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Category: Music Director

Opening Night: Russian Masters Insights From Eric


Dearest Orlando,

We’re in full swing here at the Philharmonic! Tchaikovsky rehearsals have started for our Opening Night concert on October 1st! We’re in our new rehearsal hall and it sounds incredible! As always we will open our Season with The Star-Spangled Banner, and because we are featuring the heroic, romantic and poetic Russian composers this year, we will perform the Stravinsky arrangement of this piece. It’s so beautiful and grand! We start the season together in song!

Opening Night is all about LOVE! Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev) and the 4th symphony of Tchaikovsky embody the raw emotions that the Russian composers are so masterful at portraying. You might know that Prokofiev is truly one of the greatest Hollywood composers. His pallet of colors was so vast that he can paint you a landscape with an orchestra! Our soloist Steve Copes arrived today and we can’t wait to jump into the Berg Violin Concerto with him. I think one thing you will notice about his performance is how intimate he makes a stage feel. He is a chamber musician, a communicator and he has the rare ability to make a concert hall feel like a living room. We worked on this piece together in Germany a few years ago and I can’t wait to do it with our great orchestra!

The Berg is a piece of mourning, loss and love and it is devastating. You will definitely hear the sounds of Jazz, Brahms, as well as the fractured pain of loss.

There is a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 from 1929 by the Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mengelberg conducting that has been one of my favorites for years. My teacher was born in 1911, and hearing this reminds me of the type of musical language he was immersed in. This was a world before high speed transportation or internet and it was a time of individualism. Each city had a distinct sounding orchestra!

Looking forward, our next Classics Series concert in December is with seven-time (what?!) Grammy winner and piano Superstar Emanuel Ax. In just a few weeks, the Philharmonic will perform Bernstein’s zany opera Candide at The Plaza Live on October 13, 14, and 16.

I can’t wait to see you all at Opening Night on October 1. It’s going to be an incredibly exciting Season! Orlando deserves the greatest music and I know we will have fun exploring it all together!


Music Director

To purchase tickets for Opening Night click here.

Our Maestro in Motion: Eric Jacobsen takes The Knights of NYC abroad

Our Maestro in Motion: Eric Jacobsen takes The Knights of NYC abroad

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s new Music Director, Eric Jacobsen, is not one to neglect his New York roots. NY-based orchestral collective The Knights— of which Jacobsen is a founder and Artistic Director— is an ensemble that embodies many flavors of the Big Apple. Whether The Knights are performing in Carnegie Hall, in Central Park, or on public television, New York music lovers can rely on them to provide entertainment and fresh insight into the world of music.

In the upcoming months, The Knights will perform with household names such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, and provide musical improvisation to the spoken poetry of 20th century literary genius Pablo Neruda. The Knights just returned from a tour of Austria and Germany with their eclectic blend of contemporary works, original compositions from group members, and time-honored classics. In Germany, the musicians gave performances in Darmstadt’s Darmstadtium; performing a range of compositional styles that varied from Franz Joseph Haydn to John Adams. The Knights then traveled to Vienna, Austria to perform a concert in the city’s musical center – the historic Wiener Musikverein (the historic home of composer/conductors Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler). “The acoustics in that hall transformed the orchestra,” acclaimed Maestro Jacobsen, so impressed with the enhancement of sound that the architecture of the Musikverein provides. He elaborates further by saying that he would love to try to duplicate the sound in Orlando, and hopes to be closely involved with the development of “Stage 2” at the Plaza Live Theatre.

Maestro Jacobsen will return to the city beautiful next week, energized by The Knights’ European tour as he helps finalize the myriad of details that comprise the Orlando Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season. Such details include rehearsal schedules, production particulars, and casting for next season’s opera: Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The new Maestro is sure to bring the creative zeal of The Knights to the stage with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in its upcoming season.

Sarah Overton, Orlando Philharmonic Development Intern