News & Reviews

« All News & Reviews

102nd Season Opens With Midori

August 14, 2012
  • Who: Midori with the Austin Symp0hony Orchestra
  • When: September 7 & 8, 2012
  • Where: Dell Hall - Long Center for the Performing Arts

Maestro Peter Bay and the ASO invite patrons to “Get Closer to the Music” as they open the 102nd season of classical concerts with performances of works by Dvořák, Brahms and Shostakovich. World-renowned violinist Midori returns to the Austin Symphony stage to kick off another full year of classical and pops concerts. Performances will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 7th & 8th in Dell Hall at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. These concerts are proudly sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Dvořák – My Homeland, Op. 62
Brahms – Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77
Shostakovich – Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70

After the playing of the National Anthem, Peter Bay begins the evening with Antonín Dvořák’s concert overture, My Homeland. My Homeland was originally one of nine compositions about the composer’s native soil. While the others have passed into obscurity, the overture on national Czech themes continues as a mainstay in Dvořák’s repertoire.

In the 2012-2013 season, violinist Midori will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her performing career. She made her debut at age 11 as a surprise guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta in 1982. Today Midori is recognized as an extraordinary performer, a devoted and gifted educator, and an innovative community engagement activist. In recognition of the breadth and quality of her work in these three entirely separate fields, in 2012 she was given the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Yale University. Midori joins the ASO for a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major.

The evening closes with the Ninth Symphony of one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century, Dmitri Shostakovich. Early in 1945, word spread that Shostakovich was working on a grand symphony modeled on Beethoven’s “Choral.” A ‘Ninth’ of this proportion was certainly what Stalin was expecting. Up to that time, a composer’s Ninth Symphony had come to mean some sort of ultimate statement. Beethoven introduced a chorus into the finale of his Ninth. Dvořák’s Ninth was his extremely popular New World. Bruckner’s Ninth, left unfinished at his death, was dedicated to “God the beloved.” Mahler, attempting to sidestep a Ninth wrote a ‘song-symphony,’ The Song of the Earth. In the end, the looked-for ‘Soviet Ninth’ turned out to be a bombshell of a completely unexpected kind. Not only was it surprisingly short and scored for a modest orchestra, its entire character seemed staggeringly misjudged. The authorities despised the Symphony for its sparse, conservative orchestration and lighthearted, satiric tone. Yet, this work came as close to the Soviet ideal of ‘music as music and nothing but’ as anything Shostakovich wrote.

Tickets for Midori with the Austin Symphony range from $23 to $54. Student rush tickets are also available 20 minutes prior to performance for $5 cash and current student ID. Charge tickets online at where you will find seating maps, price options and a wealth of concert information. Tickets are also available at the Austin Symphony Box Office, 11th and Red River or call 476-6064 or 1-888-4-MAESTRO (toll-free).