September 26, 2014

José-Luis Novo to feature Music of the Great War

In 10th year as Music Director

Opening Night concerts in newly renovated Maryland Hall

(Annapolis, MD – September 24, 2014) Subscription and single concert tickets are now on sale for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) 2014-15 season.  Music Director José-Luis Novo’s programming for the first year in the newly renovated auditorium of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts features a stellar group of guest soloists and intriguing selection of symphonic showpieces.

The season is comprised of the five program Lexus Classic Series, a Holiday Pops concert presented by PNC Wealth Management, and two performances of a Family Concert presented by BKG.  The orchestra will also perform at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD and as part of the South County Concert Association series at Southern High School in Anne Arundel County.

Pianists Simone Dinnerstein and Angela Cheng, violinist Vadim Gluzman, flutist Kimberly Valerio and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor will join the ASO as guest soloists in the Lexus Classic Series from October 2014 through May 2015.  Will and Anthony Nunziata are headliners for A Broadway Holiday Pops concert in December 2014, and Sara Valentine of Really Inventive Stuff will be the narrator for the Family Concerts in February 2015.

Maestro Novo selected Music of the Great War as the theme for his 10th concert season as Music Director to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of World War I.  Each Lexus Classic Series program will include at least one work that was created during the years 1914 - 1918.  The influence of that war is evident in the music of early 20th Century composers such as Ravel, Elgar and Sibelius.  Maestro Novo will contrast the symphonic works from the war years with classics by Händel, Beethoven, Schumann and Strauss.

“New seats, a stage extension and acoustical shell will transform Maryland Hall from a former high school auditorium into a true concert hall,” said ASO Executive Director Jeth Mill.  “Our audiences will experience orchestra performances like never before.”   

Subscribers get the best seats at the most affordable prices.  Subscriptions to the five concert Lexus Classic Series range in price from $163 to $275 and are available by calling the ASO Box Office at 410-263-0907 or in person at Maryland Hall Room 204.  Tickets for single concerts which are available at the ASO website range from $35 to $60 with student tickets available for $10. 

Season support for the ASO is generously provided by Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, Baltimore/Annapolis Lexus Dealers, Maryland State Arts Council, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and the Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.

2014-2015 LEXUS CLASSIC SERIES                              MUSIC OF THE GREAT WAR


OPENING NIGHT FIREWORKS                                    October 17 & 18, 2014 at 8:00pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Angela Cheng, piano


Händel                 Music for the Royal Fireworks  

Falla                      Nights in the Gardens of Spain*

Nielsen                                Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable”*

The season opens in the newly remodeled auditorium of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts with musical pyrotechnics in the form of George Frideric Händel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks.  Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is soloist in Manuel de Falla’s impressionistic Nights in the Gardens of Spain, and the concert concludes with Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable” by Denmark's greatest composer Carl Nielsen.

BEETHOVEN “EROICA”                                                  November 14 & 15, 2014 at 8pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Kimberly Valerio, flute                                                  November 16 at 2pm                                    

Southern High School


Ravel                     Le Tombeau de Couperin *

Griffes                  Poem for Flute and Orchestra

Doppler               Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise

Beethoven         Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

Each of the six movements in Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin is dedicated to the memory of a friend who died fighting in World War I.  ASO Principal Flute Kimberly Valerio will perform as soloist in two works: Charles Tomlinson Griffes’ Poem for Flute and Orchestra and Albert Franz Doppler’s Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise.  Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” is a work of emotional depth and is a milestone in the history of the classical symphony.

DINNERSTEIN, RAVEL, and A HERO’S LIFE              February 27 & 28, 2015 at 8pm                                  

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Simone Dinnerstein, piano                                         March 1, 2015

                                                                       The Music Center at Strathmore


Bax                         The Garden of Fand*

Ravel                     Concerto for Piano in G major

R. Strauss            Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)

This program opens with the tone poem The Garden of Fand, a personal favorite of English composer and poet Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax. A wonderfully expressive pianist Simone Dinnerstein will join the ASO to perform the jazz influenced Concerto for Piano in G Major by Maurice Ravel.  Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), a tone poem by Richard Strauss, is autobiographical in tone and monumental in scale.

*Music composed 1914-18

GLUZMAN PLAYS PROKOFIEV                                    March 27 & 28, 2015 at 8:00pm

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Vadim Gluzman, violin


Elgar                      The Sanguine Fan*       

Prokofiev            Concerto for Violin No. 2

Shostakovich     Symphony No. 9

Sir Edward Elgar’s The Sanguine Fan is a single-act ballet inspired by a scene depicting Pan and Echo and was composed to raise money for wartime charities.  Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman returns to Annapolis to perform Sergei Prokofiev’s gracefully melodic Concerto for Violin No. 2.  Symphony No. 9 by Dmitri Shostakovich is described as being “majestic in scale, in pathos and in its breathtaking motion.”


SCHUMANN, SIBELIUS, and NERUDA SONGS      May 8 & 9, 2015 at 8:00pm                                          

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano


R. Schumann      Manfred Overture

Lieberson            Neruda Songs

Sibelius                                Symphony No. 5*           

Manfred: Dramatic Poem with Music in Three Parts is a work of incidental music by Robert Schumann based on the poem of Lord Byron.  The most highly regarded piece of the work is the Manfred Overture. Mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor will perform a cycle of five hauntingly beautiful Neruda Songs by American composer Peter Lieberson.   The ASO’s 2014-15 season will conclude with Symphony No. 5 by the great Finish composer Jean Sibelius.

*Music composed 1914-18


Presented by PNC Wealth Management

A BROADWAY HOLIDAY                                               December 19, 2014 at 8:00pm                   

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                 Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Will & Anthony Nunziata            

This talented team of singing twin brothers Will & Anthony Nunziata brings you A Broadway Holiday, reminiscent of the classic Christmas specials of Bing Crosby, but with a contemporary flair that celebrates the joys of life, music, and family. The concert includes fresh takes on classic Christmas songs along with Broadway hits and Italian music, such as “Joy to the World,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “O Sole Mio” and more.


Presented by BKG

THE STORY OF BABAR: The Little Elephant           February 7, 2015 at 2:00 and 3:30pm       

José-Luis Novo, conductor                                          Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Sara Valentine, narrator

Really Inventive Stuff

Smetana            Polka from The Bartered Bride

Tchaikovsky       Suite from Swan Lake

Bizet                 Habanera & Seguidilla from Carmen

Poulenc              The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant

Rossini               William Tell Overture

Pack your trunks! You’re invited to Babar’s coronation! Jean de Brunhoff’s popular children’s story of one little elephant’s epic rise from rags to riches is eloquently set to music by Francis Poulenc and expressively narrated by Sara Valentine of Really Inventive Stuff, with all the enthusiasm and pomp worthy of a royal gathering. Long live King Babar!

Families are encouraged to attend “Meet the Musicians” sessions at 1:15 or 4:30 pm and learn about the different instruments of the orchestra.  These concerts are recommended for children ages 4 and up.


The ASO continues to offer its free Pre-Concert Lectures by lecturer Dr. Rachel Franklin at 6:45pm prior to each of the Lexus Classic Series concerts. Each lecture features a unique inside look at the repertoire to be performed at that evening’s concert.  Dr. Franklin will also offer a Fall 2014 session of Symphony Study titled Magnificent Movie Music II – The Sequel at 7:00pm on four consecutive Wednesdays October 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2014 in Maryland Hall.

The ASO’s education and community outreach programs—including Educational Concerts for 2nd Grade students in Anne Arundel County, Music Van, the Adopt-A-School program, Music Heals and more—continue throughout the season. The ASO will also conduct special performances and guest speaking engagements with local organization, schools and area retirement communities. 


José-Luis Novo continues to instill a new artistic vision and leaves his personal imprint with the ASO and its growing audience. A continuous drive for artistic excellence, innovative thematic programming, and collaborations with some of today’s most respected guest artists, have resulted in unprecedented artistic growth, enthusiastic reviews and a general sense of excitement. Some of the ASO’s highlights during Maestro Novo’s tenure include a 2006 debut concert appearance at Strathmore Hall, a performance by world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a 2008 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, and the launching of the ASO’s first professionally produced CD commemorating the 300th anniversary of the signing of Annapolis’ Royal Charter. The successful partnership between Mr. Novo and the ASO has received consistent critical acclaim.

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