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Two Returns Highlight DSO’s New Season: The DSO Goes To Carnegie Hall And Jaap Returns To Dallas 38

For its 2020-2021 season, the Dallas Symphony will return to Carnegie Hall this October under music director Fabio Luisi — its first performance in the fabled concert hall since 2011. Meanwhile, former music director Jaap van Zweden, now the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, will return to lead the DSO on December 19th, as part of his 60th birthday celebration. After officially bidding farewell to the DSO in 2018, van Zweden returned last year in March.

And oh yes, Fabio Luisi will now officially, absolutely, no-doubt-about-it become the DSO’s music director, dropping the “designate” after his title. This season he’ll direct the symphony in eight programs, including the concert in New York. Other highlights of the year include the world premiere of DSO artist-in-residence Angélica Negrón’s En otra noche, en otro mundo (“On Another Night, In Another World”), along with twelve new commissions and premieres. In addition, the Second Annual Women in Classical Music Symphony will be held in November.

Fabio Luisi conducting at Juilliard.

The full season announcement:


In His Inaugural Season as Music Director, Fabio Luisi Leads the DSO in Seven Concert Programs during the Texas Instruments Classical Series
Including Verdi’s Otello and Requiem

Marking DSO’s First New York Appearance since 2011, Fabio Luisi Leads DSO at Carnegie Hall on October 12, 2020

2020 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala on September 12 Celebrates the First Season of Fabio Luisi

Recognizing 20 Years of Title Sponsorship of the Texas Instruments Classical Series

Jaap van Zweden Returns to the DSO as Part of his 60th Birthday Celebration

Artist-in-Residence Emanuel Ax

Composer-in-Residence Angélica Negrón

Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New Returns for Three Programs; Other Guest Conductors Include Marin Alsop, James Conlon, Joana Mallwitz, Nicholas McGegan and Juraj Valčuha

Twelve New Commissions and Premieres

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik Curates Varied and Diverse Pops Programs

Second Annual Women in Classical Music Symposium Scheduled for November 8-11, 2020
Hilary Hahn and Deborah Borda to Receive Recognition

Dallas Symphony Movies in Concert

Dallas Symphony Presents Concerts including National Youth Orchestra of the USA, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and Cantus

DALLAS, TX (March 6, 2020) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced programming and artists for the 2020/21 Texas Instruments Classical Series, the Dallas Symphony Pops Series, Movies in Concert, family concerts and further innovative programming.

This season, Fabio Luisi will assume the Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Directorship of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, conducting eight concert programs that reflect his vision for the orchestra and leading its first appearance in almost a decade at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

“There is so much momentum at the DSO,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Association. “From the incredible vision of Fabio Luisi to the work we are doing in the Dallas community, there is something special happening in Dallas, and we invite patrons near and far to experience the excitement for themselves.”

The Texas Instruments Classical Series will open on September 10, 2020, with music by Brahms, Copland and Unsuk Chin. To launch the inaugural season of his new tenure, Luisi will conduct the North American premiere of Chin’s Frontispiece for Orchestra, a work that was premiered last September with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. This is the first work that the DSO has performed by Chin. The concert continues with a performance of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with powerhouse pianist Yefim Bronfman as soloist. Reflecting the conductor’s focus on American music, Luisi will conclude the program with Copland’s Symphony No. 3.

The Dallas Symphony Chorus will join the DSO for performances of Verdi’s Requiem on October 29 and 31 and November 1, 2020. A leading proponent of his compatriot’s music, Luisi will conduct the intensely operatic Requiem with star soloists Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Jamie Barton (mezzo-soprano), Piero Pretti (tenor) and Wenwei Zhang (bass).

Opera-in-concert continues as a key component of Luisi’s tenure. Having performed Richard Strauss’s Salome during the 2019/20 season, the 2020/21 opera will be Verdi’s Otello, with soloists Fabio Sartori (Otello), Alessandra Marianelli (Desdemona) and George Gagnidze (Iago). Sartori comes to Dallas after singing Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the Vienna State Opera, Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera at the Teatro alla Scala and Arrigo in I vespri siciliani at the Salzburg Festival. Gagnidze has recently sung Iago at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Washington National Opera, and Rigoletto and Scarpia Schwanewilms, on a program that also includes the New York premiere of Frontispiece by Unsuk Chin.

Tickets for the performance will go on sale on Friday, April 3, 2020, at 11:00 AM Eastern time/10:00 AM Central time.

2020 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala Celebrates the First Season of Fabio Luisi

The 2020 DSO Gala on September 12, 2020, will mark the first Gala appearance by Music Director Fabio Luisi. To celebrate this momentous first, the DSO and its stellar musicians will take center stage as the Gala evening’s featured artists.

Luisi is celebrated throughout the world for his work in symphonic and operatic repertoire, and he received a GRAMMY® Award for his performances with The Metropolitan Opera. The 2020 DSO Gala will highlight the orchestral beauty and drama of the opera stage with beloved preludes, intermezzi and orchestral showpieces. This one-night-only event will be unmissable, filled with orchestral brilliance, sparkle, drama, intensity and passion.

“Luisi and the DSO are building an incredible musical partnership, and one can hear that special chemistry every time he takes the podium,” said Noltemy. “The 2020 Gala is the perfect way to celebrate the collaboration between the DSO and its new Music Director.”

Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld will chair the event with Mary and Rich Templeton as Gala Honorary Chairs. The chairs will lead the planning and fundraising for the DSO’s signature benefit event. This year’s Gala will kick off the celebration of 20 years of Texas Instruments’s support as the DSO’s Classical Series sponsor. Capital One will return as Gala Concert Sponsor, marking the fifth year that the company has supported at this level.

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 Concert and After-Party tickets, which do not include the pre-concert reception or dinner, will be available as a DSO subscription add-on starting March 23, 2020. Single tickets will go on sale this spring.

Celebrating 20 Years of Title Sponsorship of the Texas Instruments Classical Series

The 2020/21 Season will mark the 20 year anniversary of the Texas Instruments Classical Series. The series is the longest-running named series at the DSO and is the foundation of the mission of the organization.

Texas Instruments is a pioneer in Dallas, not only in its technological innovation, but also in its commitment to the community. The leadership of TI has allowed the DSO to reach larger and more diverse audiences in North Texas and contribute to the thriving arts and culture scene in Dallas. Since 1954, TI and the TI Foundation have contributed more than $14.2M to the DSO. TI employees and retirees have also provided invaluable leadership to the DSO. TI is a company that the City of Dallas is proud to have as a neighbor and one that makes the North Texas community stronger.

“Texas Instruments and the Texas Instruments Foundation have played a part in the Dallas Symphony’s success for decades. The founders of TI instilled a dedication to corporate responsibility and philanthropy that has defined generations of giving,” said Noltemy. “As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Texas Instruments Classical Series, we take a moment to thank Texas Instruments for their transformative commitment to the arts.”

Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New Returns for Three Programs

Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New (Dolores G. and Lawrence S. Barzune, M.D. Chair) will return to the Meyerson stage for three weekends of performances that will include some of the most beloved pieces in the orchestral repertoire. On September 24-26, 2020, she will present the DSO debut of the Gorchakov orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition along with Dallas-based composer Xi Wang’s Above Light: A Conversation with Toru Takemitsu and Ginastera’s Harp Concerto with DSO Principal Harp Emily Levin (Elsa von Seggern Chair) as soloist.

New will be in Dallas for a further two weeks of concerts in April 2021. In the first week (April 22-25, 2021), she will feature Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and introduce Dallas audiences to the music of New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn. Violinist Augustin Hadelich will also solo in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. New will lead Holst’s The Planets, complete with the ethereal voices of the women of the Dallas Symphony Chorus on April 29 and 30 and May 1, 2021. Principal Second Violin Angela Fuller Heyde (Barbara K. & Seymour R. Thum Chair) will be the soloist in the world premiere of Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

Dallas Symphony Firsts and Debuts

The Dallas Symphony has embarked on a plan to commission 20 new works in the next decade. Half of those compositions will be from women. The 2020/21 Season will include a number of premieres, Dallas Symphony first performances.

ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN En otra noche, en otro mundo (On Another Night, In Another World)
KAREEM ROUSTOM Violin Concerto No. 2

UNSUK CHIN Frontispiece
BRYCE DESSNER Trombone Concerto
MAGNUS LINDBERG Beethovens Konversationshefte


XI WANG Above Light: A Conversation with Toru Takemitsu

MASON BATES Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra

VERDI Otello (Complete)
SIBELIUS Evening in Spring, from Suite Op.117
JOHN ADAMS Century Rolls for piano and orchestra
LILBURN Aotearoa Overture

The DSO will welcome the following guest artists in their DSO debuts.

Anne Schwanewilms, soprano
Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor
Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano
Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano
Piero Pretti, tenor
Wenwei Zhang, bass
Alessandro Taverna, piano
Fabio Sartori, tenor
Alessandra Marianelli, soprano
George Gagnidze, baritone
Joana Mallwitz, conductor
Paul McCreesh, conductor


Dallas Symphony Orchestra Principal Musicians as Soloists

Four DSO principal musicians will take center stage for solo works with orchestra. Principal Harp Emily Levin (Elsa von Seggern Chair) will solo in Ginastera’s Harp Concerto (September 24-26, 2020). Concertmaster Alexander Kerr (Michael L. Rosenberg Chair) will perform Korngold’s Violin Concerto (February 26-28, 2021). Principal Second Violin Angela Fuller Heyde (Barbara K. & Seymour R. Thum Chair) will present the world premiere of Kareem Roustom’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (April 29, 30, May 1) and Principal Oboe Erin Hannigan (Nancy P. & John G. Penson Chair) will be the soloist in Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major (May 13, 14, 16, 2021).


Artist-in-Residence Emanuel Ax

Legendary pianist Emanuel Ax will join the DSO as Artist-in-Residence, performing during two concert weekends in the 2020/21 season. He will appear with Jaap van Zweden on December 19 and 20, 2020, to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Ax will return to the DSO April 15-17, 2021, with guest conductor David Robertson to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 and John Adams’s Century Rolls for piano and orchestra, a work that was written for Ax. In addition, Ax will perform in a chamber concert with DSO musicians and take part in the DSO’s education initiatives involving young audiences.


Composer-in-Residence Angélica Negrón

Puerto Rican-born composer Angélica Negrón will join the DSO as Composer-in-Residence beginning in the 2020/21 Season. The DSO has co-commissioned with the National Symphony Orchestra and will premiere her En otra noche, en otro mundo under the baton of Fabio Luisi in February 2021. This co-commissioned work has been made possible by a generous grant from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Other activities as Composer-in-Residence will include the curation of a chamber concert, student composer workshops and other initiatives in Dallas.

Negron’s music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting,” (Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring.” She has been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, Bang on a Can All-Stars, A Far Cry, MATA Festival, loadbang, The Playground Ensemble and the American Composers Orchestra, among others. Her music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, the Ecstatic Music Festival, EMPAC, Bang on a Can Marathon and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial, and her film scores have been heard numerous times at the Tribeca Film Festival. She has collaborated with artists including Sō Percussion, The Knights, Face the Music and NOVUS NY, among others and is a founding member of the electronic indie band Balún.


Second Annual Women in Classical Music Symposium Scheduled for November 8-11, 2020

“It seems no other orchestra in the country has a program of comparable scope and gender equity.” – KERA/North Texas Public Media

The inaugural conference on Women in Classical Music brought hundreds of participants together in Dallas for four days of panels, networking, performances and conversation. The second annual symposium November 8-11, 2020 will do the same.

This year, the DSO will honor two extraordinary women for their work in the field. Violinist Hilary Hahn will receive the Award of Excellence for decades of musical innovation and performance.  A three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist guided by artistic curiosity, Hahn matches expressive musicality and technical expertise with a diverse repertoire. She is a prolific recording artist and commissioner of new works with a barrier-breaking attitude toward classical music and a commitment to sharing her experiences with the global community. Hahn will select a recipient of a Career Advancement Award that will be presented at the conference.

Long-time orchestra executive and current President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic Deborah Borda will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout her career, Borda has extended the artistic, commercial and technological boundaries of American symphony orchestras.

Details and registration for the 2020 Women in Classical Music Symposium will open in early May. Information on the 2019 event is available at


Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik Programs Varied and Diverse Pops Programs

Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik (Dot & Paul Mason Podium) has curated a wide variety of programs that will appeal to all ages and showcase the wide-ranging talent of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The

Pops season will open with The Music of Selena, a crowd-pleasing journey through the songs of the legendary Tejano singer, performed by Isabel Marie Sanchez. Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara, known for her beautiful starring roles in The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific and The King and I, will make her debut at the Meyerson in October. Tyzik will lead the DSO in a tribute to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn with the program Lush Life. Soloist Denzal Sinclaire, recently seen with the DSO in his Nat King Cole tribute, will be the soloist. The music of Gershwin will fill the air in January with a tribute to the great American composer. The program will include favorites such as Rhapsody in Blue and American in Paris, with conductor Andrew Grams and soloist William Wolfram.

Soulful tunes and legendary vocals will be on the program for Queens of Soul, a look at the songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle and more. Rajaton, recently seen in their ABBA tribute, will return for The Music of Queen. The rhapsodic tunes of the legendary supergroup will be amplified with the complement of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Pops season will close with the music of the Bond movies. Tyzik has curated the best songs from the never-aging, always-suave special agent films.


Dallas Symphony Movies-in-Concert

Movies-in-concert have become a DSO audience favorite. In the 2020/21 Season, there will be four classic films to satisfy the film buff in all of us. The season will open with the 1995 classic Toy Story (music by Randy Newman). Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsTM ,scored by John Williams, will continue the beloved film series at the DSO in November 2020. In March, the DSO will present the final film in the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi. Audiences will enjoy a summer film at the Meyerson when the DSO presents E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in concert in June 2021.

Subscribers may purchase a movies-in-concert subscription to receive a discount, early access to the best seats, exchange privileges and more. These subscriptions begin at $220.


Dallas Symphony Presents Performances at the Meyerson Symphony Center

Throughout the season, the DSO will present artists and ensembles from around the world and in a variety of genres.

July 23, 2020 7:30PM BOBBY MCFERRIN

MIDORI violin

Program to include:
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring (Le sacre du printemps)


August 31, 2020 & September 1, 2020 7:30 PM BEN FOLDS WITH THE DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA


December 7, 2020 7:30PM CANTUS






Holidays at the Dallas Symphony

Christmas time at the Meyerson is always full of holiday cheer and music for everyone. From December 4-13, 2020, Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops returns to the Meyerson. With snowy sing-a-longs and Christmas décor galore, these concerts have become a holiday tradition. The Dallas Symphony Chorus and the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas (matinee performances only) will help ring in the season. Also, the DSO welcomes back conductor Lawrence Loh and soprano soloist Ava Pine for all pops performances and the annual Dallas Symphony Family Christmas Pops concert during the day on December 5 and 12, 2020. This family-centric event will feature holiday-themed lobby activities and an instrument petting zoo.

On December 15, 2020, the brass, percussion and the Lay Family Concert Organ will celebrate the holidays in the annual Big Brassy Christmas & Organ Extravaganza. This one-night-only concert will put a spotlight on the mighty brass sections, the agile percussion section and the incredible Lay Family Concert Organ. Lawrence Loh will conduct with Resident Organist Bradley Hunter Welch (Lay Family Chair) as organ soloist.

C-Suite Christmas will return for its second year on December 9, 2020. C-Suite Christmas features prominent business leaders from across North Texas in artistic roles with the DSO, from conductor to orchestra member. This annual corporate fundraising event supports DSO’s education and community engagement programs. To learn more about C-Suite Christmas and to get involved, contact Mr. Kelly Halaszyn, Director of Corporate and Institutional Giving, at .

The DSO will ring in 2021 with the annual New Year’s Eve concert on Thursday, December 31, 2020. Audience members will enjoy light classics and traditional Viennese waltzes and then dance the night away at the Meyerson ‘Til Midnight After-Party.


Lay Family Concert Organ Recital Series

Towering above the stage in the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, the Lay Family Concert Organ is one of the most impressive and lauded organs in the world. Each season the DSO welcomes three outstanding soloists who demonstrate the power and artistry of the instrument. Todd Wilson, head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at Severance Hall in Cleveland, brings his virtuoso talents to a solo performance on the Lay Family Concert Organ on October 11, 2020. American organist Cherry Rhodes will perform on November 22, 2020. She was the first American to win an international organ competition, and she is currently Adjunct Professor of Organ at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California and highly in demand for recitals and masterclasses. Resident Organist Bradley Hunter Welch will give his first solo recital in his new position on April 18, 2021. In addition to his duties with the Dallas Symphony, Welch serves as Artist-in-Residence as Christ Church (Anglican) in Plano, Texas, one of the largest Anglican churches in the United States.

Subscribers may purchase a three-concert Organ Pass for $49 with tickets for all three recitals.


Family Concerts, Presented By The Men And Women Of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.
Youth Concerts Featuring New Work by Mason Bates

For the young and young-at-heart alike, the DSO Family Concerts are one-hour long and designed to spark the imagination and introduce the thrill of live music to everyone. The Dallas Symphony will celebrate the culture of Mexico on Saturday, October 31, 2020, with a vibrant Día de los Muertos concert. The Dallas Symphony Family Christmas Pops will return on December 5, 2020, and December 12, 2020. This special one-hour long family friendly performance of our popular Christmas Pops concert will also feature the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas. Magic Circle Mime Company will return to the Meyerson for The Orchestra From Planet X on June 5, 2021. A Family Pass subscription will get subscribers access to all three concerts starting at $49.

In addition, as part of the DSO’s annual series of concerts for schools, the Fall 2020 Youth Concerts will feature the new multi-media work by American composer Mason Bates entitled Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra. This new piece is the result of an important co-commission including five US orchestras: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The piece portrays the four families of the orchestra as distinct “tribes,” each with their own unique sound worlds and musical motifs: the slinky, sophisticated noir-jazz of the woodwinds; the lush romanticism of the strings; the aggressive techno-fanfares of the brass; and the percussion section “drum circle” in all its versatility. Ultimately the work’s message is one of unity: the diverse instruments of the orchestra are most powerful when working together as one giant instrument.


Subscription packages for the 2020/21 Season are available for renewal now, and new subscriptions may be purchased starting March 23, 2020. Packages range from $159 to $1,984. Single tickets will go on sale in late May.