The Helena Symphony announces the 2015-2016 Season. Current subscribers have been able to get an early renewal, and now season tickets are on sale to the general public. “We are one of a few orchestras that experienced an increase in season tickets last season, and ticket renewals are coming in very quickly. So we encourage people to renew or get your season tickets soon.”
As the longest year-long performing arts organization in Helena, the Symphony’s 61st Season features over a dozen critically-acclaimed guest artists, nearly 30 musical masterworks, and 14 exciting concerts. Highlights of the Season include the Season’s Opening Night in September with one of the greatest violinists alive today – Finnish Violinist Petteri Iivonen to perform Sibelius’ tempestuous and delicately beautiful Violin Concerto.
Other Season highlights include exciting programs such as Fate & Destiny – with works by Brahms and John Williams’ operatic score to the Star Wars films; a tribute to Shakespeare for the 400th anniversary of his death featuring highlights from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet ballet and Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring celebrated Broadway actor Rick Wasserman; the return of internationally acclaimed Pianist Claire Huangci to perform Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 along with the very intoxicatingly popular Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov; and Beethoven’s prequel to his Ninth Symphony – his epic Missa Solemnis. The Season ends with a unique concert titled And the winner is…, where the audience chooses the program by voting for some of their favorite works of all time.
The Non-Series Concerts include the nationally-noted Symphony Under the Stars celebrating the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra; the traditional Christmas in the Cathedral, and a showing of The Wizard of Oz film on the big screen accompanied by the HSO.
The Season is complete with six Masterwork Concerts, three Non-Series Concerts, five FREE Education Concerts, and other programs. Subscribers receive the six Masterworks Concerts and also can secure tickets for the Non-Series Concerts in advance. “This could be one of our most exciting season’s ever,” explained Director of Artistic Planning Teak Schummer. “Maestro Scott has put together a season of music that attracts audiences of all ages, and we will present a wonderfully diverse programs.”
In addition to the substantial discounts on season tickets, subscribers also receive the new Bring A Friend Pass, the The Art of Listening Newsletter, first access to Non-Series Concerts, and several other benefits.
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The Opening Night on September 19 opens with a special tribute to long-time Percussionist Kerry Brown, who passed away this passed summer. The concert continues with world-renowned Violinist Petteri Iivonen from Finland featuring his performance of Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in honor of the Finnish composer’s 150th birthday. Mr. Iivonen will perform on Guadagnini violin made in 1755.
Born in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Iivonen received his first violin studies at the age of four, and at age nine entered the Sibelius Academy. With additional guidance from world renowned violinist Shlomo Mintz, Mr. Iivonen continued his studies at the USC Thornton School of Music and at the Tel Aviv University.
“This is a rare treat for Montana audiences to experience Mr. Iivonen,” says Music Director Allan R. Scott. “Petteri is considered one of the greatest violinists performing this particular work, so it is not to be missed.”
Last season Mr. Iivonen made his American solo orchestra debut with Maestro Scott and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia, and this season makes his debut with the HSO. In 2010 Mr. Iivonen was awarded Silver Medalist and Special Prize winner at the world renowned International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, and remains the youngest winner of the Kuopio National Violin Competition.
Highlights of Mr. Iivonen’s career include appearances with every major orchestra in Finland, and performances around the world, including with acclaimed orchestras in Israel, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Lithuania, Hungary, Italy, and Kazakhstan. Mr. Iivonen has also been heard in concerts at the Museé du Louvre in Paris, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Helsinki Music Centre, Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria in Spain, the Sibelius Hall in Finland, and the Kodaly Center in Hungary. In 2010, Mr. Iivonen performed the monumental Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Zubin Mehta at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Israel. His debut recording featuring works by Bach, Brahms, Debussy, and Franck was released in 2009.
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Subscriptions and single tickets to the 2015-2016 Season can be purchased on line at helenasymphony.org, or by calling the Symphony Box Office (406.442.1860), or at the Symphony Box Office located on the Walking Mall at the Livestock Building (2 N. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 1) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Subscription packages are available in several price ranges, and single tickets to Non-Series Concerts go on sale to the general public September 21.