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2015-16 for Dallas Symphony

The Dallas Symphony's new season features three world premieres, works by American composers, plenty of high-profile guest conductors and musicians, the second Soluna Festival and much more.

published Sunday, February 22, 2015

Photo: Lauren Farmer
Conrad Tao

Dallas — The Dallas Symphony’s 2015-'16 season was announced Sunday and there are a few more bright spots than we have seen in recent season, namely new music and American music. And there's more on the season that will thrill, too.

First, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 and Mahler’s Das klagende Lied are not performed all that often. It will be good to hear them both.

Another reason to shout is that there will be three world premieres. Artist-in-Residence Conrad Tao will premiere a new work in the 2016 SOLUNA Festival. American composer Jeremy Gill’s Serenada Concertante for Oboe and Orchestra, written for principal oboist Erin Hannigan, will premiere Jan. 29-31, 2016. And Dutch composer John Borstlap's Feierliche Abendmusik (Solumn Night Music) premieres March 24-26, 2016.

Also, there will be five works by American composers (in addition to Tao and Gill). They are:

  • PHILIP GLASS Violin Concerto No. 1 (DSO Premiere)—Nov. 19-22, 2015
  • JOHN ADAMS Tromba lontana—Feb. 25-28, 2016
  • AARON COPLAND Quiet City—Feb. 25-28, 2016
  • JENNIFER HIGDON Blue Cathedral—April 28‐May 1, 2016
  • AARON COPLAND Clarinet Concerto – May 27‐28, 2016

Soloists include: Hélène Grimaud, Kirill Gerstein, Katia and Marielle Labèque, David Fray, Louis Lortie and Behzod Abduraimov (DSO debut), all pianists. Then there are violinists Midori, Karen Gomyo, Leonidas and Kavakos; and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott. One standout is guitarist Pepé Romero.

A repeat performance of the first act of Wagner’s Die Walküre will occur with singers Michelle DeYoung, Clifton Forbis, Susanna Phillips, Charles Castronovo, Ruxandra Donose, Laurent Naouri, Henk Neven, Kathryn Lewek, Nicholas Phan and Noel Bouley.

In addition to Dallas performances, they will take Wagner’s music on their European tour.

Two massive choral works are also programmed: Berloiz’s fantastical Damnation of Faust and Carl Orff’s worn-out Carmina Burana.

The Remix concert series will continue at Dallas City Performance Hall and the SOLUNA: International Music & Arts Festival which includes concerts and presentations from Monday, May 16 to Sunday, June 5, 2016.

The Pops series has a tribute to George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, as well as the Beatles. Ashley Brown and trumpeter Chris Botti will play some jazz.

The September Gala will feature violinist Pinchas Zuckerman.


Here is the full schedule and release, which includes more info about the season and the programming:

DALLAS, TX (February 22, 2015)  - Music Director Jaap van Zweden and President and CEO Jonathan Martin announce the Dallas Symphony’s 2015/16 concert season. The new season includes a wide range of classical music, world premieres, artist debuts, exciting pops performances and partnerships in the arts through its SOLUNA Festival. 

In his eighth season as Music Director, Jaap van Zweden has chosen a mix of cherished pieces and new works that showcase the supreme talent of the musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. 

“The orchestra and I have built artistic strength and quality together for the past seven years,” said van Zweden. “I know that each concert will be a special event. 

“There are works  we are presenting that have not been performed by the Dallas Symphony for quite some time – Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5, Mahler’s Das klagende Lied. These are beautiful, epic pieces that I am looking forward to sharing with our audiences. 

“I have a great passion for opera, and I enjoy bringing it to the orchestra stage. In 2013 we presented performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre Act I, and we are bringing this music back to the Meyerson in a special performance before we take it on tour to Europe. 

“We welcome world-class guest artists this coming season - Hélène Grimaud, David Fray, Leonidas Kavakos, Behzod Abduraimov, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Midori, Daniel Muller-Schott and Kirill Gerstein – but we also are spotlighting the incredible solo talent of our musicians, including Ryan Anthony, Gregory Raden, Demarre McGill, Erin Hannigan, Alexander Kerr, Angela Fuller Heyde and David Matthews.” 

“I am thrilled to present this season’s programming and concert schedule,” said Jonathan Martin, President and CEO of the Dallas Symphony. “In 2015/16 we will perform many well-loved compositions, but we are also featuring a number of world premieres, DSO premieres and many pieces by American composers. 

“In my tenure with the orchestra, I am proud to see that Dallas audiences are continuing to support the work we are doing at the DSO. The 2014/15 season had the highest subscription numbers since 2011. We are building a larger loyal audience at the Meyerson as we continue to expand our reach into the North Texas community through our DSO on the GO programs, concerts outside the Meyerson and education initiatives.”




World-Premiere Performances

The 2015/16 season will feature the world premieres of three new pieces. Artist-in-Residence Conrad Tao will reveal a new DSO-commissioned orchestra work during the 2016 SOLUNA Festival. Tao’s first piece for the Dallas Symphony, The World is Very Different Now, was premiered on November 22, 2013 during the JFK Memorial Concerts. The New York Times raved, “At 19, Mr. Tao knows his way around a large orchestra…as well as many an elder master.” 

American composer Jeremy Gill’s Serenada Concertante for Oboe and Orchestra will premiere on January 29-31, 2016. The piece was written for DSO Principal Oboe Erin Hannigan who will be the work’s soloist. 

The DSO will also premiere Solemn Night Music (Feierliche Abendmusik) by Dutch composer John Borstlap. Borstlap’s work appears on concerts on March 24-26, 2016. The piece is a joint commission of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.


DSO Premieres

Three pieces will also receive Dallas Symphony debuts during the 2015/16 season. Violinist Karen Gomyo performs Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1 on concerts on November 19-22, 2015. Guest conductor Long Yu presents Qigang Chen’s The Five Elements for the first time on the Meyerson stage on January 7-10, 2016. The Prelude to Act 1 of Palestrina by Hans Pfitzner will be performed by the DSO for the first time during concerts conducted by Simone Young (in her DSO debut) on November 19-22, 2015.


American Music

“The Dallas Symphony is proud to include a number of American works on the season,” said Martin. “Some of the pieces are beloved works in the repertoire and others will make their appearance for the first time here in Dallas.”

American works on the 2015/16 classical season:

GLASS Violin Concerto No 1 (DSO Premiere) – November 19-22, 2015

GILL Serenada Concertante for Oboe and Orchestra (World Premiere) – January 29-31, 2016

ADAMS Tromba lontana – February 25-28,2016

COPLAND Quiet City – February 25-28, 2016

HIGDON Blue Cathedral – April 28-May 1, 2016

COPLAND Clarinet Concerto – May 27-28, 2016

TAO New Work (World Premiere) – June 3-5, 2016


Guest Conductors

The DSO will welcome guest conductors Donald Runnicles, David Zinman, Ton Koopman, James Gaffigan, Jun Märkl, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Nicholas Carter and Andrew Grams. Conductors Simone Young (Artistic Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Music Director of the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra) and Long Yu (Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Shanghai Symphony, and Artistic Director of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra) will make their DSO debuts.


Guest Soloists

The TI Classical season will welcome pianists Hélène Grimaud, Kirill Gerstein, Katia and Marielle Labèque, David Fray, Louis Lortie and Behzod Abduraimov (DSO debut); violinists Midori, Karen Gomyo and Leonidas Kavakos; guitarist Pepé Romero; cellist Daniel Müller-Schott and vocalists Michelle DeYoung, Clifton Forbis, Susanna Phillips, Charles Castronovo, Ruxandra Donose, Laurent Naouri, Henk Neven, Kathryn Lewek, Nicholas Phan and Noel Bouley.


DSO Musicians in the Spotlight

The superb talent of the DSO musicians will be highlighted when a number of players take center stage. Concertmaster Alexander Kerr, entering his fourth season with the DSO, will perform Walton’s Violin Concerto. Principal Oboe Erin Hannigan will give the world premiere of Jeremy Gill’s Serenada Concertante for Oboe and Orchestra, a piece written specifically for her.  Principal Trumpet Ryan Anthony will perform the solo trumpet on Copland’s Quiet City (joined by David Matthews on English horn) as well as on John Adams’ Tromba Lontana (joined by trumpet Kevin Finamore). Principal Flute Demarre McGill will give his first solo performance since joining the DSO in 2013. McGill will perform C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto in A Major during an all-Baroque program. Principal clarinet Gregory Raden will perform Copland’s jazz-inspired Clarinet Concerto during concerts at the 2016 SOLUNA Festival. At ReMix on March 11 & 12, 2016, Principal Second Violin Angela Fuller Heyde brings Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto to the Dallas City Performance Hall stage.


Opera in Concert

Music Director Jaap van Zweden has made a commitment to present opera in concert on the Meyerson stage. During the 2014/15 season, the DSO featured Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with soloists Matthias Goerne and Michelle DeYoung. In 2015/16, van Zweden will bring back the first act of Wagner’s Die Walküre for a one-night-only performance on April 1, 2016. The DSO will take this spectacular work on its Spring 2016 European Tour.


Dallas Symphony Chorus and Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas Perform Orchestral and Choral Masterworks

The 2015/16 season features the glorious voices of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Joshua Habermann. The group will perform on Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, Orff’s Carmina Burana and during the holidays on the Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops. 

The Chorus will also join Music Director Jaap van Zweden on Mahler’s epic Das klagende Lied during the SOLUNA Festival. The work is rarely performed in its three-movement version, and the chorus will play a central role in the piece. 

“The 2015-2016 season of choral works is a feast for the imagination. In The Damnation of Faust the chorus plays everything from gentle gnomes to shepherds to drunken students –  all make appearances in Berlioz's bold and heroic narrative of Dr. Faust, who can be saved from Lucifer's clutches only by the purity of love itself. Christmas Pops follows with traditional carols and beloved seasonal melodies that are sure to delight young and old alike,” said Habermann. “2016 brings two thrilling choral programs, beginning with Carmina Burana, the epic song of fate and one of the most recognizable openings in the entire repertoire.  The season closes with a unique opportunity to hear Mahler's Das klagende Lied, a romantic fairytale of love and betrayal by one of history's greatest orchestral composers.” 

The Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas is the featured ensemble on The Nutcracker (November 27-29, 2015). They will also join the adult chorus on the Berlioz and the Orff. 

“The Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas is elated to have the opportunity to perform these productions with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus next season,” said Cynthia Nott, Artistic Director of the Children’s Chorus. “Working at this level of artistic music making can be a life changing experience for a young singer.  We look forward to these performances.” 

Subscriptions for the 2015/16 season go on sale to the general public on February 22, 2015. Subscribers to a Classical 16 package receive free parking for the season ($160 value). Classical packages for 16 concerts start at $249. Single tickets will go on sale in late Summer. For more information and to purchase subscriptions, please call 214.TIX.4DSO or visit



The second annual SOLUNA: International Music & Arts Festival will present more commissioned works by renowned international visual artists and exciting partnerships with Dallas arts organizations. The 2016 SOLUNA Festival includes concerts and presentations from Monday, May 16 to Sunday, June 5, 2016. 

Jaap van Zweden conducts two programs during the three weeks. On May 27 and 28, the DSO presents Mahler’s Das klagende Lied, a three part song-cycle that tells the story of brother knights, one kind-hearted and the other dark-spirited, who vie for the hand of a queen. Murder, and minstrels flutes play into this work that ends in destruction of a kingdom. The DSO last performed this piece in 1979 under the baton of Eduardo Mata. 

The Lay Family Concert Organ takes center stage in performances of Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3, “Organ” on June 3-5. The program also features Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5, “Egyptian”, and the world premiere of Conrad Tao’s DSO-commissioned orchestral work. 

Visual artists, projects and partner organizations will be announced after the inaugural SOLUNA in May 2015.



Building on the success of its Spring 2013 performances in Europe, Jaap van Zweden and the DSO will return to 9 European cities in April 2016. The orchestra will perform two programs on the tour: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Wagner’s Die Walküre (Act I) with soloists Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano, Clifton Forbis, tenor, and Kristinn Sigmundsson, bass-baritone; and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 with soloist David Fray, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad).


The current schedule is as follows:

April 6, 2016 Eindhoven, Netherlands

April 8, 2016 Amsterdam, Netherlands

April 10, 2016 Edinburgh, Scotland

April 12, 2016 Birmingham, England

April 13, 2016 Stuttgart, Germany

April 14, 2016 Basel, Switzerland

April 17, 2016 Vienna, Austria

April 20, 2016 Madrid, Spain

April 21, 2016 Madrid, Spain

(Dates and cities subject to change)


“The artistic success of our last tour in March 2013 inspired European concert presenters to ask for our return, and this tour is the result,” said Martin. “Touring is a vital to the day-to-day life and on-going artistic development of an orchestra. The intensity of traveling together, the focus required to perform night after night in Europe’s celebrated musical capitals, creates an unprecedented dynamic of cooperation and artistic excellence. 

“This translates to many benefits for the organization: even greater musical excellence for audiences at home; elevation of the reputation of the DSO; attraction of the finest instrumental soloists and guest conductors; and it even has philanthropic benefit. Touring garners greater philanthropic support from individuals, who take pride in the fact their home-town orchestra is succeeding on the international stage, and corporations, who see touring as worthy of their support for strategic reasons, such as elevating their brand recognition overseas.” 



The Dallas Symphony’s new concert series ReMix, presented with support from TACA, has welcomed guest performers, guest conductors and DSO musicians in concert, all in the relaxed and inviting environment of the Dallas City Performance Hall. From Copland and Adams to tango and songs, the series offers a new perspective on orchestral music and a wide range of genres.

This year, ReMix will feature:

  • DSO musicians in a program of chamber ensemble music (September 11-12, 2015).
  • Principal Second Violin Angela Fuller Heyde in a performance of Edgar Meyer’s Violin Concerto (March 11-12, 2016).
  • A concert featuring Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott as piano soloist, conducted by Karina Canellakis (May 20-21, 2016).

“Every ReMix concert is an adventure,” said Jonathan Martin. “We continue to explore new ideas, themes and repertoire for the series, and we’ve seen audiences grow and embrace these new concerts. We’re excited to continue presenting ReMix and making it a program that can’t be missed.” 

The 2015/16 ReMix concerts are available for the first time as a package. All three concerts may be purchased for $49 as an add-on to subscription packages.



Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik begins his third season with the DSO and continues to lead exciting concerts that are full of excitement and entertainment. 

“I love presenting pops programs that are a terrific mix of spectacular music and sheer entertainment,” said Tyzik. “The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is playing tremendously, and it’s a joy to work with the ensemble to really entertain audiences. This year we will spotlight all different kinds of music, especially American music, from Gershwin to Broadway to Frank Sinatra.” 

The Pops season kicks off on September 4-6 when the DSO welcomes Curtis Stigers in a tribute to Frank Sinatra on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Broadway star Ashley Brown, who originated the role of Mary Poppins on Broadway, brings her signature style to the Meyerson with Come to the Cabaret (October 23-24, 2015). Dallas Symphony’s Christmas Pops, a holiday tradition, returns with the radiant soprano of Ava Pine as guest soloist. 

The DSO celebrates two masters of American music with programs of Gershwin and Bernstein. Jeff Tyzik conducts Gershwin’s Greatest Hits January 22-24, 2016. The program showcases selections from Porgy and Bess as well as other of the composer’s best-loved works. Valentine’s weekend 2016 (February 12-14) welcomes Tony and Maria to the Meyerson in a screening of the film West Side Story. The Dallas Symphony will perform Bernstein’s iconic score live to the film. 

Classical Mystery Tour comes to Dallas on March 11-13, 2016,  with their Tribute to the Beatles. From Imagine to Yesterday and Yellow Submarine, the songs of the Fab Four will sound even better with symphony orchestra. Hailed as the “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by The New York Times, Grammy-Award winner Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers, original musical star of Riverdance,  and her band bring a very special St. Patrick’s Day concert to the Meyerson (March 18-19, 2016). 

Star trumpeter Chris Botti returns to the Meyerson in concerts April 22-24, 2016. This Grammy Award-winning instrumentalist and his band bring jazz and American songbook favorites in a concert that is sure to thrill. 

Subscriptions for the 2015/16 Pops season go on sale to the general public on February 22, 2015. Subscribers to the Super Pops series of 14 concerts receive free parking for the year ($140 value). Super Pops concert subscriptions start at $319. Single tickets will go on sale in late Summer. For more information and to purchase subscriptions, please call 214.TIX.4DSO or visit


GALA 2015 

Legendary violinist Pinchas Zuckerman joins the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Jaap van Zweden for the annual Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala. This year’s Gala will be held at the Meyerson Symphony Center on September 26, 2015. The event is always filled with great music, wonderful friends and the finest of Dallas glamour. 

Full gala tickets (including the pre-concert reception and seated dinner) start at $1250 each. For more information about the full Gala experience, contact 214.871.4090 or

Tickets to the Concert and After-Party only start at $99 and are available as an add-on to 2015/16 Dallas Symphony season subscription packages. Concert/After-Party tickets may be purchased online at, or contact the Dallas Symphony Box Office at 214.TIX.4DSO. 



For three seasons, the DSO has performed in areas away from its Downtown Dallas home. The orchestra has been welcomed in Frisco, Southlake, Terrell, Duncanville, Denton, Mansfield and more. 

“With each performance in these cities, our reach and impact grow,” said Martin. “The audiences are so welcoming, and we enjoy performing to patrons right in their neighborhoods.” 

Remaining cities for the 2014/15 season include Denton (April 1) and Oak Cliff (April 30). Final venues and cities for 2015/16 will be announced in late summer.  

DSO on the GO is generously supported by TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) and The Ebby Halliday companies.



Christmas at the DSO will prove to be another season of family, fellowship and tradition. The beloved Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops returns and features radiant soprano Ava Pine. Due to popular demand, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will make its Meyerson return in two evenings of creole-themed excitement (December 22-23). The DSO features the talent of its brass, percussion and the Lay Family Concert Organ in the Brass and Organ Spectacular (December 7). 

2015 ends with all the glitter and excitement of Vienna as Assistant Conductor Karina Canellakis takes the podium in the annual New Year’s Eve concert (December 31, 2015).  2016 will swing into gear with the return of Cirque de la Symphonie on January 2 and 3.  



The DSO continues to feature the magnificent Lay Family Concert Organ in a series of three performances during the 2015/16 season. Prize-winning Dallas organist Bradley Hunter Welch will perform on October 31, 2015 for An Organ Spooktacular, a concert that showcases the grandly impressive elements of the instrument. 

Notre Dame Cathedral organist Olivier Latry comes to Dallas as recitalist on April 17, 2016 . The New York Times has hailed Latry as “a brilliant instrumentalist” and “a superior organist”. 

Todd Wilson is the third guest on Opus 100, performing on May 22, 2016. Wilson is 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, OH. He is also Director of Music and Worship at Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral, and House Organist for the newly-restored Aeolian organ at the Stan Hywet Home and Gardens, Akron, OH. He is praised as “… a fabulous virtuoso with fleet feet, a prodigious memory and technique to burn” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.



2015/16 marks the first full season that the DSO/Jaap van Zweden Scholars will participate in concerts, chamber music, education and outreach activities. Arriving in January 2015, three scholars will continue their studies in performance, entrepreneurship and community engagement. 

“We are getting such a unique experience being here with the Dallas Symphony,” said first-year Scholar Alex Jenkins. “It benefits us in so many ways: we get professional orchestral experience that helps us move forward in the audition process; we will be part of community engagement here in Dallas to learn how to bring music into the everyday lives of those who live here; and we will see how a professional orchestra is run which is different than the orchestras of our schools. We will be playing at the highest level which can only enhance our education as complete musicians.” 

“This season has so much for everyone,” said Martin. “Old favorites, inspiring works, new sounds and great traditions. We hope you join us as we continue to build on our artistic excellence and community service in 2015/16.” Thanks For Reading

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2015-16 for Dallas Symphony
The Dallas Symphony's new season features three world premieres, works by American composers, plenty of high-profile guest conductors and musicians, the second Soluna Festival and much more.
by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

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