The 2019/20 Season Marks the Beginning of a New Era for the Dallas Symphony

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has a new CEO.EXPAND
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has a new CEO.
Mark Kitaoka

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is under new management — both artistic and administrative — with CEO Kim Noltemy, who took the reins in the middle of the 2017/18 season, and new music director Fabio Luisi. Amidst these monumental changes, the DSO has teased several new initiatives and fresh programming, many of which will come to fruition during the 2019/20 season.

Dallas audiences will get to see Luisi lead five concerts with the DSO, including a full concert performance of Richard Strauss’ opera, Salome. Opera is one of Luisi’s specialties, and he’s promised to lead the DSO in a full opera-in-concert performance every season of his tenure. What better way to kick this off than a little incest, suicide and decapitation. Luisi is also a big fan of oft-neglected 20th-century composer Franz Schmidt, so we’ll see a performance of his oratorio The Book with Seven Seals, featuring the Dallas Symphony Chorus.

“For me, Franz Schmidt is one of the most important symphony composers of the 20th century, and Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (The Book with Seven Seals) is one of my favorite pieces,” Luisi said in a recent interview.

The DSO’s first female principal guest conductor, Gemma New, will make her DSO debut this fall in a program featuring a piece by fellow New Zealander Salina Fisher, as well as the world premiere of Steven Mackey’s Timpani Concerto. She returns to lead the DSO’s annual New Year’s Eve concerts and another classical program in March 2020. In the DSO’s press release, New says she is “very much looking forward to performing many engaging and insightful programs with the wonderful DSO musicians, on the beautiful Meyerson Symphony Center stage, for our enthusiastic Dallas audiences."

The 2019/20 season will also bring us the DSO’s inaugural Women in Classical Music Symposium, which will showcase the role of women in classical music and create more opportunities for female representation in the historically male-dominated industry. The symposium will be Nov. 6-9 across the Dallas Arts District and will feature panel discussions, networking opportunities and performances that highlight female musicians, composers and arts administrators.

If you love the DSO’s more relaxed ReMix concert series, know that the same casual vibe will be recreated at the Meyerson Symphony Center for “Fab Fridays,” three relaxed evenings over the course of the season. Concerts on select Fridays will be performed without intermission, and tickets will include a free drink and meet-and-greet with the DSO musicians.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the pops and special programs. The DSO has found that movies in concert are some of their most popular performances as of late. In the 2018/19 season, they screened Star Wars: A New Hope, Disney’s The Little Mermaid and others while the orchestra performed the score live. They’ll continue this trend in the 2019/20 season and present four exciting films, most notably (at least, in this writer’s opinion) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Mark your calendars for that Nov. 27 through Dec. 1.

DSO will also host Bernadette Peters, the Indigo Girls, trumpeter Chris Botti and more during the Pops season.

You can purchase subscription packages now, and look for single tickets this summer. Check out the full 2019/20 season at mydso.com.

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