The opening night of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra’s 69th season is just a month away. September 21 marks the beginning of Music Director Larry Rachleff’s 18th season with the orchestra. Concerts will take place on four Fridays and eight Saturdays at The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence.
“This season will appeal to everyone,” said David Beauchesne, executive director, “our loyal fans as well as those who are planning to hear this great orchestra for the first time. There is no question that we are giving people in Rhode Island and beyond the opportunity to hear incredible music performed at the highest level, right here in Providence all season long.”
The season offers symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Mozart, Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, Gustav Holst’s The Planets and concerti by Prokofiev, Schumann, Ravel, Stravinsky, Mozart, and Beethoven. Rarely heard pieces include percussionist Michael Udow’s Shattered Mirror Suite (1986). Twentieth century highlights include works by Hindemith, Ives, Bartok and Rachmaninoff.
“Choosing the music for each concert in a season is a wonderful challenge,” said Rachleff. “In many, many planning sessions, we consider music that will offer our audience new experiences and great masterpieces, to hopefully inspire audience and orchestra members alike. It’s like planning the menu for an eight-course meal.”
Seven popular and well-known guest artists will perform with the orchestra, including returning violinists Jennifer Frautschi and Philippe Quint, cellist Colin Carr and pianists Alon Goldstein, Cecile Licad and the world-renowned Mozart expert Robert Levin. Pianist Jean-Philippe Collard will make his debut with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Michael Christie will be the guest conductor for the October concert. Mr. Christie is Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and the Minnesota Opera.
The season’s eight Classical concerts will continue on Saturday nights at 8 p.m. at the Vets. Four are preceded by Friday Rush Hour concerts – sponsored by Amica Insurance – and four will have Friday Open Rehearsals. The Amica Rush Hour Series offers an early start time of 6:30 p.m. on four Fridays (Oct. 18, Nov. 15, March 21, April 11). These shorter, informal, accessible concerts feature full performances of select repertoire from the Saturday Classical concerts. Four Open Rehearsals, on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. (Sept. 20, Jan. 17, Feb. 21, May 9), offer insight into the collaboration between the conductor, guest artists and orchestra musicians as they prepare for the upcoming classical concert. Special events include the perennial holiday favorite Handel’s Messiah with the Providence Singers on Saturday, Dec. 7. Subscriptions are on sale now, starting at just $210 for the eight-concert season and $100 for the four Amica Rush Hour concerts. For a limited time, new subscribers will receive a free ticket to Messiah when they subscribe to either the full Saturday Classical or Friday Amica Rush Hour series. Please call the Philharmonic box office at 248-7000 or visit www.riphil.