The Central Ohio Symphony’s 37th season will feature four wildly different concerts of old favorites and exciting new music.
For example, the first concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 will have guest artists Jesus Morales (cello) and Simon Gallo (violin) performing Brahms’ final work, the “Double Concerto in A”; along with colorful works by Latino composers, and culminating with the world premiere of Sonia Morales-Matos’ “Memories.” Jesus Morales and Sonia Morales-Matos are the brother and sister of conductor Jaime Morales-Matos, who is in his 13th season leading the symphony.
“It’s great music — very uplifting with bright rhythms and energy,” said executive director Warren Hyer of the opening program. “We’ve done other works by Sonia, and she’s a great composer.”
There will be two identical concerts of holiday music at 2 and 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. The concerts, like all the symphony’s season shows, will be in the Gray Chapel auditorium on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University.
The symphony consists of an average of 65 musicians with college degrees in music who are paid to play. Hyer said the majority of musicians live in Franklin and surrounding counties, but more have moved to Delaware County in recent years.
The concert at 3 p.m. March 6 will feature arias from Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” sung by Paola Gonzalez (soprano) and Emmanuel Vargas (tenor), along with Schumann’s “Symphony No. 2.” It will mark the first time the symphony has performed opera excerpts.
“We’ve gotten lots of request to do bits and pieces of opera,” Hyer said. “A whole opera would be difficult for us to do here in Delaware because of facilities, but I think this will be a great chance to bring in some new fans. It’s Jaime’s job to make sure the soloists and the musicians are both together in a complementary way.”
The final concert of the season, at 7:30 p.m. April 30, will feature narrated pieces that pay tribute to Martin Luther King and Anne Frank.
“The whole idea behind this concert was people who have left a legacy of triumph, how one person can change the world,” Hyer said. “In a dramatic way by King; and Frank in a way that nobody would have ever have expected.”
The final piece to end the season is Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5,” which Hyer said has “signified triumph over adversity.”
Tickets cost $78 for the season at the symphony’s office, 24 E. Winter St. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting www.centralohiosymphony.org or calling 740-362-1799. First-time subscribers can get season tickets for half-price in certain sections of the auditorium.
Hyer described the past season as a success, both artistically and as an organization. In addition to the concert season and the annual July 4 show, the symphony also had a summer music festival where small groups performed seven concerts in five days; and a popular therapeutic drumming program where troubled teens play in drum circles.
“As far as we know, our drumming in the courts is the only program of its type by a symphony in the country,” he said. “We’re getting requests all over the place in the drumming and health care community. It’s changing how orchestras interact with their communities. We’re looking to keep the program going.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.