Fabio Luisi and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra During the winter and spring of his second season as Music Director Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the award-winning conductor Grammy winner Fabio Luisi conducts and records Brahms’ Second Symphony in a just-announced series. of three free performances over two days in February (February 23-24) and conducts a concert version of Eugène Onéguine by Tchaikovsky with baritone Etienne Dupuis and soprano Nicole Car (April 1-5).
The orchestra‘s exploration of American music continues with the Dallas premiere of Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This kiss to the whole world!) by Bruce Adolphe; Adolphus Hailstork’s tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed; and the poem for orchestra by William Grant Still. Other highlights include Principal DSO Clarinet Gregory Raden and Principal Bassoon Ted Soluri performing the Duett-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon with String Orchestra and Harp by Richard Strauss, of which Luisi is a world-renowned performer (8-10 April); the Dallas Symphony Chorus joining the orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (May 12-15); and Symphony No. 4 by Franz Schmidt, a composer whose works Luisi has long championed and widely recorded (January 20-23).
Luisi’s performances with the Dallas Symphony are available again this season, usually within a week of the original performance, through the Next Stage digital concert series. Recorded performances can be accessed through the DSO website for $10/concert or a $125 season pass.
Following fall performances of Brahms’ First Symphony, which has been recorded for a future release of a complete set of Brahms’ Symphonies in February, Luisi and the orchestra give three newly announced free performances of the composer’s Second Symphony, that will be saved again for the collection. Two other newly announced performances will also take place in the coming months: Luisi swaps his baton for a piano to play Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne for Violin and Piano with DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr, in a chamber music program that includes 21 more orchestra musicians in various configurations (February 28); and a free community concert of popular favorites by Johann Strauss, Rossini and others will be performed by Luisi and the orchestra at Fair Park Music Hall, home of the DSO before they moved to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in 1989 (March 2 ) .
One of the world’s most distinguished opera conductors, Luisi is committed to making live opera a centerpiece of every season. This spring, he and the orchestra will present a semi-staged full-length rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, with baritone Etienne Dupuis and soprano Nicole Car making their DSO debut as the title character and his lover who will never be. Following the orchestra’s February 2020 performance of Salome, Classical Voice North America exclaimed, “The Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed beautifully under Luisi’s experienced hands. … The power and presence of the orchestra and the excellence of the singers kept this listener riveted from the start to finish.”
Exploring American music in all its diversity has been an important part of Luisi’s intention since the start of his tenure, which is especially evident in this season’s lineup. The conductor’s first performances of the new year will include Adolphus Hailstork’s Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed, written in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and performed the weekend before the holiday commemorating the life and work of civil rights leader. Luisi’s February performances include an encore rendition of a piece he conducted at the 2019 SOLUNA Festival in Dallas: Poem for Orchestra by William Grant Still, written in 1944 to imagine the spiritual rebirth of the world after a period of darkness and desolation. Finally, the DSO conductor’s last concerts of the season open with the Dallas premiere of Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This Kiss to the Whole World!), co-commissioned by the DSO and Bravo! Vail Summer Festival, and given its world premiere by Luisi and the DSO at the festival last July. Adolphe was specifically commissioned to write a backing piece for the other work on the program, Beethoven’s moving Ninth Symphony, for which the orchestra is joined by soprano Angel Blue, mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, tenor Issachah Savage and bass Soloman Howard, all making their DSO debuts, and the Dallas Symphony Chorus under Joshua Habermann, bringing Luisi’s DSO season to a thrilling conclusion.
A trio of famous soloists will also join the DSO for concerts this winter under the direction of Luisi. Brahms’ First Piano Concerto features Grammy-winning Russian piano virtuoso Daniil Trifonov – “undoubtedly the most astounding pianist of our time” (The Times of London) (January 20-23). Violinist James Ehnes, a former DSO artist-in-residence described by The Times as “a violinist in a class of his own,” performs Elgar’s Violin Concerto (January 13-14); and violinist Daishin Kashimoto, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2009, makes his DSO debut with Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor (February 17-19).
Last fall saw two TV shows featuring Luisi and the DSO. The first, seen on PBS stations, documented an event in the spring of 2021 in which members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra traveled to Dallas for a week to join forces with the DSO under the direction of Luisi and perform Symphony n Mahler’s °1. This unprecedented collaboration benefited the MET Orchestra Musicians Fund and the Dallas-Fort Worth Musicians COVID-19 Relief Fund and marked the first time that many non-DSO musicians had the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience since the shutdown of COVID-19 in March 2020. The Dallas Morning News hailed the performance as a “sound extravaganza” and full of “dazzling excitement”. Also airing last fall, on Bloomberg TV, was the “Concert of Remembrance,” a performance by Luisi and the DSO of Mozart’s Requiem, dedicated to remembering all the lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi, 2021-22 season
(All concerts are at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX unless otherwise noted)
January 13 & 14
James Ehnes, violin
ELGAR: Violin Concerto
ADOLPHUS GRELE: Epitaph for a man who dreamed
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 1, “Spring”
Daniel Trifonov, piano
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1
SCHMIDT: Symphony No. 4
Daishin Kashimoto, violin (early DSO)
WG STILL: Poem
BRUCH: Violin Concerto in G minor
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2
Chamber music concert
Lili BOULANGER: Nocturne (with Alexander Kerr, violin; Fabio Luisi, piano)
Other TBA directory
Etienne Dupuis, baritone (Eugene Onegin)
Nicole Car, soprano (Tatiana)
Pavol Breslik, tenor (Lensky)
Brindley Sherratt, bass (Prince Gremin)
Deniz Uzun, mezzo-soprano (Olga)
Keith Jameson, tenor (Triquet)
Claudia Chapa, mezzo-soprano (Filippyevna)
Alexis Galindo, mezzo-soprano (Larina)
Will Hughes, baritone (captain/commander)
Allen Michael Jones, bass (Zaretsky)
Dallas Symphony Choir, Joshua Habermann, director
TCHAIKOVSKY: Eugene Onegin
Opera-in-Concert-Sung in Russian with English surtitles
Gregory Raden, clarinet
Ted Soluri, bassoon
STRAUSS: Duett-Concertino for clarinet and bassoon with string orchestra and harp
BERLIOZ: Fantastic Symphony
Fair Park Music Room
Johann Strauss, ROSSINI, more
Free Community Concert
Angel Blue, soprano (beginning DSO)
Taylor Raven, mezzo-soprano (beginning DSO)
Issachah Savage, tenor (early DSO)
Soloman Howard, bass-baritone (beginning DSO)
Dallas Symphony Choir, Joshua Habermann, director
Bruce Adolphe: Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (Dallas premiere of the DSO co-commission)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9, “Chorus”