Symphony prepares for new, unique 2023-24 season
26 Aug 2023
Quality of Life, News
Felicia Frazar The Seguin Gazette
Mid-Texas Symphony music director Akiko Fujimoto has led the orchestra through four seasons of unique programing.
And this coming season is no different.
The 2023-24 season will bring music from across the eras and countries, as well as a couple of new compositions, Fujimoto said.
“We have six very exciting and varied programs,” she said. “Each is very unique in its own. My emphasis is to marry the great symphonic cannon with what’s going on in our area — Seguin and New Braunfels. We’re excited to find new and unique pairings in the area and these great pieces new and old.”
‘Rhapsody in Blue’
*-The season kicks off Sept. 10 at Texas Lutheran University’s Jackson Auditorium with the symphony’s program “Rhapsody in Blue.”
“We’re celebrating the centennial of Gershwin’s famous piece ‘Rhapsody in Blue,’” Fujimoto said.
The concert will also include a special Texas premier of pianist Jeffrey Biegel and composer Peter Boyer’s “Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue.”
“It’s very exciting, we’re the first ones in Texas to preform it,” Fujimoto said. “Orchestras across the country are doing this and I’m happy to be part of that.”
Biegel will join the symphony for both rhapsodies performances.
The show focuses on American composers or American-inspired sounds including works from Aaron Copland and Dvorák.
For the second show, the music director pulled inspiration from Ukraine and its folk music, Fujimoto said.
“We’ll be preforming Tchaikovsky’s ‘Ukrainian Symphony No. 2,’” she said. “It is of course the region that is on our mind a lot. The symphony uses quotes from several Ukrainian folk songs and it is very exciting.”
The show will feature the return of professional violinist and prodigy Nancy Zhou.
“We’re very excited to welcome her back,” Fujimoto said. “She is going to play Mozart’s ‘Violin Concerto No. 5.’”
On Nov. 5, the symphony will head to Canyon High School’s Performing Arts Center for the second concert.
Sounds of the Season
The annual holiday show will bring the orchestra back to Jackson Auditorium for a celebration of the season.
Audience members should prepare to enjoy the usual Christmas favorites and be introduced to new songs, Fujimoto said.
“We’ll have guest vocalist Liliana Guerrero join us and sing a couple of Latin American carols called villancicos, as well as ‘Ava Maria’ by Bach-Gounod,” she said. “We’ll have a children’s chorus on stage and Santa might make an appearance.”
Romance and Chocolate
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of romance that typically involves chocolate and the Mid-Texas Symphony’s fourth show will combine the two with the help of New Braunfels business Gourmage, Fujimoto said.
“We’re going to have romantic music from Broadway, Hollywood and classical genres of music,” Fujimoto said. “Toward the end of the concert, we’re going to perform a piece called ‘Chocolats Symphoniques’ by Maxime Goulet. It has four movements. During each of the movements, the audience is supposed to eat a piece of chocolate that is created specifically for that flavor of the movement. It’s going to be ears and tastebuds stimulated at the same times and it should be a lot of fun.”
The show is Feb. 15 at the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center.
Best of Baroque
The Mid-Texas Symphony will take it back to the Baroque era for its fifth concert slated for April 7 at the Brauntex Theatre.
“It is such an iconic venue, very intimate and it is right in the heart of downtown New Braunfels,” Fujimoto said. “We love it there and we’re doing music all from the Baroque era of classical music. We’re doing a lot of Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Biber.”
University of Texas - Austin professor and renowned guitarist Adam Holzman will play along with the symphony for its performance of Vivaldi’s “Guitar Concerto.”