PASSION The 2017-18 Season of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra Alexander Platt, Music Director

The 2017-18 season of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra will bring to the Coulee Region the unique combination of world-class quality and community devotion that have set a new standard for the orchestra in recent years. Current Season Subscribers can renew their tickets today by calling 608-783-2121 ext. 1! New Subscribers can purchase tickets after July 31, 2017.

October 21:  Lofty Heights

Weber:  Overture to Der Freischutz

Shostakovich:  Violin Concerto No.1

   Yevgeny Kutik, Violin

Brahms:  Symphony No.2

We begin our season with a 19th-century overture that has the power to entertain. Carl Maria von Weber’s masterpiece, “The Free-Shooter,” is still famous for catchy melodies.  An idealism of another sort is enshrined in the First Violin Concerto of Dmitri Shostakovich, a portrait of a brilliant young Russian composer laboring under the shadow of the dictator Joseph Stalin.  Here it will be played by the gifted Russian-Israeli violinist Yevgeny Kutik in his LSO debut – himself a refugee from the Soviet Union.  Following intermission, the Orchestra will settle back into the grandeur of Brahms’ Second Symphony, continuing the LSO’s cycle of Brahms’ works.

November 18:  Sketches of Spain

Chabrier:  España  

Lalo:  Symphony in G Minor

Falla:  Nights in the Gardens of Spain

   Gabriela Martinez, Piano

Rimsky-Korsakov:  Capriccio Español

Tonight we celebrate four masterworks of the Spanish tradition.  Emmanuel Chabrier’s España Rhapsody is a musical postcard — in this case, sent from late-19th century Paris — conjuring a world of bright sunlight and love of life.  In the same vein, the Spanish-French composer Edouard Lalo’s Symphony is full of intense passions defining Spanish culture.  Our program continues with a beautiful work of the Impressionist era, Manuel de Falla’s symphonic pictures, Nights in the Gardens of Spain, with the elegant young Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez, in her LSO debut. The night will close with another of the most popular of Spanish-flavored works, this one of Russian vintage – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s fast-and-furious “Spanish Caprice,” with its frenzied rhythms and stunning orchestration.

December 15 & 16:  A Christmas Homecoming 

La Crosse Symphony Orchestra

Caroline Worra, Soprano

La Crosse BoyChoir

La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestra

This concert is perfect for families, another winning combination of a world-class soloist with outstanding community talent.  What could be better than reveling with the LSO joined by the La Crosse BoyChoir, our returning friend from Onalaska soprano Caroline Worra, and members of the La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestra?  A joyful mood is established with favorite Holiday gems from both the classical and Broadway repertoire. Members of the La Crosse Area Youth Orchestra will also join the LSO with the combined ensemble presenting a medley from the Disney blockbuster Frozen and everyone’s festive favorite, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.  With good cheer, audience and professionals alike join in singing Holiday carols – words provided!

March 17:  American Visions


Torke:  Ash

Winners of the ‘Rising Stars’ Student Concerto Competition

Dvořák:  Symphony No. 9,”From the New World”

 How lucky we are to again hear the winners of the 19th annual LSO‘s ‘Rising Stars’ Concerto Competition perform in this traditional event, a contest attracting the finest area high school talent.  Opening the evening is the tone-poem Ash by Milwaukee native Michael Torke who writes music influenced by jazz, colors, and minimalism. Torke marries the world of Bach, Handel and Brahms to the pulsating popular dance music of the 1980s.  Following intermission is the wonderful Symphony, “From the New World,” by Antonín Dvořák.  Considering Dvořák spent the summer of 1893 in Spillville, Iowa, this work is one of the most famous in the entire symphonic literature.

 May 5:  Music from the Movies – The Fabulous Seventies

 2001:  Space Odyssey

Apocolypse Now

Gershwin:  Rhapsody in Blue

   Andrew Russo, Piano

Theme from Superman
Music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Theme from ET
Suite from Star Wars

Let’s go back to the 70’s movies brought to you with music from the symphony!  Remember 2001:  Space Odyssey which highlighted music by Richard Strauss and later operatic works by Richard Wagner heard in Apocolypse Now?  Who can forget the haunting music of The Godfather written by Nina Rota?  Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was the spark that led to Woody Allen’s Manhattan.  We’ll also hear music of that master of the cinema, John Williams of Star Wars fame.  The Gershwin will be performed by the amazing American pianist Andrew Russo who is soloist in yet another LSO debut this season.

June 9:  High Passion

Bach:  Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin

   Mary Beth Hensel, Oboe

   Wes Luke, Violin

Ippolitov-Ivanov:  Procession of the Sardar

Rimsky-Korsakov:  Procession of the Nobles

   ‘Wannabe Conductors’

Rachmaninoff:  Symphony No. 2

Our last concert of the season features two members of the LSO:  concertmaster Wes Luke and principal oboist Mary Beth Hensel performing Bach’s Double Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor.  The concert also highlights our two fundraiser ‘Wannabe Conductors’ each of whom will conduct a rousing work, one entitled Procession of the Sardar by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov and the other, Procession of the Nobles by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.  And just when it’s time to think of, perhaps, strolling on a beach in California instead, here comes the beautiful Symphony No. 2 by another Russian, Sergei Rachmaninoff.

With its ambitious mix of American, international, and community soloists, and its blending of classical, pops, sacred, and modern repertoire, the 2017-18 season of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra is poised to be one of the finest.  The Orchestra once again is making great strides in its own development and relationship with its growing audience throughout the region. As always, the lodestar of the LSO’s artistic planning is Quality — to introduce the best to the La Crosse community, with the aim of doing our part in the growing arts and entertainment sector of the city, making our area an ever-greater place in which to work, study, and live.