Remembering Lenny at The Weber Center, October 16th, 2018 7:00pm


Join us in the Veteran’s Studio — the Black-Box Theatre space at the Weber Center in downtown La Crosse — for a unique and fabulous tribute to the genius of Leonard Bernstein, as we celebrate the centennial of the birth of this greatest of American Musicians. Simon Mulligan “the Andre Previn of our time,” a pianist uniquely adept at bridging the worlds of classical, pop, film, music, and jazz — treats us to his own special paraphrases and improvisations of Bernstein’s greatest hits. From Candide and West Side Story to On the Town, it’s sure to be a memorable evening of virtuoso piano poetry and fireworks!

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*This Concert is NOT part of the season subscription


Celebrating Polish Independence – October 20, 2018 7:30pm

Lutoslawski: Symphonic Variations
Chopin: Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor


Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36

The La Crosse Symphony Orchestra is celebrating this year’s centenary of Poland’s independence beginning with Lutoslawski’s Symphonic Variations, a ten-minute orchestral piece with a melody of tone colors.   Moreover, no one plays music of that renowned Polish composer, Chopin, better these days than pianist, Simon Mulligan.  We have a treat in store for us when we hear Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  Some of Chopin’s music can be traced to the training exercises of Carl Czerny – whose main piano teacher was Beethoven.  Following intermission is a happy, carefree, and innocently sunny work composed by none other than Beethoven himself, his Symphony No. 2.

Guest Artist: Simon Mulligan, Piano


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and Bill Koutsky

Americans in Paris: Celebrating the First Veteran’s Day – November 10, 2018 

Alberic Magnard: Hyme a la Justice, Op. 14
Ernest Chausson: Poeme for violin and orchestra
Maurice Ravel: Tzigane for violin and orchestra (Tessa Lark)


Claude Debussy: Berceuse Heroique (1914)
Debussy, orch. Andre Caplet: Clair de lune
George Gershwin: An American in Paris

Join us as the LSO commemorates the centennial of Armistice Day — the very first Veteran’s Day, that finally marked the end of World War I — with music both solemn and festive that celebrates the lasting bond between America and France.
Alberic Magnard, the most forgotten of the great composers, died in August 1914 as he single-handedly defended his chateau against German troops; his “Hymn to Justice” is a hallmark of his grand, late-Romantic style. The noble sadness of Chausson’s “Poem” and the wild gypsy fervor of Ravel’s “Tzigane” will be brought brilliantly to life by our own American in Paris, the amazing young Tessa Lark, in her LSO debut. Claude Debussy, who died of cancer just weeks before the Armistice, wrote his haunting “Heroic Lullaby” in the conflict’s opening months; and Debussy’s good friend Andre Caplet left us the most sublime of the many orchestrations of his comrade’s immortal “Clair de lune”, before he succumbed to his war wounds. George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” brings us all jubilantly back to life, as his symphonic portrait of a young American gallivanting in The City of Light symbolizes all the joyous spirit of “Paris between the Wars”.

Guest Artist: Tessa Lark, Violin

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Celebrating the Holidays – December 14-15, 2018 7:30pm


The La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestra (LYSO) will be side-by-side with LSO orchestra members.

Chip Davis: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Prokofiev: Sleigh Ride from “Lieutenant Kije”
Berlin/Bennett: White Christmas
Adler: To Celebrate a Miracle (in honor of Hanukkah)
Chip Davis: Stille Nacht

Redner/Robertson: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Torme/Custer: The Christmas Song
Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Chip Davis: Deck the Halls


With La Crosse Girl Choir, and LYSO


Bizet: Music from the “L’Arlisienne” Suites
John Williams: Suite from “Home Alone”
Finnegan: Christmas Carol Sing-Along

Home again for the Holidays!  What better way to share an evening of Holiday music than with family and friends.  The LSO is joined in this concert by the La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestra (LYSO), and the La Crosse Girl Choir.  Listen to Deck the Halls, Sleigh Ride, Stille Nacht, and To Celebrate a Miracle!  Then join everyone in song with the annual rendition of Finnegan’s Christmas Carol Sing-Along! There are even handouts with the words!   This is a great event to start out the holiday season!


Guest Artists: La Crosse Girl Choir, La Crosse Youth Symphony


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Celebrating Young Talent – March 9, 2019 7:30pm


Orchestra – Bernstein’s Candide Overture
2-Instrumental competitors
Orchestra–Mambo from Bernstein’s musical, “West Side Story”


2-Piano competitors
Orchestra – Music from “On the Waterfront” movie score by Bernstein

Now we are in the middle of the Leonard Bernstein centenary year, and the LSO is celebrating it with performances of Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, Mambo from his immortal musical “West Side Story,” and selections from his film score for the 1954 movie “On the Waterfront.”  Bernstein, a champion of talented young people, would be proud to see the LSO Rising Stars Competition taking place alongside his music.  Listen to four finalists compete in front of the judges along with the full symphony orchestra.  Then learn the judges’ selections.  Did you pick the winner?

Guest Artist: Rising Stars Concerto Finalists

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Celebrating Cinema – April 13, 2019 7:30pm


John Williams:
The Flight to Neverland, from “Hook”
Suite from “Jaws”
Suite from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
Raiders’ March, from “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Adventures on Earth, from “E.T.”
Suite from “Jurassic Park”


Williams: Three Pieces from “Schindler’s List”, for violin and orchestra
Erich Korngold: Violin Concerto (Yevgeny Ktuik)

Following on the footsteps on our recent sold-out tribute to great movie music from the 1970’s, the LSO will once again musically celebrate the silver screen for its Spring Pops concert, with a special emphasis on the cinematic mastery of composer John Williams. Many more of his most favorite scores will now be heard, with a special emphasis on his greatest hits of the 1980’s onward — from the magic of “Harry Potter”, to the excitement of “Indiana Jones”, to the haunting reverie of “Schindler’s List”. Back to play that latter work will be one of the most recent additions to the LSO’s stable of brilliant young soloists, the Russian-born violinist Yevgeny Kutik, who scored such a triumph last fall in the Shostakovich Violin Concerto. Here he’ll round out the program with the glittering Violin Concerto of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, truly one of the great musical geniuses of the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1940’s. Korngold wrote the scores for “The Sea Hawk”, “Captain Blood”, “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “The Prince and the Pauper” — all of which found their way into his Concerto, which would be a major inspiration to the young John Williams himself!

Guest Artist: Yevgeny Kutik, Violin

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Barry Blomquist

and Eva Dahl

Celebrating Latin Fire in Viroqua – May 18, 2019 7:00pm

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Dvorak: Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22


Vivaldi: Four Seasons in Venice
Piazzolla: Four Seasons in Buenos Aires

This is Latin Fire – the Driftless Chamber Music Concert at the Temple Theatre in Viroqua.  The fiery Canadian voilinist, Lara St. John, is making a welcome return to the La Crosse Symphony in her signature work: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as reinterpreted by Argentine tango master, Astor Piazzolla. Piazzolla’s tango interpretations of ‘The Fouor Seasons’ are juxtaposed between the masterworks of Vivaldi’s original, making for a passionate exersize in musical time-travel! Come celebrate the collaboration that was our Maestro’s New York City debut with Ms. St. John and the Brooklyn Philharmonic in Central Park! The concert opens with the wistful, Bohemian beauty of Antonin Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings.

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and Dr. Michael White

*This Concert is NOT part of the season subscription

Celebrating Percussion Music – June 8, 2019 7:30pm 


Rossini: overture to La Gazza Ladra
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.1 in g minor (Frederic Chiu, soloist)
Percussion demonstration
Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition


During this concert, the two remaining Conductor Wannabes will each direct a short movement of a piece to be announced.  Also, the symphony’s newly acquired percussion instruments will be introduced by a percussion ensemble from University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and Onalaska High School performing under the leadership of Tammy Fisher, the LSO’s timpanist.  Starting out the evening is an exciting overture called, in English, “The Thieving Magpie!”  Following that stimulating performance is the “Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No.1 in g minor”, performed by Frederic Chiu in his return to the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra’s concert stage.  Closing out the night – and the 2018-19 concert season – is “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modeste Mussorgsky.  The suite, Mussorgsky’s most famous composition, is known through Maurice Ravel’s majestic orchestration.

Guest Artist: Frederic Chiu, Piano

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