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DSO’s New Season: 3 World Premieres, 5 Dallas Premieres And A Tribute To Selena 34

Last September, the Dallas Symphony was the first American orchestra to return to live concerts – with COVID precautions, including a smaller ensemble onstage. Now it’s announced its next season – still with precautions but also three world premieres and an emphasis on music by people of color.

Composer-violinist Jessie Montgomery

One of those world premieres is by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize. It’s dedicated to the memory of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Another world premiere is by the young Black composer Jessie Montgomery, a frequent collaborator with the DSO. And for the third, the orchestra commissioned a new work from Dallas-based composer Xi Wang.

The DSO’s Pop Series will open with a tribute to the Tejano legend Selena, and music director Fabio Luisi will perform an opera in concert, which will be a centerpiece for him each season. This time, the opera will be Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

And the third annual Women in Classical Music Symposium will honor famed opera soprano Renée Fleming, while violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will be the special guest at the DSO Gala on September 25.


The full release:


Second Season of Fabio Luisi’s Tenure as Music Director

Twenty-first Season of Texas Instruments Sponsorship of Classical Series

Luisi Leads His First Dallas Symphony Gala, Guest Artist Anne-Sophie Mutter Performs John Williams’s New Work Composed for Her– September 25, 2021

Return of Opera in Concert – Eugene Onegin

Three World Premieres and Five Dallas Premieres of Major Works

World Premiere of Work Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Announcement of DSO Pops Series, Presented by Capital One

Former Music Director Andrew Litton at the Meyerson to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Litton’s DSO Debut

Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New Returns for Three Weeks in Her Third Season

Much-Awaited Return of the Dallas Symphony Chorus

Dallas Symphony Principal Musicians Starring in Concerto Roles

Third Annual Women in Classical Music Symposium November 7-10, 2021

Jazz at Symphony Center Returns for Second Season

Holidays at the Meyerson

Performances for the Entire Family including Movies-in-Concert, Coco and Toy Story, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Dallas Symphony Presents series including Ben Folds, Erich Bergen, Cantus and the annual Día de los Muertos Concert

Next Stage Digital Concert Series Continues

DALLAS, TX (April 1, 2021) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced programming and artists for the 2021/22 Texas Instruments Classical Series; the Pops Series, Presented by Capital One; Movies-in-Concert; Family Concerts, Presented by Hunt Consolidated, Inc., and further innovative programming and initiatives.

“We are thrilled to share a full season of music with our patrons and community,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “We persevered through the 2020/21 season with incredible creativity and innovation, by performing weekly with 40-person orchestras on stage and small audiences and bringing the extraordinary musicianship of our musicians to new audiences worldwide through our ‘Next Stage’ streams. The health and safety of our patrons and musicians remains of utmost important, and we have shown that as circumstances change, the DSO adapts its concerts to continue to deliver incredible performances in new ways. That will continue as we move into 2021/22, and we look forward to returning to the stage with a full complement of musicians and larger, full orchestral works. We were proud to make national headlines by being the first major American orchestra to return to the concert hall to play for live audiences last September. We thank our audiences and donors who supported us during the past year and put their trust in our ability to make music in creative ways.”

In his inaugural season as Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Director, GRAMMY®-winning conductor Fabio Luisi has already “been making his mark as music director of the Dallas Symphony. His performances have explored both ends of the dynamic range, while drawing out elegance, suavity and transparency” (Dallas Morning News). Now Luisi looks forward to embarking on the second season of his tenure, when the Texas Instruments Classical Series will feature three world premieres and the Dallas premieres of five major new works. Luisi and the orchestra will continue their exploration of American music, now with an increased focus on music by people of color.

“I am committed to the exploration of American music. We began that journey when I first arrived, and we will dig deeper in this season,” said Luisi. “I want to look at the full range of American music and those voices that we know, and those that have been perhaps forgotten. The history of America is very rich, and the more I learn, the more I discover new music from many times. I would like the audience, my orchestra and our community to learn more as well and to see how important these voices are to today’s musical life.”

The 2021/22 season opens with two American works – Copland’s Organ Symphony and Frederick Converse’s The Mystic Trumpeter. Bradley Hunter Welch will solo on Copland’s work, and DSO audiences will receive their first introduction to the music of Frederick Converse, the first American composer to have his music performed at The Metropolitan Opera.

Luisi will also lead the Dallas premiere of The Brightness of Light by Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts. Set to texts from the correspondence between Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, this multimedia presentation will feature renowned American soprano Renée Fleming and baritone Rod Gilfry as soloists, as well as projections above the stage created by Wendall K. Harrington, including images of O’Keeffe and texts from the letters.

To close the season, Luisi has paired the Dallas premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This Kiss to the Whole World!) with performances of Beethoven’s incomparable Ninth Symphony.

Other American works featured over the course of 2021/22 include William Grant Still’s Poem (February 17-19, 2022) previously performed by the DSO under Luisi in his debut concert as Music Director Designate, and Adolphus Hailstork’s Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed, a remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. to be performed just prior to the Monday holiday celebrating his life and work (January 13 & 14, 2022).

The DSO will give the world-premiere performance of two works by American composers during the 2021/22 season. Dedicated to the memory of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first is by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and will feature mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and pianist Jeffrey Biegel as soloists (October 7, 2021). A new work by American composer, violinist and educator Jessie Montgomery will premiere on May 27, 2022. A winner of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Montgomery has been a frequent collaborator with the DSO, from performances of her works to her involvement in the two Women in Classical Music Symposia.

On March 17, 2022, the DSO will give the Dallas premiere of Frontispiece by South Korean composer Unsuk Chin, whose honors include the Grawemeyer Award. Chinese-born and Dallas-based composer Xi Wang has been commissioned by the DSO for a new work, a concerto for violin and trumpet for Karen Gomyo and Tine Thing Helseth that will receive its world premiere in April 2022, conducted by Fabio Luisi.

“The DSO is committed to supporting new music and commissioning works to enrich the orchestral repertoire, challenge audiences and our musicians, and support the work that is being done by diverse voices,” said Noltemy. “This season continues our pledge to commission twenty new works in ten years, half of them by women.”

DSO Composer-in-Residence Angélica Negrón will return for her second season. Negrón will curate a chamber music concert on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, as part of the Women in Classical Music Symposium. She will also take part in the DSO’s education and outreach activities, including work with local schools and young composers.

The 2021/22 season will include a full performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in a semi-staged production. Etienne Dupuis, baritone, and Nicole Car, soprano, will make their DSO debuts as the title character and his never-to-be lover. Opera-in-concert will be a centerpiece for all of Luisi’s seasons as Music Director; when he conducted Richard Strauss’s Salome in February 2020, “The Dallas Symphony Orchestra played magnificently under Luisi’s experienced hands. … The power and presence of the orchestra and the excellence of the singers kept this listener riveted from beginning to end” (Classical Voice North America).

“As an orchestra musician, it is important to know the works of Brahms and Mahler, but it is just as important to know the works of composers who didn’t write as frequently for the orchestra, such as Verdi or Wagner,” said Luisi. “Opera-in-concert is a benefit not only for our musicians, but also for our audiences. It focuses on the music with few stage distractions and lets the music stand on its own. It gives a new perspective to these works.”

2021 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala – September 25, 2021 with Special Guest Artist Anne-Sophie Mutter
Fabio Luisi will lead his first DSO Gala on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at the Meyerson. Luisi and the DSO will welcome four-time GRAMMY® winner Anne-Sophie Mutter, who will perform the Dallas premiere of John Williams’s Violin Concerto No. 2. This piece was written specifically for Ms. Mutter and is the second work he has composed for her. The DSO will also perform Richard Strauss’s thrilling Don Juan.

Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld will chair the event with Mary and Rich Templeton as Gala Honorary Chairs. Proceeds from the event will benefit the DSO’s education initiatives, most notably the Young Strings and Young Musicians programs.

“We are thrilled to chair the gala and raise funds to support the DSO’s education and outreach programs, particularly Young Strings and Young Musicians. These programs help children discover the joy of expressing themselves through music, as well as teaching them about personal responsibility and teamwork,” said Smith.

“During the pandemic, the DSO ensured the students continued to receive music lessons, even in a virtual environment. We applaud these efforts and encourage others to join us in providing the DSO with the resources to continue and grow these programs. The DSO has stood with our community, so let’s stand with them,”said von Wupperfeld.

Capital One is returning for the sixth year as Gala Concert Sponsor.

Full-evening Gala tickets start at $1,250 each and include the pre-concert reception, dinner, premium concert hall seating and the After-Party. For information about full Gala tickets, table purchases and Gala sponsorships, call Tab Boyles at 214.871.4045 or email at

Guest Artists, Debuts and Notable Returns
Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New (Dolores G. & Lawrence S. Barzune, M.D. Chair) will return to the Dallas Symphony for her third season. New will lead the DSO in four concert programs this season, including the popular New Year’s Eve concert. In November, she will conduct a program featuring Debussy’s Printemps and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.” New will return in May 2022 for two weeks of performances. May 19-22, 2022, she will lead the first DSO performance of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Musica Celestis and will be joined by Alexander Gavrylyuk in Rachmaninoff’s popular Piano Concerto No. 2. Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet will round out the program. In concerts on May 27-29, 2022, New will premiere the new work by Jessie Montgomery – a co-commission by six US orchestras as part of the New Music USA “Amplifying Voices” Initiative – as well as leading the DSO in Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (arranged by Ravel) and Percy Grainger’s “Pastoral” from In a Nutshell.

During the season, twenty-one artists will make their Dallas Symphony debuts. Notable first appearances include Angel Blue (soprano), Kevin John Edusei (conductor), Alexander Gavrylyuk (piano), Tine Thing Helseth (trumpet), Soloman Howard (bass-baritone), Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano), Bernard Labadie (conductor), Benedetto Lupo (piano), Taylor Raven (mezzo-soprano), Issachah Savage (tenor) and Elena Urioste (violin). Many of the world’s top performers will return to the Meyerson stage including James Ehnes (violin), Kirill Gerstein (piano), Karen Gomyo (violin), Leonidas Kavakos (conductor), Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Daniil Trifonov (piano) and Joyce Yang (piano).

Former Music Director Andrew Litton returns to the Meyerson for the first time since 2013 with his frequent collaborator Stephen Hough. Litton, Hough and the Dallas Symphony recorded the complete Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos for the Hyperion label during Litton’s tenure, a recording that won a coveted Gramophone Award in 2005. Hough will be the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and Litton will also lead the DSO in Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. This appearance marks the 30th anniversary of Litton’s debut with the DSO prior to his tenure as Music Director.

Dallas Symphony Principal Musicians will take center stage in concerto performances during the season. Principal Flute David Buck (Joy & Ronald Mankoff Chair) will perform Joan Tower’s Flute Concerto on September 23 & 26, 2021, the first time the DSO will have performed this work. Co-Concertmaster Nathan Olson (Fanchon & Howard Hallam Chair) will appear in Bartók’s First Violin Concerto on November 18-21, 2021. Concertmaster Alexander Kerr (Michael L. Rosenberg Chair) and Principal Viola Meredith Kufchak (Hortense & Lawrence S. Pollock Chair) will share the spotlight in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola on April 28-May 1, 2022. In addition to his solo role in Copland’s Organ Symphony, Resident Organist Bradley Hunter Welch (Lay Family Chair) will perform a solo recital as part of the Lay Family Organ Concert Series, featuring Duruflé’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony Chorus, on February 20, 2022.

The Dallas Symphony Chorus and Director Joshua Habermann (Jean D. Wilson Chair) will return to the Meyerson in performances with the DSO. The Chorus will rejoin the DSO in Mozart’s Requiem on November 4 and 6, 2021, and will have a prominent role during the holiday season as part of Dallas Symphony’s Christmas Pops (December 4-12, 2021). They will join the DSO as part of Eugene Onegin (April 3-5, 2022), and again at the end of the season for Beethoven’s popular Symphony No. 9 (May 12-15, 2022).

“On the topic of symphony orchestra programming, each season should really feel different from the last, and should feel like an invitation to embark on a new and exciting journey of exploration,” said Peter Czornyj, the DSO’s Wildenthal Families Vice President of Artistic Operations. “Concert programs are always the result of many hours of collaborative and creative discussions – and many happy surprises. It is a special joy to program the DSO’s concerts with Fabio Luisi, and to be sharing his curiosity and enthusiasm for the highways and the byways of every exciting musical journey.”

Pops Series, Presented by Capital One
In recognition of Capital One’s extraordinary support for community programming and the visionary leadership of Sanjiv Yajnik, Chairman of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors and President of Financial Services at Capital One, the Dallas Symphony proudly introduces the Pops Series Presented by Capital One.

“We are thankful for the work of Sanjiv and his colleagues at Capital One,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “Their steadfast support of our strategic plan and engagement with the community is planting the seeds for audiences and patrons of the future as well as enriching and changing lives today.”

Capital One’s broad support of the DSO comes through the Capital One Impact Initiative, a commitment to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity. For more than six years, Capital One has partnered with the DSO to invest in critical programs including the Young Strings and Young Musicians programs, providing students with in-depth financial literacy training, networking and other job readiness skills to get them ready for the future workforce. Graduates of Young Strings have gone on to some of the nation’s top conservatories, while others have embarked on careers in arts administration, engineering and finance, bringing the fundamental skills and strategies of musical learning with them.

The DSO’s partnership with Capital One was furthered by Yajnik’s involvement. With a strong passion for music and a core belief in its ability to change lives, Yajnik, the President of Financial Services at Capital One, joined the DSA Executive Board in 2015 and was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors in 2017. Yajnik’s leadership recruited Kim Noltemy to the Dallas Symphony in January 2018 and Fabio Luisi as Music Director in June 2018, but one of his most memorable highlights was when he guest conducted the inaugural C-Suite performance and benefit event in December 2019.

“The partnership of Capital One and the vision of Sanjiv are a shining example of the true collaboration of business and the arts,” said Noltemy. “We are thankful for their years of support, and we hope it inspires more corporations to share in the success of the DSO.”

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik (Dot and Paul Mason Podium) will return to the DSO for his ninth season. This year’s programming spans genres from Tejano to jazz to patriotic music.

The Pops Series opens with a tribute to Tejano legend Selena Quintanilla. Isabel Marie Sanchez will join the DSO for hits such as “Dreaming of You,” “Como la Flor” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.” Trumpeter Chris Botti and his band will return on October 8-10, 2021.

On Veterans’ Day Weekend, Tyzik will lead the United States Naval Academy Men’s & Women’s Glee Clubs and Members of the United States Naval Academy Pipes & Drum Band. This patriotic program will honor those who have served.

The holidays will ring in with Dallas’s beloved tradition, Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops. The show will feature two of the DSO’s fan favorite soloists – Reginald Smith, Jr. and Ava Pine. Guest Conductor Lawrence Loh will return for two weekends of holiday cheer.

Popular song will be center stage with Revolution: The Music of The Beatles on the weekend of January 28, 2022, and Renée Elise Goldsberry, best known for her role as Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton, will make her DSO debut the weekend of March 11-13, 2022.

Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins and pianist Joyce Yang will perform a program of American music from the twentieth century on April 22-24, 2022. The program will open with Florence Price’s Dances in the Canebrakes, and Yang will then solo in Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. The concert will continue with Ulysses Kay’s Overture to Theatre Set and close with music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

As part of the DSO’s Movies-in-Concert presentations, the DSO continues the Star Wars series with The Return of the Jedi. John Williams’s music will be played live and will underpin the drama of the final film of the first trilogy.

Jeff Tyzik will conclude the 2021/22 Pops Series Presented by Capital One with The Paul Simon Songbook on June 17-19, 2022. The singable, unforgettable tunes of one of America’s musical legends will ring throughout the Meyerson.

Jazz at Symphony Center Returns for Second Season
In the 2019/20 season, the DSO partnered with The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) for a Dallas-flavored jazz series that showcases Dallas-based and national artists. Jazz at Symphony Center will return in 2021/22 with a unique line up of artists curated by TBAAL Founder and President Curtis King. This season’s artists will be announced this fall.

“The DSO and TBAAL have worked together for years, but under Kim’s leadership, the relationship has strengthened to the mutual benefit of both of our institutions,” said King. “I’m delighted to bring a new group of Dallas-based and national artists to the Meyerson and share this great music with the city.”

Family-Friendly Concerts for All of Dallas
For over 120 years, the Dallas Symphony has entertained and inspired families throughout Dallas. The DSO is grateful to the men and women of Hunt Consolidated, Inc. for their continued support of the Family Series. This season, the music will come alive at the first Family program of the year with the Dallas premiere of Philharmonia Fantastique by GRAMMY®-winning composer Mason Bates. This 30-minute animated film flies through the instruments of the orchestra to explore the age-old connection of creativity and technology. Guided by a magical Sprite, audiences will see violin strings vibrate, brass valves slice air and drum heads resonate. Imaginatively blending traditional and modern animation styles, it is a kinetic and cutting-edge guide to the orchestra. By the film’s end, the orchestra must overcome its tribal differences to demonstrate “unity from diversity” in a spectacular finale.

Later in October, the Dallas Symphony will present its annual tradition, the Día de los Muertos concert. Building on a partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in Dallas, the DSO will perform music of Mexican composers and Latin-themed compositions to celebrate the rich history of Mexico and its Day of the Dead memorial. As part of the celebration, the Consulate General will present an altar in the Meyerson’s Linda & Mitch Hart Lobby to honor loved ones who have been lost during this past year.

Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops will include a family-sized version of its program. The 60-minute version with no intermission will allow families to create their own holiday traditions, including a visit from Santa in the lobby.

The final Family program of the year will welcome Presto Mambo from Canada’s Platypus Theatre. A concert about the music of the Americas takes an unexpected turn when Max – an energetic but impulsive young boy – makes his way onto the stage to “help” the orchestra. Soon Max is on a whirlwind adventure that takes him from the concert hall to the vibrant lands of Latin American culture where – with the help of his new friend, Mambo the dog, the orchestra and the audience – Max learns the magic of Latin rhythms and how to “dance” with the music.

Movies-in-Concert continue to be one of the most popular offerings at the DSO. The 2021/22 concert season will offer two Disney favorites for the whole family. The season will begin with Coco, Movie-in-Concert on September 3-5, 2021. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi will be presented on May 6-8, 2022. Bookending the season will be Pixar’s first film, Toy Story, with live music on June 24-26, 2022.

The Dallas Symphony Presents series will bring stellar musicians to Dallas to perform both with and without the accompaniment of the DSO. During the season, actor/singer Erich Bergen will bring the stylings of Hollywood to the Meyerson. Pianist and singer Ben Folds will return to perform his orchestra show with the DSO October 22-24, 2021. This is Ben Folds’s first visit to the DSO since 2011.

Holidays At The Meyerson
There’s nothing quite like the holidays with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The DSO sprinkles in a bit of Christmas magic with Santa in the lobby, pre-concert activities and gorgeous holiday decorations to create your best holiday selfie. The cornerstone of the holidays is the beloved Christmas Pops. This season, two audience favorites – Reginald Smith, Jr. and Ava Pine – will return as soloists to help ring in the festive season. The Dallas Symphony Chorus and Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas will join again to fill the hall with the beautiful carols and sing-alongs.

Lauded vocal group Cantus will perform a special Christmas-themed program on December 6, 2021. Count Basie’s Legendary Orchestra will visit the Meyerson on December 21, 2021, for A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas. The brass and percussion of the DSO will present their annual Big Brassy Christmas & Organ Extravaganza on December 14, 2021. Patrons can waltz into 2022 with our annual New Year’s Eve celebration, conducted by Gemma New.

Women in Classical Music Symposium – Third Annual Event Will Honor Renée Fleming
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will host its third annual Women in Classical Music Symposium from November 7-10, 2021. Attendees will enjoy four days of meetings, panels and events, with industry leaders and up-and-coming arts professionals assembled to discuss an array of topics related to wellness, equity, motherhood and career journeys in the field. Each year the Symposium honors one woman who has led the way in classical music. The 2021 honoree will be American soprano Renée Fleming. During the Symposium, Fleming will lead her nationally acclaimed “Music and the Mind” presentation.

The 2021 Women in Classical Music Symposium is Presented by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Next Stage Digital Concert Series, Presented by PNC Continues
Next Stage, the DSO’s new digital concert series, will continue to expand in this upcoming season. Full-length concerts will be recorded and released for individual sale as well as for access through a $125 digital pass. Behind the scenes programs, small chamber performances and conversations with guest artists will be available as well at

“Though the core of our mission is the performance for a live audience, we have reached new patrons and viewers around the world during this past season,” said Noltemy. “We want to continue that relationship and provide access to the Meyerson in a virtual way.”

Subscription packages begin at $165 and go on sale Thursday, April 15, 2021. Patrons may purchase or renew their packages at