The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) continues to offer top ranked performances and guest artists to enthrall local classical music devotees. The dashing figure of artistic director and maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jr. will continue to lead the LPO with authority and a keen sense of intuition as to what fits for today’s audiences.
It all kicks off on Saturday, September 22 with pianist Joaquin Achicarro leading the way with his rendition of the Maurice Ravel Concerto for the Left Hand on a program that also contains Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” and Manuel de Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain.” That program will be held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.
Less than a week later on September 28, the LPO travels to the North shore to play its first date at First Baptist Church in Covington. The program will be repeated the next night (Saturday, September 29) and includes the Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 5, the “Overture from “The Marriage of Figaro’” by Wolfgang Mozart and the Max Bruch Violin Concerto featuring soloist Stefan Jackiw.
The LPO’s own concertmaster, Joseph Mayer, has a chance to show off his violin prowess when he tackles Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 on October 5. Also on the program at First Baptist Church in Kenner are the Ludwig von Beethoven Symphony No. 8 and the Giacomo Rossini “Overture from ‘La Scala di Seta.’”
World renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma returns for a star-studded evening on Saturday, October 26, when he will be playing the Edward ElgarCello Concerto.
The program that evening at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts will also feature the Steve Reich “Three Movements for Orchestra” and Ottorino Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome.”
Less than a week later Prieto will return to First Baptist Church in New Orleans for an unusual pairing of Richard Strauss’ “Death and Transfiguration” with soprano Natalya Kraevsky in addition to Dmitri Shostakovitch’s Symphony No. 14.
A program billed as “Symphonic Brass” takes place two nights running at First Baptist Church in Kenner on November 8 and First Baptist Church in Covington on November 9. Guest conductor Jay Friedman and musician Christopher Martin – both principal trumpet and principal trombone players with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra- will be featured on a bill with LPO principal trumpet player Vance Woolf.
Noted pianist Stephen Hough puts in a stop from his world travels in New Orleans on November 29 at First Baptist Church in New Orleans as he plays the Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2. Guest conductor Markus Huber will also conduct the LPO in the Carl Neilsen Symphony No. 4 (“The Inextinguishable”).
A traditional Yuletide family-friendly concert will take place at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner on December 6 and a “Baroque Christmas” concert will be held on December 13 and 14 in New Orleans (First Baptist Church) and in Mandeville (St. Timothy United Methodist Church) on December 14. Glenn Langdon willl conduct the LPO and the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans in portions of the Johann Sebastian Bach “Christmas Oratorio” and George Handel’s “The Messiah.”
The LPO ushers in the new year with internationally renowned guitarist Pepe Romero taking the stage on Thursday, January 10 at First Baptist Church in New Orleans and the next night at First Baptist Church in Covington. Maestro Prieto will conduct the LPO in several well known pieces including Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol” and Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concerto de Aranjuez.” Romero is slated to play several guitar selections including selections from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen Suite.”
Just before Super Bowl fever hits the Crescent City, Prieto will conduct the LPO in a reading of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Ilya Gringolts as featured violinist. Also slated on the program that evening at First Baptist Church in New Orleans is the Anton Webern “Passacaglia” and the Robert Schumann Symphony No. 3 (“Rhenish”).
(The remainder of the LPO 2012-13 season will follow in a later article.)