With the pandemic, last season was challenging for all, but now, I’m excited to say that we are back performing before live audiences—that means being back together with you!
This season will be the most diverse ever!
We’ve invited our old friend, violinist Emil Israel Chudnovsky, to open the season with us with a performance of the complete Four Seasons by Italian Baroque master Antonio Vivaldi.
Soloist Mark Edwards joins us for the most famous guitar concerto of all time, the Concierto de Aranjuez, by the eminent 20th-century Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo. The Classical Period is well represented by Viennese master Joseph Haydn’s celebrated “London” Symphony, No. 104.
The sensuous and festive Danzón No. 2 by the popular Mexican composer Arturo Márquez has earned its place as a staple of symphony orchestras around the world, and it will open our annual Side-by-Side performance with Prince George’s County’s most talented young instrumentalists and choral singers in February.
Our March program will feature American iconoclast Charles Ives’ Fugue from his infamous Fourth Symphony, Puerto Rican composer Armando Bayolo’s recent Colorfields, based on paintings by Marc Rothko, and Symphony No. 1 by the trailblazing African-American woman, Florence Price, who has been discovered and heralded by the orchestral world in recent years. I am especially proud of the fact that Florence Price graduated from my Alma mater, New England Conservatory, in 1906! NEC has trained and supported classical musicians of African descent since its founding in 1867, immediately after the Civil War.
We close our season and kick off the summer with another old friend, pianist Thomas Pandolfi, in a program that features German Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Russian giant Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, and the Second Symphony of the Scandinavian icon Jan Sibelius, which paints a vivid picture of Finland’s landscape, sea and history.
I am excited about getting back in the concert hall with the full orchestra and with you! I know I can speak for our entire organization in saying that we all look forward to sharing all this wonderful music with all of you again. In the meantime—and anytime—watch and listen to our performances, past and present, on our YouTube channel.
Jesus Manuel Berard, Music Director
We have missed you! Really missed you!! We can hardly wait to return to the stage and perform for you again! We have great plans for our 56th season, but of course, everything depends on the progress we all make in bringing this pandemic to an end. We will keep you informed through our electronic newsletter “QuarterNotes,” and you can always check our schedule by going to our website: pgphilharmonic.org.
We hope that you have stayed well, and that you have kept in touch with us through the last difficult year and a half. The Philharmonic has videographed many of our performances, and we hope that you have gone to our website and experienced them on our YouTube channel. These include some previous performances, such as Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” from May 2019, several small all-string chamber ensembles, a virtual “wall” of woodwinds, brass, and percussion, and several solo and quartet performances. We have been fortunate in receiving funding to secure the professional services of a videographer and sound engineer in order to keep in touch with you, our friends and supporters.
Our plans for our upcoming 56th season include some very special performances: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with Emil Israel Chudnovsky as violin soloist; classical guitarist Mark Edwards in a Rodrigo concerto, Florence Price’s First Symphony, and Thomas Pandolfi in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. We are also working on plans for performing special children’s concerts, as soon as it is safe for children to join our audience. We dearly hope that COVID conditions improve and keep improving, so that we can again perform together before your very eyes and ears!
Please keep well and keep in contact with us! I look forward to seeing you in the audience soon this fall!
With all best wishes,