The bad news: six sensational symphonic performances in the 2016-17 Wichita Symphony Orchestra season have come and gone.
The good news: there are seven remaining performances scheduled January through April, and the diversity spans classics, pops and family-friendly concerts.
The next four concerts include an internationally acclaimed concert violinist, a family concert, one of the world’s most sought after bass-baritones and the first ever collaboration between Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Music Theatre Wichita that will result in a stunning semi-staged production with full cast, chorus and a 52-piece orchestra.
Below is a closer look at the second half of WSO’s season. Unless otherwise noted, all concerts are conducted by Maestro Daniel Hege and take place Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. in the Century II Concert Hall. Single tickets are available online at wichitasymphony.org or by calling the Symphony box office at (316) 267-7658. Tickets range from $20 to $75 for Classics and Pops performances and from $10 to $15 for Family concerts.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons of Kansas
Friday, Jan. 27 & Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017
Vivaldi’s popular “Four Seasons” meets the photographic landscapes of acclaimed Kansas artist and Wichita State University professor Larry Schwarm in this musical and visual mash-up. The “Four Seasons of Kansas” photographic montage projected above the orchestra brings life to Vivaldi’s masterpiece as performed by the incomparable violinist Rachel Barton Pine. WSO makes a rare visit to the glorious period of Baroque music with the concert also featuring Handel’s “Water Music” and Bach’s “Third Orchestral Suite” that includes the famous “Air on a G String.”
Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery - A Family Concert
Jan. 28, 2017 at 4 p.m.
The acclaimed acting troupe Classical Kids Live brings to life the story of Katarina, a young violinist who is sent to study music at the great Pieta orphanage in 17th century Venice with famous music director and composer Antonio Vivaldi. Aided by the colorful gondolier Giovanni, Katarina embarks on a thrilling but mysterious journey searching for clues to her past and a vanishing Stradivarius violin. Along the way, she comes to understand Vivaldi, his music and his reasons for staying at the orphanage despite his international fame. Music Director and Conductor Daniel Hege guides our journey as we dive into the “spirit and soul” of Vivaldi’s brilliant music.
Carousel: A Concert
Feb. 11, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
For the first time in the two organizations storied histories, Music Theatre Wichita and the WSO join forces to present a semi-staged production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical in “Carousel: A Concert.” Conveying hope and dignity through a dramatic testimony to the power of love, this timeless musical features such beloved songs such as “The Carousel Waltz,” “If I Loved You,” “Billy’s Soliloquy,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and so much more! Conducted by Maestro Daniel Hege and directed by Wayne Bryan.
A Night at the Opera with Alan Held
Feb. 18/19, 2017
This is no ordinary night at the opera! One of the world’s most sought after Wagnerian bass-baritones lives among us! Alan Held, Wichita State alumnus and professor, sings the thrilling music of Wotan, Hans Sachs and Scarpia in an evening that will resonate in your ears. Powerful orchestrations together with the glorious WSO Chorus will ignite Wagner’s “Magic Fire Music” and celebrate the festivities that conclude “Die Meistersinger.” With additional familiar music by Bizet, Verdi, Puccini and music by Borodin that found a second life in the Broadway musical “Kismet,” this is truly a musical feast for everyone’s most indulgent tastes.
Von Oeyen plays Grieg
March 11/12, 2017
From Scandinavia’s fjords to the fields and forests of Bohemia, beloved music by Grieg and Dvorak, together with the delightful discovery of American composer David Diamond’s “Rounds,” this concert will enchant you. Pianist Andrew von Oeyen dazzles in Grieg’s sparkling “Piano Concerto,” and guest conductor Alistair Willis takes us on a sojourn through Dvorak’s “8th Symphony.” A landmark of 19th-century symphonies, Dvorak’s joyful and melodic spontaneity continues to inspire us over a century after its composition.
April 8/9, 2017
The Classics season ends with a single work that embarks on a journey from night to bright day: Mahler’s “Symphony No. 7.” His large-scale orchestra, which includes cowbells, mandolin and guitar, produces a kaleidoscope of orchestral color that conjures up mysterious shadows, spectral images and nocturnal sounds of nature. This transcendent and remarkable symphony ends in blazing and triumphant sunshine.
The Music of John Williams
April 22, 2017
A full concert of John Williams’ most iconic Olympic fanfares and film scores, such as “Harry Potter,” “E.T.,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and, of course, “Star Wars.” The Academy- and Grammy-award winning composer’s works are brought to life with help from the Wichita Symphony Orchestra Chorus in a thrilling performance no fan of music and movies will want to miss.