KERA Arts Story Search

Looking for events? Click here for the Go See DFW events calendar.

Fort Worth Symphony Announces New Season

by Jerome Weeks 4 Apr 2011 3:27 PM

It’s an all-American opener for the Fort Worth Symphony. The Great Performances Festival kicks things off in August with music by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and George Gerswhin. But then there’s Cliburn gold medalist Haochen Zang and the Canadian Tenors, plus music by Paul McCartney. Check out the full schedule.


It’s an all-American season-opener for the Fort Worth Symphony. The Great Performances Festival kicks things off in August with music by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and George Gerswhin. Van Cliburn will join the orchestra as the narrator for Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. But then, the Canadian Tenors do manage to slip in come April.

Speaking of Van Cliburn, Haochen Zang (left), the gold medalist and youngest participant in the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will close the symphonic series next May with a grand finale, featuring the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninoff.

Other highlights include three works by John B Hedges (above), the orchestra’s composer-in-residence, including the world premiere of Fastball and nineteen-year-old violinist Will Hagen will make his FWSO debut in April.

The full season follows:


FORT WORTH – The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-12 concert season includes symphonic and pops music for every taste, as well as packages for every budget!

Highlights of the season:

  • The annual Great Performances Festival gets an all-American spin, with beloved music by Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin. Van Cliburn will join the FWSO as the narrator in Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Programming also includes Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s West Side Story and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with FWSO principal keyboardist Shields-Collins Bray.
  • Throughout the year, we’ll present three pieces by Composer-in-Residence John B Hedges, including the world premiere of Fastball, as well as Slapdance and a work written for our principal clarinetist, Ana Victoria Luperi.
  • Country superstar LeAnn Rimes joins the FWSO in a special one-night-only concert.
  • The Canadian Tenors, who performed at a sold-out holiday concert last year, return for a full weekend on our Pops Series.
  • And Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at our glittering annual gala.

The 2011-12 season opens August 26-28 with the Great Performances Festival: The Pride of America. Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the orchestra in three different concerts of music by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin, composers who helped define American music in the 20th century. This is beloved music that resides at the intersection of classical and popular forms, and our selections explore a range of genres, including symphonic and sacred music, as well as jazz, opera, songs and spirituals. Van Cliburn—known around the world as an ambassador of American art and goodwill—will join the orchestra as the narrator in Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Other highlights include Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue and Porgy and Bess; Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and excerpts from West Side Story and On the Town; and Copland’s Old American Songs with tenor Jonathan Beyer. Three-concert festival passes are available now and range from $36 to $144. Single concert tickets to the festival go on sale in early August.

The American Airlines Symphonic Series opens September 16-18 with Augustin Hadelich—who last performed with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2008—in performances of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole for Violin and Orchestra. Blockbuster works by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Brahms, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and more complete the season. Guest soloists include violin prodigy Will Hagen; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; and pianists Arnaldo Cohen, Markus Groh, Alexander Ullman and Haochen Zhang, a 2009 Cliburn gold medalist. The FWSO continues to showcase its own artists, with two dazzling young principals — Mark Houghton, horn, and Ana Victoria Luperi, clarinet — appearing as featured soloists this season. American Airlines Symphonic Series subscriptions range from $75 to $540.

Along with the Canadian Tenors, other highlights of the Star-Telegram Pops Series include Bugs Bunny at the Symphony; Wicked Divas, a concert of diva showstoppers from Broadway highlighted by selections from Wicked; Live and Let Die, a tribute to the timeless music of Paul McCartney; and Home for the Holidays. Star-Telegram Pops Series subscriptions range from $98 to $462.

This season’s Blockbuster Specials include an appearance by LeAnn Rimes and a swingin’ New Year’s Eve with standards by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and more. The holiday season brings our annual Messiah performance as well as Christmas with the Von Trapp Family Singers, a concert for all ages featuring the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp. Subscribers receive first priority; these concerts are available only to subscribers until early September.


2011-2012 SEASON

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Music Director



7:30 p.m. August 26, 27 & 28 at Bass Performance Hall

Festival passes $36-$144. Single tickets go on sale in August. or 817-665-6000

Friday, August 26, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Jonathan Beyer, Baritone

COPLAND     Suite from Billy the Kid

COPLAND     Selections from Old American Songs

Jonathan Beyer, Baritone

BERNSTEIN   Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

GERSHWIN    An American in Paris

Saturday, August 27, 2011, at 7:30 pm

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Van Cliburn, Narrator

BERNSTEIN   Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront

BERNSTEIN   Chichester Psalms for Chorus and Orchestra

COPLAND     Lincoln Portrait

Van Cliburn, Narrator

GERSHWIN    Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic Picture

Sunday, August 28, 2011, at 7:30 pm

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Shields-Collins Bray, Piano

BERNSTEIN   Three Dance Episodes from On the Town

GERSHWIN    Rhapsody in Blue for Solo Piano and Jazz Band

Shields-Collins Bray, Piano

COPLAND     Symphony No. 3

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra celebrates the American spirit. Our three-day festival will focus on the works of George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, legendary American composers whose music entertained generations throughout the 20th century. Join us for this slice of Americana in a festival that is sure to unite our community through the power of music.


Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
at Bass Performance Hall

Subscriptions start at $75 or 817-665-6000

September 16, 17 & 18


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Augustin Hadelich, Violin

JOHN B HEDGES*    Slapdance

LALO                          Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21

Augustin Hadelich, Violin

BRAHMS                    Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98

Violinist Augustin Hadelich, who performed with the FWSO at Carnegie Hall in 2008, joins the orchestra for the Spanish motifs of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. Brahms’ dramatic and passionate final symphony and Slapdance by composer-in-residence John B Hedges complete the opening of the symphonic series.

October 7, 8 & 9, 2011


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Sebastián VERGARA        Awakening of the Species

MAHLER                                Symphony No. 4 in G Major

Many a love affair with the music of Mahler has begun with his Fourth Symphony. Known as the “sunlit symphony,” this work depicts a child’s view of heaven. Our performance of this wondrous work commemorates the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s death, and is another step toward the FWSO’s completion of the entire cycle of Mahler symphonies, an achievement for any orchestra.

November 4, 5 & 6, 2011


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Alexander Ullman, Piano

SALIERI          Symphony in D Major “Il giorno onomastico”*

MOZART        Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467

Alexander Ullman, Piano

SALIERI          Overture to Cublai, gran kan de’ Tartari

MOZART        Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543

Salieri enjoyed social position as a composer, but was secretly jealous of Mozart’s works because of their superior quality. This concert combines beautiful works by both composers, who regained popularity through the 1980s film Amadeus.

* Saturday and Sunday only

November 18, 19 & 20, 2011


Milanov Rossen, Conductor

Mark Houghton, Horn

JOHN ADAMS           The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra)*

R. STRAUSS               Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 11

Mark Houghton, Horn

RACHMANINOFF    Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27

Rachmaninoff’s brooding and mysterious Symphony No. 2 is the centerpiece of this concert, which is not only dramatically intense but also grand and sweeping. FWSO Principal Horn Mark Houghton performs the beautiful Horn Concerto No. 1 by Richard Strauss for a perfect complement.

* Saturday and Sunday only

January 13, 14 & 15, 2012


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Arnaldo Cohen, Piano

ROSSINI                     Overture to William Tell*

BRAHMS                    Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15

Arnaldo Cohen, Piano

BEETHOVEN             Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60

Pianist Arnaldo Cohen takes center stage to perform the virtuosic and fiery Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1. The gentle tenderness and beautiful themes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and the ever-popular William Tell Overture round out this delightful concert.

* Saturday and Sunday only

February 3, 4 & 5, 2012


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Ana Victoria Luperi, Clarinet

PROKOFIEV              Suite from Cinderella, Op. 87

JOHN B HEDGES      Fantasía sobre Yma Sumac

Victoria Luperi, Clarinet

BORODIN                  Symphony No. 2 in B Minor

The waltz-like rhythms of Prokofiev’s Cinderella are a highlight of this concert, which also features the lyrical revelry of Borodin’s Symphony No. 2. FWSO Principal Clarinetist Ana Victoria Luperi performs Fantasia sobre Yma Sumac, written for her by composer-in-residence John B Hedges.

March 2, 3 & 4, 2012


Mei-Ann Chen, Conductor

Markus Groh, Piano

BEETHOVEN             Overture to Coriolan, Op. 62*

SCHUMANN             Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54

Markus Groh, Piano

FRANCK                    Symphony in D Minor

Mei-Ann Chen returns by popular demand, to lead one of Franck’s best-loved compositions, the Symphony in D Minor. The beautiful melodies of the Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor will fill the hall as pianist Markus Groh takes the stage.

* Saturday and Sunday only

March 23, 24 & 25, 2012


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Alisa Weilerstein, Cello

SMETANA                 The Moldau from Má Vlast *

ELGAR                        Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85

Alisa Weilerstein, Cello

JOHN B HEDGES      Fastball (World Premiere)

STRAVINSKY           Suite from The Firebird (1945 revision)

Alisa Weilerstein joins the orchestra to perform Elgar’s deeply emotional Cello Concerto in E Minor. Smetana’s picturesque symphonic poem The Moldau and Stravinsky’s riveting Firebird Suite, always an FWSO patrons’ choice, complete the program.

* Saturday and Sunday only

April 13, 14 & 15, 2012


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Will Hagen, Violin

SCHUBERT                Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759, “Unfinished” *

TCHAIKOVSKY        Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

Will Hagen, Violin

DVOŘÁK                   Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70

The late Romantic period is featured in Dvôrák’s beloved Seventh Symphony. At just 19 years old, violinist Will Hagen makes his FWSO debut, performing Tchaikovsky’s popular violin concerto. The powerful and melodic “Unfinished” Symphony by Schubert is the perfect “finish” to this unforgettable concert.

* Saturday and Sunday only

May 4, 5 & 6, 2012


Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Haochen Zhang, Piano

ENESCU                     Romanian Rhapsody in A Major, Op. 11, No. 1 *

RACHMANINOFF    Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18

Haochen Zhang, Piano

RESPIGHI                   The Fountains of Rome

TCHAIKOVSKY        Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32

The grand finale of the symphonic series features the youngest participant in the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Now 21 years old, gold medalist Haochen Zhang will perform the alluring Piano Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninoff.

* Saturday and Sunday only


Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. at Bass Performance Hall

Subscriptions start at $98 or 817-665-6000

October 14, 15 & 16, 2011


Andrés Franco, Conductor

Music has always played a vital role in film — it sets the mood of a scene and enhances your emotional response to the story. This concert celebrates the best in movie music, from The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia and Schindler’s List to favorite Beethoven and Tchaikovsky excerpts heard in 2011 Academy Award winners The King’s Speech and Black Swan. It’s the classical music you never knew you knew!

October 28, 29 & 30, 2011


George Daugherty, Conductor

Classic Warner Bros. Looney Tunes projected on the big screen, with their original scores performed live! This new edition includes special guests Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones and even Scooby-Doo! Don’t miss these, plus old favorites like What’s, Opera, Doc? and The Rabbit of Seville.

November 25, 26 & 27, 2011


Ron Spigelman, Conductor

This Fort Worth Symphony holiday tradition is filled with joyous sounds of the season as well as jolly old St. Nick himself! So you better watch out… this concert is sure to put you and your family in the mood for Christmas. Not responsible for causing excessive seasonal spirit.

January 20, 21 & 22, 2012



Martin Herman, Conductor

The power of pop combined with the beauty of symphonic orchestration brings an incredible concert experience to Paul McCartney and Beatles fans of all ages. Conductor Martin Herman leads the Orchestra as vocalist Tony Kishman and company recreate McCartney’s most popular songs, including Silly Love Songs, Live and Let Die, Maybe I’m Amazed and the best of the Fab Four!

February 17, 18 & 19, 2012


Steven Reineke, Conductor

The music director of the New York Pops conducts a concert of diva showstoppers from Broadway, opera and popular music. Highlighted by selections from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Wicked, this program also includes favorites from Gypsy, Ragtime, Titanic and more!

March 16, 17 & 18, 2012


Ron Spigelman, Conductor

Since its premiere, this showstopper has been a huge hit nationwide. With a cast of Irish step dancers, vocalists and Irish instrumentalists, this show features music from the movie Braveheart, plus Broadway standards from Brigadoon, Finian’s Rainbow and more!

April 20, 21 & 22, 2012


Andrés Franco, Conductor

Ever since they performed Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah on Oprah, the Canadian Tenors have been taking the U.S. by storm! Back by popular demand after their sold-out, one-night-only Christmas concert with the FWSO, the Canadian Tenors will hypnotize Pops subscribers with their magical voices and mesmerizing harmonies.


All concerts take place at Bass Performance Hall at the time specified below.

Available now exclusively to subscribers; on sale to the general public in August

For tickets, or 817-665-6000

Monday, December 5, 2011, 7:30 p.m.


David Thye, Conductor

Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale

Few works are so powerful that audiences never tire of hearing them performed. Handel’s Messiah is such a work. The FWSO’s annual presentation of this masterpiece in Bass Performance Hall has become a sacred Fort Worth holiday offering and has been regarded as one of the finest performances in the region. Whether one enjoys Messiah for its spiritual message or simply for its musical beauty, this work is a moving experience that elevates and enriches the soul.

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, 7:30 p.m.


The Sound of Music captured the hearts of millions when the movie premiered. Today the Von Trapp Family Singers, the actual great grandchildren of Maria and Captain von Trapp, continue the legacy. This one night only Christmas Concert is for the entire family and features traditional American and Austrian songs of the season and cherished family stories of the von Trapp family. The perfect way to let music fill your holiday!

Saturday, December 31, 2011, 8 p.m.


With the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Jeff Tyzik, Conductor

Carmen Bradford, Vocalist

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing! That’s the theme of this New Year’s Eve with the FWSO. Join us as we say goodbye to the old year and hello to 2012, in a concert filled with memorable swingin’ standards by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and more. Featuring guest conductor Jeff Tyzik and vocalist Carmen Bradford, this concert will put you “In the Mood,” with time left after the concert to dine and dance the night away!

Saturday, January 28, 2012, 8 p.m.


With the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

As a 13-year-old girl from Garland, Texas, LeAnn Rimes wowed the nation with her hit single Blue and earned comparisons to the great Patsy Cline. She went on to sell 37 million albums, her rich and powerful voice appealing to both country and pop fans everywhere. Now Rimes brings that stunning voice to the symphony stage for one night only.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7 p.m.


Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Conductor

Under the baton of Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya, our annual Gala event brings some of the grandest symphonic music ever written! Experience music on a monumental scale with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, “Choral,” performed by the FWSO and full chorus and soloists. This one-night-only spectacle is sure to sell out, so order your tickets early.