The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will celebrate 77 years of music making during the 2002-03 Masterworks season.
To mark the occasion, the orchestra will present an extraordinary season of musical imagery spanning centuries of musical genres.
Along the way, the orchestra will perform many of the most recognizable and beloved melodies of all time with tributes to Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Music of the Russian masters and the dawn of jazz will also be explored.
The orchestra begins the John S. and Doris Andrews Masterworks Series under the baton of Isaiah Jackson on Oct. 26, 2002, with an all-Mozart program. Siblings Ani and Ida Kavafian will perform Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola. The orchestra pays tribute to Mozart with his Overture from the opera "The Magic Flute" and Symphony No. 40, described as "one of the most perfect things in art."
Branford Marsalis, saxophone virtuoso of the highest order, adds his unique American take on the French classics Nov. 23, 2002, when the orchestra examines turn-of-the-last-century French composers' impact on the American idiom known as jazz. Marsalis performs Milhaud's "Cr & eacute;ation du monde" and Ibert's "Concertino de camera."
The orchestra continues the French tradition with selections from Bizet's popular opera "Carmen" and Cesar Franck's Symphony in D Minor.
On Jan. 18, 2003, the orchestra celebrates the greatness of Bach with a performance of the six Brandenburg Concerti. Pianist Steven Lubin joins the orchestra for the Brandenburg Fifth Concerto, and Youngstown Symphony Orchestra members will be featured throughout the evening in a musical festival that explains why many consider Bach to be the greatest composer of them all.
Young Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein makes his debut with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 1, 2003 in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. Everyone will recognize the concerto's popular theme, which gave birth to the Hit Parade song "Tonight We Love."
Other selections to be heard during the all-Tchaikovsky program will be the waltz from his ballet "Sleeping Beauty" and the Symphony No. 4 in F Minor.
Nearly two centuries after his death, Beethoven stands as the central -- if not the chief -- figure in music. On March 8, 2003, the orchestra performs Beethoven's immortal Symphony No. 5 and the overture from his opera "Fidelio." Returning to perform the composer's sole violin concerto will be Joseph Silverstein.
A program of powerhouse hits awaits patrons attending the April 5, 2003 concert with pianist Vladimir Feltsman. Feltsman performs Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," one of the greatest melodies of all time. Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor" (a k a "Stranger in Paradise" from Broadway's "Kismet") and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Arabian Night" fantasy "Scheherazade" complete the musical menu.
"Three Tenors: Next Generation" will be the final Series presentation May 3, 2003. Youngstown native Peter Riberi returns to sing the mainstays of the tenor repertoire from opera, the musical theater stage and the folk songs of Italy.
For a rousing season of beautiful music, subscribe to the YSO John S. and Doris Andrews Masterworks Series. Subscriptions are available by calling the Symphony Center box office at (330) 744-0264 or going online at www.youngstownsymphony.com.
All performances will be at Powers Auditorium and willbegin at 8 p.m.
XPatricia C. Syak is executive director of the Youngstown Symphony Society.