I am delighted to share my fifth season with the Philharmonic with you! And what an amazing season it will be—not only because of the greatness of the repertoire we will be performing for you, but also because of its diversity and freshness! We truly have something for every musical taste!
Works by three major African-American composers will be represented: George Walker’s beautiful Lyric for Strings, William Grant Still’s eloquent choral-orchestral gems, Plain-Chant for America and A Psalm for the Living, and Florence Price’s powerful Symphony No.3.
Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’s popular Danzón No. 2, Scandinavian Jean Sibelius’ sensuous Swan of Tuonela, and Italian Ottorino Respighi’s colossal The Pines of Rome will add to the cultural mix.
Prokofiev’s beloved Russian tale Peter and the Wolf, as well as holiday favorites, will be staged in a special family concert in collaboration with CAAPA (Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts). And of course, we celebrate our county’s talented young musicians by performing with them in our yearly educational outreach program.
Other American works will include Gershwin’s colorful An American in Paris, Aaron Copland’s famous Music for Movies and the premiere of Haig Mardirosian’s fun A Ritual of Dances.
As expected, this season will also include a healthy dose of the great international classics of the concert hall: Beethoven’s mighty Eroica Symphony and the Overture to Coriolan, Dvorak’s huge Cello Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s emotionally charged Fifth Symphony. Franz Liszt’s Romantic tone poem Les Préludes will open this exciting season, and our dear friend Brian Ganz returns to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 (Brian’s favorite concerto) in the season finale.
Join me in celebrating not just my anniversary, but the Prince George’s Philharmonic’s 57th season too!
See you on stage!
Jesus Manuel Berard, Music Director and Conductor
We begin another season in just a few weeks, and have planned an outstanding series of concerts! With programs including Beethoven’s Eroica, Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, An American in Paris, The Pines of Rome, and Peter and the Wolf, we are looking forward to a really exciting season!
Our 57th season will also highlight another of the things that the Philharmonic is famous for – its longstanding support for the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players, and the opportunity to host one of the competition winners in concert. The Johansen Competition started in 1997, and takes place every three years, bringing to Washington outstanding young string players from around the world, who compete for generous financial prizes and invitations to perform with symphony orchestras in the Washington area. Your Philharmonic has been a supporter, and a beneficiary, of the Johansen Competition almost from the very beginning; ever since the competition of 2000, we have had, every three years, the privilege and the thrill of having a Johansen winner solo with us. Many of these young performers have gone on to become well-known professional musicians, and we are proud to have been, even in a small way, a step on their paths to success.
This fall we will perform with a remarkable young cellist, 2022 Johansen winner Romain-Olivier Gray, who will play the magnificent Dvorak cello concerto – not to be missed! We have since the year 2000 hosted winners of seven Johansen Competitions, and Mr. Gray will be the eighth; he studies with David Hardy, Principal Cello in the National Symphony. Mr. Hardy himself soloed with us in 1989, soon after he joined the National Symphony, playing the same Dvorak concerto – we are, thus, closing a wonderful circle of musical connection.
So plan to join us for five regular, subscription concerts of great music, and in December, joining with CAAPA (the Coalition of African Americans in the Performing Arts), we will also be able to bring you a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, beloved by all age groups, and followed by favorite holiday music selections.
As we attempt to put these terrible Covid years behind us, your Philharmonic will be working hard to continue bringing you new and wonderful experiences with great music! We look forward to a terrific new season, and to seeing you very soon!
Susan Pearl, President, Prince George’s Philharmonic