Following their trip to Washington, D.C. for SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, the Jacksonville Symphony has announced its season line up for 2020-2021. The 20/21 season will be Music Director Courtney Lewis’ sixth leading the Jacksonville Symphony.
I think I must have been thirteen or fourteen and it was one of my first times riding the bus from my school. Santiago is a lovely city, but it’s definitely scary for a child that has no friends and wants to listen to classical music. On that ride, I was mugged by three people not that much older than me. Even though they just wanted my personal stereo, they also got Dvořák’s New World Symphony recording in it. Another way to share music, you may think. However, a void grew every afternoon when missing the beautiful mixture of Czech sounds and South American traffic noise.
For the Jacksonville Symphony, and local residents, it is hard to imagine a time when the First Coast Nutcracker was not part of our holiday tradition. But believe it or not, prior to 1972, only selected vignettes, known as “Nutcracker Suites,” had been presented in Jacksonville.
Last season, the Jacksonville Symphony brought opera back during a two week long festival celebrating one of the most famous composers of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For their 70th season, the symphony is dedicated to bringing to life multiple works from another monumental composer – Ludwig van Beethoven.
For most, summer is a time to recharge, chill, and maybe catch your breath. Not for Deanna Tham, principal conductor, Winston Family Endowed Chair with the Jacksonville Symphony. She’s busy preparing for her third season overseeing the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras (JSYO) program — an umbrella name for six musical ensembles.
The Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall opened on April 27, 1997, fundamentally transforming downtown Jacksonville in the process. Until then, the symphony had no dedicated home of its own. With seating for 1,800 within an acoustically perfect space, the Jacoby incorporates state-of-the-art technology and design characteristics that rival its counterparts in musical capitals throughout the world. It was, and remains, a symphonic home for the long term. And like most twenty-two-year-olds, it is just hitting its stride.