are no world premieres — there are four Dallas premieres, including Philip Glass’ An American Four Seasons (2009) and Du cristal (1990) by Kaija Saariaho, Finland’s leading composer.

As for the the eight-day Mendelsohn Festival in September-October, it will include all five of the composer’s symphonies and his Violin Concerto (with Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma). This season’s visiting soloists and artists include familiar pianists Emmanuel Ax and Andre Watts, Texas soprano Ava Pine (in Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise), tenor Richard Croft (who teaches at UNT)  and flutist Sir James Galway — who canceled his last appearance in March 2010 because of ill health. International pianists Alessio Bax and Joaquin Achucarro, both of whom teach at SMU, will also return.

On the Pops side, Marvin Hamlisch, in his second season as DSO principal pops conductor, will conduct and perform on three weekends, including an evening of his own works. The Masters of Film Music series picks up again next January with James Newton Howard (Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense). Touring artists in the Pops Series include Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Amy Grant and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Subscriptions are available for purchase or renewal at the DSO’s website, but if you want single tickets, they don’t go on sale until July.

As always, the full press releases follow:

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces 2011/12 Texas Instruments Classical Season


  • Eight-day Mendelssohn festival, including all five full-orchestra symphonies
  • Four Dallas Symphony Orchestra premieres
  • Major choral works: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Berlioz’ Te Deum
  • Renowned guest soloists and conductors, including Emanuel Ax, Marin Alsop, Joshua Bell, Richard Croft, Sir James Galway, André Watts
  • 26 guest artist debuts

Dallas, TX (February 20, 2011) –The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today the 2011-12 Texas Instruments classical season: the orchestra’s 111th anniversary season since its founding in 1900, and the fourth under Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

“Next season is an exciting blend of classical favorites; profound works, such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Beethoven’s Fidelio; and new works, including Dark Waves by John Luther Adams,” said van Zweden.  “I am proud to introduce new talent to our audiences, in addition to an impressive list of celebrated guest soloists and conductors.  This is by far one of my favorite seasons yet with the Dallas Symphony.”

The Texas Instruments Classical Series will begin Sept. 8-11, 2011, with van Zweden leading the DSO in Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring piano soloist Emanuel Ax.  The series will conclude May 11 and 13, 2012, with a concert version of Beethoven’s opera, Fidelio.

The Dallas Symphony’s 2011-12 season will also be the first for incoming President Bill Lively, in addition to three high-level artistic appointments:  Concertmaster Alexander Kerr, Co-concertmaster Nathan Olson and Dallas Symphony Chorus Director Joshua Habermann.

“We are fortunate to welcome these incredibly talented people to the Dallas Symphony family,” said interim President Paul Stewart.  “Their appointments, in addition to our outstanding programming, will only bring us closer to being one of America’s leading orchestras.”

Mendelssohn Festival

The Dallas Symphony’s first-ever Mendelssohn Festival features some of the composer’s most treasured works, including all five of his symphonies, his violin concerto and the Hebrides Overture.  Led by Maestro van Zweden, the eight-day festival will include:

Sept. 22-23, 2011

  • Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 12
  • Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, with violin soloist Simone Lamsma
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1

Sept. 24-25, 2011

  • Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
  • Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1, with piano soloist Alessio Bax
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, Scottish

Sept. 29-30, 2011

  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, Italian
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2, Hymn of Praise, with Dallas Symphony Chorus, prepared by Joshua Habermann, and including Ava Pine, soprano; Layla Claire, soprano; and Gregory Warren, tenor

Oct. 1-2, 2011

  • Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5, Reformation
  • Mendelssohn: Concerto for Violin and Piano, with violin soloist Soovin Kim and piano soloist Jorge Federico Osorio

Dallas Symphony Debuts

The Dallas Symphony has a long tradition of introducing new and exciting works from today’s leading composers.  The 2011-12 season includes four DSO debuts:

  • John Luther AdamsDark Waves, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.  Premiered in 2007, this work evokes rolling waves of the sea, featuring recorded tracks and orchestra (March 15-18, 2012).
  • Philip GlassAn American Four Seasons, performed by violinist Robert McDuffie and conducted by Peter Oundjian.  Premiered in 2009, this four-movement violin concerto is a tribute to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (Jan. 5-7, 2012).
  • Christopher Rouse: Concerto for String Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop.  Premiered in 1990, this 20-minute work is based loosely on the composer’s String Quartet No. 2 (Oct. 6-9, 2010).
  • Kaija SaariahoDu Cristal, conducted by Pietari Inkinen.  Premiered in 1990, this work by leading Finnish composer Saariaho features a synthesizer and prominent percussion section (Jan. 19-22).

Choral Masterpieces

The Dallas Symphony will present three major choral works for orchestra, chorus and soloists in 2011-12, the inaugural season for Chorus Director Habermann.

  • Bach: St. Matthew Passion.  Orchestrated for double orchestra and double chorus, this masterwork is based on Christ’s Passion from the gGospel of Matthew. Van Zweden will conduct the DSO alongside the Dallas Symphony Chorus, prepared by Habermann, and the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas.  Soloists include Camilla Tilling, soprano; Jennifer Johnston, alto; Johannes Chum, Evangelist; Morgan Smith, Christus; John McVeigh, tenor; Alastair Miles, bass (March 29-31, 2012).
  • Beethoven: Fidelio. Conducted by van Zweden, the DSO will perform Beethoven’s only opera in concert format, with the Dallas Symphony Chorus, led by Habermann. Soloists include Robert Dean Smith, tenor; Lisa Milne, soprano; Robert Bork, bass-baritone; Robert Holl, bass-baritone; Marcel Reijans, tenor; Simone Saturova, soprano; Detlef Roth, baritone (May 11 and 13, 2012).

  • Berlioz: Te Deum.  Conducted by John Nelson, this massive work based on text from the traditional Latin Te Deum, will prominently feature expanded chorus, orchestra and organ.  Dallas Symphony Chorus, prepared by Habermann; the Children’s Chorus of Dallas; and tenor Richard Croft will join the DSO (March 1-3, 2012).

Beloved Classical Works

The 2011-12 season offers a rich variety of favorites from the classical repertoire, including:

  • Dvořák: Symphony No. 9, From the New World, conducted by Marin Alsop (Oct. 6-9, 2011)
  • Rimsky-Korsakov:  Scheherazade, conducted by Carlo Rizzi (Oct. 27-29, 2011)
  • Rachmaninoff:  Piano Concerto No. 2, conducted by Paul Phillips, with soloist Lise de la Salle (Nov. 17-20, 2011)
  • Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, conducted by Peter Oundjian (Jan. 5-7, 2012)
  • Debussy: La Mer, conducted by Jaap van Zweden (Feb. 2-5, 2012)
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, conducted by Jaap van Zweden (Feb. 16-19, 2012)
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 40, conducted by Jaap van Zweden (April 26-29, 2012)

Renowned Guest Soloists and Conductors

  • Emanuel Ax, pianist, performs Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Sept. 8-11, 2011)
  • Marin Alsop, conductor, leads the DSO in Barber: Toccata Festiva; Rouse: Concerto for String Orchestra; Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, From the New World (Oct. 6-9, 2011)
  • Joshua Bell, violinist, performs Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 (Sept. 17, 2011)
  • Richard Croft, tenor, performs in Berlioz: Te Deum (March 1-3, 2012)
  • Sir James Galway, flautist, performs Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2 (Nov. 10-13, 2011)
  • André Watts, pianist, performs Grieg: Piano Concerto (April 12-15, 2012)

Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala

The DSO’s biggest fundraising event of the year and one of the highlights of the Dallas social calendar, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala, will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2011.  Violinist Joshua Bell will perform Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in a program that will include selections from Wagner’s Lohengrin and Tannhauser, conducted by van Zweden. Two of the Wagner pieces will also feature the Dallas Symphony Chorus, prepared by Habermann.

Gala Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke will host the gala evening, made up of a glorious three-course meal, a Dallas Symphony concert with Joshua Bell, and a fabulous after-party.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 214-871-4045.

Dallas Symphony Conductor and Soloist Debuts


  • Hannu Lintu (Oct. 20-22, 2011)
  • Carlo Rizzi (Oct. 27-29, 2011)
  • Jakub Hrůša (Nov. 10-13, 2011)
  • Pietari Inkinen (Jan. 19-22, 2012)
  • Ed Spanjaard (Feb. 23-26, 2012)


  • Johannes Moser (May 3-5, 2012)


  • Markus Pawlik (Oct. 27-29, 2011)
  • Lise de la Salle (Nov. 17-20, 2011)
  • Severin von Eckardstein (Feb. 16-19, 2012)


  • Soovin Kim (Oct. 1-2, 2011)


  • Layla Claire, soprano (Sept. 29-30, 2012)
  • Gregory Warren, tenor (Sept. 29-30, 2012)
  • Matthias Goerne, baritone (March 15-18, 2012)
  • Johannes Chum, tenor (March 29-31, 2012)
  • Jennifer Johnston, alto (March 29-31, 2012)
  • John McVeigh, tenor (March 29-31, 2012)
  • Alastair Miles, bass (March 29-31, 2012)
  • Morgan Smith, baritone (March 29-31, 2012)
  • Camilla Tilling, soprano  (March 29-31, 2012)
  • Robert Bork, bass-baritone (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)
  • Robert Dean Smith, tenor (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)
  • Robert Holl, bass-baritone (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)
  • Lisa Milne, soprano (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)
  • Marcel Reijans, tenor (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)
  • Detlef Roth, baritone (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)
  • Simone Ŝaturová, soprano (May 10-11 and 13, 2012)

DSO Principal Musicians

  • Gregory Raden, clarinet (Jan. 26-29, 2012)
  • Mary Preston, organ (Oct. 6-9, 2010)

Returning Guest Conductors

  • Marin Alsop (Oct. 6-9, 2011)
  • Peter Oundjian (Jan. 5-7, 2012)
  • John Nelson (March 1-3, 2012)
  • James Gaffigan (April 12-15, 2012)

Returning Guest Soloists


  • Sir James Galway (Nov. 10-13, 2011)


  • Emanuel Ax (Sept. 8-11, 2011)
  • Alessio Bax (Sept. 24-25, 2011)
  • Jorge Federico Osorio (Oct. 1-2, 2011)
  • Joaquín Achúcarro (Oct. 20-22, 2011)
  • David Fray (Feb. 2-5, 2012)
  • André Watts (April 12-15, 2012)


  • Simone Lamsma (Sept. 22-23, 2011)
  • Robert McDuffie (Jan. 5-7, 2012)
  • Caroline Goulding (Jan. 19-22, 2012)
  • Shannon Lee (Feb. 23-26, 2012)


  • Ava Pine, soprano (Sept. 29-30, 2011)
  • Richard Croft, tenor (March 1-3, 2012)

Casual Fridays Series

In its sixth season, the Casual Friday Series, presented by Thompson & Knight LLP, will expand from six to seven concerts in 2011-12. This series encourages a relaxed atmosphere by programming shorter concerts and an earlier start time of 7:30 p.m.  Patrons are also encouraged to come in casual attire.

The 2011-12 Casual Friday Concerts include:

  • 9/23/2011:  Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
  • 10/21/2011:  Achúcarro Plays Chopin
  • 11/11/2011: Sir James Galway
  • 1/27/2012:  Mozart and Schubert
  • 2/17/2012:  Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique
  • 3/2/2012:  Berlioz Te Deum
  • 4/13/2012:  Watts Plays Grieg

Subscription Information

A variety of subscription packages are available for the DSO’s 2011-12 Texas Instruments Classical series and the Casual Fridays series, including new 3 and 4-concert packages.  For more information, or to purchase or renew subscriptions, please call 214-692-0203 or visit

Single tickets will go on-sale in July of 2011.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces 2011/12 Pops Series, DSO Presents and Special Concerts


  • Marvin Hamlisch leads tributes to our Armed Forces, Cole Porter
  • Second year of ground-breaking Masters of Film Music series
  • Pops guest artists include Amy Grant, Kool & the Gang and The Beach Boys
  • Additional guest artists include Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, José Porcel, Michael W. Smith, and Earth, Wind & Fire

Dallas, TX (February 20, 2011) –The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today its 2011-12 Pops series, DSO Presents series and other special concerts.  This will be the second season under the direction of DSO Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch.

“I am thrilled about the variety of programming we have in this series,” said Hamlisch.  “You can experience everything from exciting circus performers and the inspiring Amy Grant to the continuation of our successful Masters of Film Music series and a special tribute to our service men and women.  We will have great fun this season.  Please join us.”

The DSO Pops series will launch with a compilation of Hamlisch’s best-loved music Sept. 2-4, 2011.  The series will conclude June 8-9, 2012, with a tribute to one of America’s greatest songwriters, Cole Porter.

Hamlisch will perform and conduct three weekends in the 2011-12 Pops series.  These programs include:

  • Hamlisch Plays Hamlisch– (Sept. 2-4, 2010).  Program includes selections from A Chorus Line, The Way We Were, and many other award-winning hits from Hamlisch.
  • Armed Forces Salute (May 25-26, 2012).  A Memorial Day tribute to our service members, this program will include Broadway tunes, movie medleys and other patriotic songs.
  • Cole Porter Tribute (June 8-9, 2012).  This tribute to American songwriter Cole Porter will include classics such as “Anything Goes” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”  Award-winning entertainer, Michael Feinstein, will also perform.

Masters of Film Music-DSO Pops Series

Presented by The Dallas Foundation with additional support from The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, the second year of this ground-breaking series will include three of the top film composers in Hollywood: James Newton Howard, Harry Gregson-Williams and Michael Giacchino.

Each Masters of Film concert includes a DSO-commissioned premiere work from the composer, combined with a multi-media film retrospective of the composer’s works on a large movie screen, with the music performed live by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  The Masters of Film concerts in the 2011-12 Pops series include:

  • Masters of Film: James Newton Howard (Jan. 13-14, 2012).  Howard composed such film scores as Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense, The Fugitive and Michael Clayton.
  • Masters of Film: Harry Gregson-Williams (April 5-7, 2012).  Gregson-Williams composed such film scores as the Chronicles of Narnia, Shrek and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
  • Masters of Film: Michael Giacchino (May 18-20, 2012).  Giacchino composed such film scores as Up!, Star Trek, Mission Impossible III, and music for the TV series Lost.

Additional DSO Pops Series Concerts

  • Amy Grant (Oct. 14-16, 2011).  Inspirational pop singer-songwriter, Amy Grant, will perform her most beloved hits with the Dallas Symphony and other guests.
  • Cirque Musica (Nov. 4-5, 2011) This innovative new program will include circus-style acts performing to familiar classics played by the Dallas Symphony.
  • Christmas Celebration (Dec. 2-4, 2011) An annual favorite, this holiday celebration for the entire family is performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and other guests
  • Yesterday Once More (Feb. 9 and 12, 2012) A touching tribute to the Carpenters, the Dallas Symphony will perform such legendary hits as “Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
  • The Beach Boys (March 9-11, 2012) This iconic band will perform their beach-loving, youthful hits.  Note:  this concert does not include the Dallas Symphony.
  • Kool & the Gang (March 23-24, 2012) This monumental soul group will bring the best sounds of the seventies to the Meyerson.  Note: this concert does not include the Dallas Symphony.

Holidays at the DSO

  • Christmas Celebration (Dec. 2-18, 2011) An annual favorite, this holiday celebration for the entire family is performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and other special guests.
  • Feliz Navidad (Dec. 6) Feliz Navidad is a festive holiday celebration with Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano.  Note: this concert does not include the Dallas Symphony.
  • Michael W. Smith (Dec. 12-13, 2011) Contemporary Christian singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith will perform his favorite Christmas songs with the Dallas Symphony.
  • New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, 2011) This popular, European-style celebration will include Viennese waltzes, festive music and a Champagne toast.

DSO Presents

  • Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (Aug. 25, 2011) Grammy-award winning banjo player (and comedian) Steve Martin joins bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers.
  • José Porcel (Oct. 4, 2011) International dance sensation Compañia Flamenca José Porcel celebrates “Gypsy Fire!” and the flamenco heritage of Spain.
  • Earth, Wind & Fire (March 6-7, 2012) The legendary band combines soulful R&B with jazz-driven pop for an evening of unforgettable music.

Subscription Information

A variety of subscription packages are available for the DSO’s 2011-12 Pops series. Subscribers have priority ticketing for DSO Presents and holiday concerts.  For more information, or to purchase or renew subscriptions, please call 214-692-0203 or visit

Single tickets will go on sale in July 2011.