Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Opens its 99th Season with Music Inspired by Visual Art | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Opens its 99th Season with Music Inspired by Visual Art

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

KALAMAZOO, Mich., Sept. 17, 2019 – The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Julian Kuerti open the 99th concert season with music inspired by pictures. Guest violinist Leticia Moreno joins the orchestra for this season premiere at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium on September 20, at 8 p.m. One hour before the concert, Resident Conductor Daniel Brier leads a free, 30-minute pre-concert prelude talk for ticketholders. Tickets are available online through the Kalamazoo Symphony Box Office.

In selecting works for this program, which includes compositions by Gunther Schuller, Sergei Prokofiev, and Modest Mussorgsky, Kuerti focused on pieces influenced by visual art: “Schuller and Mussorgsky both wrote with visual art as their inspiration. Where Mussorgsky gives us a more literal ‘tone painting,’ Schuller’s approach often is to use the art to dictate his compositional technique. Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto speaks the language of classical music with a strong 20th-century accent.” Kuerti also pulls in a personal connection: “I studied with Schuller at Tanglewood and considered him a mentor. As a composer, he was equally comfortable in classical music and jazz, and as a conductor, he was notoriously meticulous and demanding…of the orchestra as well as himself!”

The concert opens with modern American composer Schuller’s “Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee.” Klee often worked with lines and shapes the way a composer works with melodies and rhythms, creating paintings that were perceived as musical. Schuller’s works pull from classical, jazz, and Arabic influences, resulting in a dynamic set of pieces that the KSO will perform with projected images of Klee’s art. Prokofiev’s violin concerto introduces the KSO audience to guest artist Leticia Moreno. Finally, the concert closes with “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Originally composed as ten solo piano suites by Mussorgsky in memory of his close friend, artist Victor Hartman, the suite gained new life and international recognition when Maurice Ravel orchestrated it in 1922. 

About Leticia Moreno
Recognized as an exciting and versatile violinist, Leticia Moreno was named an Echo Rising Star in 2012. Moreno has worked with leading conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Josep Pons and Juanjo Mena among others. With an international profile, Moreno has performed with orchestras such us Wiener Symphoniker and St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Washington National and Mariinsky orchestras, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and is a regular guest with most of the major Spanish orchestras. Moreno studied with Zakar Bron at Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid and Musikhochschule of Cologne, and she became the youngest member of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung. She has won international violin competitions such as Szeryng, Concertino Praga, Novosibirsk, Sarasate and Kreisler. This is her first appearance with the KSO. 

Sensory-Friendly Tools Available
There are people throughout our community who may not feel comfortable in a concert setting and miss out on the wonderful musical experiences available through the Kalamazoo Symphony. To help make our events more accessible, the KSO makes sensory-friendly tools available during our concerts. Tools include headphones, earplugs, sunglasses, and fidget tools. By using them, some children or adult patrons may be able to enjoy the performance more comfortably. These tools will be available to borrow before the concert and during intermission at our sensory-friendly tools table located in the Grand Tier near the elevator and walkway to the parking garage.

Concert Schedule and Tickets   
The Wiser Financial Concert Prelude, a popular pre-concert talk held from 7-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium, is free for ticket holders and provides insights into the program's music and artists. Following the prelude, at 7:30 p.m., the evening’s Student Showcase features the Geiman Studio Trumpet Ensemble, performing a fanfare near the auditorium’s entrance, and the Suzuki Academy of Kalamazoo performing in the Grand Tier mezzanine. The concert begins at 8 p.m., and it immediately is followed by the KSO’s new, immersive AfterWORDS discussion with Kuerti and Moreno in the Grand Tier mezzanine.

Tickets start at $24 and may be purchased online through the KSO's box office, or by calling the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at 269.387.2300. Student $5 Rush Tickets, with a valid student ID, are available at the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office the night of the concert. Visit the KSO at kalamazoosymphony.com, or call the symphony office at 269.349.7759, for available discounts, performance details, ticketing, and schedules. Prices, artists, dates, times, and programs are subject to change without notice.

The KSO receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, and the Stryker Johnston Foundation. The KSO is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The KSO receives generous support from other local, state, and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support.

About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1921, the KSO (kalamazoosymphony.com) is Southwest Michigan’s premiere musical organization and the state’s third largest orchestra. Serving Michigan’s fourth largest metropolitan area, the KSO provides more than 40 concert performances each year and reaches more than 30,000 adults and youth annually through its concerts and programs. With an equally vibrant educational mission, the KSO offers school-based programs that music teachers rely on to support their curriculum and after-school programs that have been recognized by the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, and a major Ford Foundation grant to establish its innovative Artists in Residence program.


MEDIA CONTACT: Julie White | (269) 349.7759 | jwhite@kalamazoosymphony.com


Tags: concert, Concerto, Julian Kuerti, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Leticia Moreno, Mussorgsky, Premiere, Prokofiev, Schuller, third stream, Violin