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DSO’s Next Season: New Festival, New Organ Series, New Start Time, New Artist-in-Residence

by Jerome Weeks 16 Feb 2014 8:00 PM

The DSO may have turned a corner. After several seasons of caution and cutbacks, the orchestra just announced a season that increases the number of performances, launches a new festival, brings back an organ recital series – and actually gets into some more adventurous programming.


Haley hornsThe Meyerson Symphony Center will turn 25 this year, and the Dallas Symphony will be celebrating. KERA’s Jerome Weeks says after several years of cutbacks and caution, good financial news has the DSO making more ambitious plans for its new season, including launching an annual festival in the Arts District.

  • KERA radio story:

The three-week music and arts festival is called Soluna. The name combines the Latin words for sun and moon, indicating the kind of round-the-clock activity the festival hopes to offer next May in the Arts District (the festival calendar at the moment is a bare framework of the DSO’s concerts — the other participants and a fuller calendar will be announced in early April). In addition, for its 2014-2015 season, the Dallas Symphony will inaugurate a new recital series for the acclaimed Lay Family concert organ in the Meyerson. The orchestra will also expand its new ReMix series, the one that has the DSO performing more adventurous, more chamber-music-style concerts in the City Performance Hall.

DSO president Jonathan Martin says all this is possible because the orchestra’s audience and revenue numbers are looking up. “We reversed a long-term trend starting this past year,” he says. “If we can continue to build our audience, and if we can continue to build the funding, it does make economic sense to expand [the number of concert weekends]. So it’s not just for artistic reasons, it’s part of our business plan. And also, the reality is we’re in a better economy than we were three years ago.”

The orchestra’s performance numbers will be back, more or less, to where they were in 2009. But the new season is not simply more of the same. Occasionally, the music choices will be newer, more challenging, with an American premiere and several Dallas premieres, including a piano concerto by the young Dallas composer Chase Dobson. And there’ll be such works as Bela Bartok’s one-act opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, performed in concert, as well as Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 (Kaddish) and an evening of European composers who were in ‘Hollywood exile,’ creating film scores during the ’30s and ’40s.

jonathancropThe DSO has also appointed what may be its first artist-in-residence, ever (the previous appointments were composers-in-residence, and the last one of those was Lowell Lieberman in 2002). This season’s appointee is Conrad Tao, fresh off of his commissioned, JFK memorial, The World Is Very Different Now, which the DSO premiered last November. Tao will perform at the Meyerson as well as as in the ReMix series and will collaborate “with DSO musicians in chamber music and an active involvement in the educational life of the Dallas community.”

As if to mark this fresh direction, the DSO will now start all of its Meyerson evening performances at 7:30 p.m.

And then there’s the celebrations for the Meyerson’s 25th anniversary. These, Martin says, won’t be just a look back. He hopes to have a “conversation” about the future of the I. M Pei-designed building: “I want it to be a call to arms. You know, when this hall was built, there was no internet. There were no provisions for digital media. So we’ve now got a building that’s a generation old and we need to make the investment in this building to keep it one of the best concert halls in America.”

In addition to a high-tech upgrade, Martin says he’s looking at ways the Meyerson can link up more with the crowds coming to Klyde Warren Park.

The full release and calendar follow:

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces 2014-2015 Season

  • Expanded Texas Instruments Classical Series is Jaap van Zweden’s seventh season as Music Director
  • ReMix Expands to Three Weekends
  • Dallas Symphony 2014/15 Season includes the inaugural Soluna: International Music and Arts Festival,  Three-Week Annual Festival to Conclude the Season
  • 2014/15 Season Marks the 25th Anniversary of the Opening of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Home of the DSO
  •  Conrad Tao Named Artist-In-Residence
  • New Opus 100 – The Lay Family Concert Organ Recital Series Welcomes Three Outstanding Organ Soloists
  • New 7:30PM Start Time for All Evening Performances
  • Pops Season Showcases Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik in Three Signature Shows; Programs also include Disney and Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • DSO on the GO Returns for Its Third Season

Highlights of the Texas Instruments Classical Series:

  • Van Zweden opens the season with Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, continuing the DSO’s journey through Mahler’s symphonic works.
  • Popular pieces to be performed include Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
  • This season features the US premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Triple Concerto, a DSO co-commission with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra and Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich; the Dallas premieres of Christopher Rouse’s Iscariot and Mason Bates’ Liquid Interface, and the DSO premiere of Piano Concerto No. 1 from young Dallas composer Chase Dobson.
  • The Dallas Symphony Chorus joins the Orchestra in choral masterpieces: Mozart’s Requiem, Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, and Fauré’s Requiem.
  • Renowned guest soloists including Hilary Hahn, Stephen Hough, Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, Alisa Weilerstein, Gil Shaham, Conrad Tao and Yefim Bronfman will perform with the Orchestra.
  • DSO welcomes debut performances by pianists Daniil Trifonov and Lucille Chung and ensemble Trio Jean Paul.
  • American conductors Case Scaglione and Joshua Weilerstein, both Assistant Conductors with the New York Philharmonic, make their DSO debuts.
  • DSO principal players take center stage when David Cooper performs Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, and Alexander Kerr solos on Barber’s Violin Concerto.

“For the upcoming season, I have selected music I know you will enjoy – pieces that can be as familiar as old friends and also pieces that may be a bit less familiar,” said Music Director van Zweden. “I am particularly looking forward to bringing two of my favorite symphonies by Mahler, the Symphony No. 9 and the Symphony No. 3, back to Dallas. This will be an incredible way to showcase our orchestra. Also, the great one-act opera Bluebeard’s Castle is a personal favorite, rich in symbolism and psychological drama, and featuring the incredible singers Michelle DeYoung and Matthias Goerne. It will be an extraordinary journey we will take next year, and I hope you will come along.”

The 2014/15 Texas Instruments Classical Series will expand to 18 weeks and include 60 classical music performances. Music Director Jaap van Zweden will conduct 12 of those weekends. Joshua Habermann will return for his fourth season as Director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus. With the addition of the three ReMix concerts, the number of weeks of classical performances is 21.

“We’re thrilled to expand our classical offerings next season,” said Dallas Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Jonathan Martin. “The 18 weeks of the TI Classical Series along with the addition of another performance weekend for ReMix means even more choices for the experiences and enjoyment of classical music by the Dallas Symphony.

“With the 2014/15 season, Maestro van Zweden has struck an excellent balance of repertoire that will be both appealing and stimulating. Our guest artists are absolute stars, and they will also present our patrons with a mix of beloved favorites and lesser-known works sure to thrill.”

Subscriptions for the 2014/15 season go on sale to the general public on February 17, 2014. Subscribers to the full classical season of 16 concerts receive free parking for the year ($160 value). Classical packages for 16 concerts start at $239. Single tickets will go on sale in late Summer. For more information and to purchase subscriptions, please call 214.692.0203 or visit

ReMix Expanded to Three Weekends

ReMix, the innovative new series debuted in the 2013/14 season, returns with an additional program week. The DSO will continue to feature exciting concerts in the relaxed and modern setting of the Dallas City Performance Hall, the newest addition to the Dallas Arts District.
ReMix concerts will be presented on October 17 & 18, 2014, and January 16 & 17, 2015. The series will feature guest artists and curators including Conrad Tao. Newly appointed Assistant Conductor Karina Canellakis makes her ReMix debut in the Hollywood Exile concerts during the Soluna Festival on May 8 & 9, 2015.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Presents Soluna: International Music and Arts Festival, A Three-Week Festival

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces the creation of an annual international music and arts festival in the Dallas Arts District (DAD) beginning in the spring of 2015. Anchored by DSO performances led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the three-week Soluna: International Music and Arts Festival will showcase internationally acclaimed guest soloists, artists and ensembles in visual and performing arts along with the leading companies and ensembles based in the Dallas Arts District. The inaugural festival will run May 7-24, 2015.

This year’s theme is Destination: America in honor of the artists who came to America to create amidst its overwhelming freedom and inspired by a quintessentially optimistic view that is central to the American experience.

DSO concerts during Soluna include:

  • ReMix: Hollywood Exile The DSO spotlights emigré composers who made their home in Los Angeles and left their mark on both classical and film music.
  • A concert featuring two works by beloved American composer Leonard Bernstein, Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, and Serenade, a unique violin concerto inspired by Plato’s Symposium.
  •  Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 concludes the Festival and the season. A powerful force for augmented orchestra, children’s chorus and female chorus, it’s one of the largest pieces in the repertoire. Mahler made his way to the United States in 1908 taking up a post at the Metropolitan Opera and then as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, escaping a tormented life in Vienna.

The Bernstein concert and the performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 are part of the 2014/15 Texas Instruments Classical Series

2014/15 Season Marks the 25th Anniversary of the Opening of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Home of the DSO

On September 6, 1989, the Dallas Symphony performed its first concert at the newly-opened Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center under the direction of Music Director Eduardo Mata. The brand new I.M. Pei-designed building would be the home of the Dallas Symphony and become synonymous with orchestral music in Dallas.

The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, an architectural gem for the City of Dallas, a bedrock for the Dallas Arts District and recognized nationally as a top concert hall, will have a silver anniversary in September when it turns 25 years old. The Dallas Symphony will join with the Office of Cultural Affairs and others for a week-long celebration to include an open house, architectural discussion and various performances culminating on September 13 with the 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala.

Conrad Tao Named Artist-In-Residence for the Season

Acclaimed pianist, composer and violinist Conrad Tao joins the Dallas Symphony as Artist-in-Residence in the 2014/15 season. At the age of nineteen, Tao has been hailed as one of the most versatile and gifted musicians of his generation.

In addition to January 2015 performances of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Tao’s activities as Artist-in-Residence will also include participation in the DSO’s exciting new series, ReMix, at the Dallas City Performance Hall, collaborating with DSO musicians in chamber music and an active involvement in the educational life of the Dallas community.

During the 2013/14 season, Tao was commissioned by the DSO to compose an orchestral work for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Concert. Premiered in November 2013, The World Is Very Different Now, became a multimedia experience with a film specially commissioned to accompany the orchestra work. “Mr. Tao knows his way around a large orchestra … as well as many an elder master,” wrote the The New York Times about the piece.

Launch of Opus 100 – a new recital series featuring the Lay Family Concert Organ and spectacular soloists

The Lay Family Concert Organ has been called “a revolutionary instrument whose rich, massive tone completely changed thinking about concert-hall organs” by the Dallas Morning News. In Spring 2015, this world-class instrument, which is the Opus 100 organ by builder C.B. Fisk, will host international soloists for a series of recitals spotlighting its beauty and power.

  • Cameron Carpenter is the first soloist on January 17, 2015. The Los Angeles Times hailed, “He istechnically the most accomplished organist I have ever witnessed… And, most important of all, the most musical.”
  • Leo van Doeselaar presents a recital on April 25, 2015. The Dutch organist is a frequent guest at theConcertgebouw and won a Grammy® Award for his recording of Hindemith’s Kammermusik No. 7 on that instrument.
  • Described by The Chicago Tribune as “one of the most supremely gifted organists of his generation,” Grammy® Award-winner and chairman of the organ department at The Juilliard School Paul Jacobs comes to Dallas on June 6, 2015.

New 7:30pm Start Time for Evening Performances
In response to our subscribers, the DSO will now begin evening performances at 7:30pm.

Pops Season Showcases Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik in Three Signature Shows; Programs also include Disney and Rodgers & Hammerstein

Jeff Tyzik returns to the DSO for his second season as Principal Pops Conductor. The 2014/15 programs spotlight Tyzik’s signature style and promise entertaining evenings of diverse music. The Pops season also welcomes star guest artists and presents concerts combining music and film.

  •  The Pops season opens on September 5 with Tyzik’s Let’s Dance, a program of dance music through the ages, from waltzes of Vienna to the popular styles of Dirty Dancing.
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein ushered in a golden age of Broadway with unforgettable shows and songs. October 10-12, 2014, the DSO performs the beloved scores while spectacularly re-mastered scenes from movies including The King and I, Oklahoma!and South Pacific are projected on screen.
  • Called “two parts Frank Sinatra to one part Billy Joel” by The New York Times, crooner Tony DeSare joins the DSO and Tyzik on October 24 and 25, 2014.
  • Jeff Tyzik and his friends Byron Stripling, Wycliffe Gordon and Jeff Clayton celebrate the music and musicians who define America’s great art form in The Golden Age of Jazz on November 21-23, 2014.
  • Christmas Celebration, the Dallas Symphony’s beloved tradition, returns with an all-new concert featuring holiday favorites, Christmas classics, majestic choir music and a sing-along to familiar carols. Pops series performances are on December 5, 6 and 7, 2014.
  • Disney in Concert: Tale as Old as Time features scenes from the new golden age of Disney animation accompanied by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Music from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and more will be performed on February 20 and 21, 2015.
  • Ellis Hall, a true ambassador of soul and protégé of Ray Charles, brings the blazing spirit of Motown to the Meyerson on March 6-8, 2015. Selections include songs “Georgia on my Mind,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” and other Ray Charles and Motown hits.
  • One of New York’s biggest cabaret stars, Ann Hampton Callaway, brings fresh spirit and soulful grace to the biggest hits of the greatest name in show business, Barbra Streisand. Selections include “Evergreen,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “The Way We Were,” and many more. The DSO welcomes her May 1-3, 2015.
  • Beautiful vocals bring out the best and greatest of the Great White Way when Sylvia McNair and JeffTyzik partner for an evening of favorites in On Broadway!on May 29-31, 2015.

“We’re on stage because we have this great orchestra, and I want to find interesting ways to use the ensemble
and put them in the spotlight in every concert that I do,” said Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. “From
Broadway to jazz, Disney to dancing, torch songs to Motown, each pops program showcases incredible guests
and the stellar musicianship of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.”

This year the DSO is pleased to offer a new package, “Super Pops”, which includes nine Pops concerts as well as five Classical titles (Scheherazade, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Winter Dreams, Romeo and Juliet and Symphonie fantastique). Subscriptions to the Super Pops package start at $299 for 14 concerts, and subscribers to the Super Pops package receive free parking ($140 value). Single tickets will go on sale in late Summer. For more information and to purchase subscriptions, please call 214.692.0203 or visit

DSO on the GO Returns for Its Third Season

The Dallas Symphony continues to reach audiences outside the Meyerson in its popular series DSO on the GO. 2014/15 marks the third season of performances in neighborhoods and communities beyond the Downtown Dallas area. Cities and programs will be announced later in 2014.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is grateful for the generous support of these leading sponsors for the 2014-2015 season:

  • Texas Instruments is the title sponsor of the 2014-2015 Texas Instruments Classical Series.
  • AT&T is the title sponsor of the 2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T Gala.
  • Hunt Consolidated, Inc. and Macy’s Foundation present the Family Concert series.
  • The Ebby Halliday Companies and TACA are the presenting sponsors of the DSO on the GO series.
  • American Airlines is the official airline of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
  • Eiseman Jewels is the official jeweler of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
  • Saint Ann is the official hospitality sponsor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is the official hotel of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
  • Other leading sponsors include Bank of America, Bickel & Brewer Foundation, ExxonMobil, Texas Instruments Foundation and UMB Bank.
  • The Meyerson Symphony Center is operated by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs.