By Steven B. Libman, President and CEO of the Jacksonville Symphony
The 73rd season of the Jacksonville Symphony will be kicking off in just a few short weeks, and we could not be more excited. Featuring world-class music performed by one of America’s finest orchestras, we expect to reach new heights of artistic excellence and take our patrons on a journey of musical adventures. Whether it’s the classics or new favorites yet to be explored, the symphony offers an exceptional experience for everyone to enjoy.
Music Director Courtney Lewis; our incredibly accomplished symphony; our new concertmaster, Adelya Nartadjieva; and an extraordinary collection of guest artists will fill Jacoby Symphony Hall with unlimited energy, transformative emotions, and unforgettable moments our audiences will treasure forever.
Commencing the season are two free community concerts conducted by the symphony’s new Associate Conductor Kevin Fitzgerald. The Florida Blue Classical Series, consisting of 11 masterful concerts curated by Lewis, will launch shortly thereafter with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece Piano Concerto No. 1. The series will feature award-winning guest conductors, guest artists, the world premiere of Sean Shepherd’s commission, and the return of pianists Conrad Tao and Alessio Bax.
Opera will also return to the Jacoby Symphony Hall stage with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s beloved and enchanting production, The Magic Flute. The opera will be conducted by Lewis with stage direction by Kristine McIntyre who has directed productions for prestigious companies such as the San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, among many others.
The Pops Series is sure to shine on stage with 10 spectacular concerts and the music of Paul Simon, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, and many other celebrated artists. The FIS Symphonic Night at the Movies Series will also present the iconic scores of Rocky, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ as the movies come to life on the giant screen.
Ringing in the joy of the holiday season are five Holiday Pops performances, our annual production of George Frideric Handel’s masterpiece Messiah, and the 50th anniversary of the Jacksonville Symphony’s First Coast Nutcracker sponsored by VyStar Credit Union.
Finally, our season would not be complete without the PNC Bank Symphony in 60 Series, which offers outstanding music for 60 minutes and a casual cocktail hour in advance. Stirring selections from the symphony’s various series will also be showcased in the Coffee Series concerts.
I’d like to also mention that we are incredibly grateful to our loyal patrons who allow us to continue our mission of providing everyone with the chance to experience the wonders of symphonic music. I would like to thank our 1,500+ individual donors; the corporations, foundations, and local, state, and federal governments that support the symphony; along with Mayor Lenny Curry and the City Council for their remarkable, ongoing commitment. Our performances, music education programs, and ensembles that tour throughout the region testify to our passion for enriching lives through symphonic music and wouldn’t be possible without their support.
We hope that you will join us on an exhilarating journey throughout the 2022/23 season to see where the music takes you. The possibilities are boundless.