Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming season combines standards and surprises

When Kevin Day was growing up, he wasn’t sure if he would become a composer, let alone have a professional orchestra play his works.

Raised in Arlington and a graduate of Texas Christian University School of Music, he is writing an original piece that will debut in the 2023-2024 season of the Fort Worth Symphony.

“I never imagined that life would go this way,” he said. “I am honored to work with this group.

His composition is one of the elements of the blockbuster season, which includes pop concerts with songs ranging from box office hits to classics by Rachmaninoff and Brahms.

The new season will include 12 Symphony Series concerts, six weekend pop concerts and three chamber music concerts in addition to six special one-day performances. The Symphony Orchestra will also host a “Meet the Artist” series and a series of concerts for families with young children.

“We are halfway through our first official season and are having a great time, and we are certainly looking forward to next season,” said Maestro Robert Spano, musical director of the Fort Worth Symphony.

In addition to announcing a new season, the FWSO also announced that Spano, who made his debut as the orchestra’s music director in September 2022, has renewed his contract with the orchestra for the 2027-2028 season.

When he was hired, Spano tentatively revealed how he intended to program future seasons, admitting that the orchestra served multiple audiences.

“I think we are looking for a combination of museum and gallery,” Spano said. “So the museum part of what we do is the classics, the core of the repertoire and the symphonic tradition that we want to preserve and that people want to hear. And there is something new, different, unusual.”

The upcoming season fulfills that promise with a performance from FLY Dance Company, which describes its style as “theatrical hip hop.” A separate concert will be a large-scale puppet show by the Canadian touring group The Old Trout Puppet Workshop based on Prokofiev’s opera Peter and the Wolf.

“This year, we will continue to enhance the concert experience by incorporating exciting visuals and projections into our concert series to add new artistic dimensions and heighten the audience experience.This was stated by FWSO CEO Keith Czerny.

Gamers will have the opportunity to hear music from World of Warcraft, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and more live at the Will Rogers Auditorium. Andy Brick will lead the performance, which will be accompanied by HD video.

Visuals will also take center stage as the orchestra performs Stravinsky’s Petrushka with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

“The Dallas Black Dance Theater has a long history of collaboration dating back 40 years to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra,” said Zenetta Drew, Executive Director of DBDT. “For decades, our company has repeatedly collaborated with opera, museum and theater companies in Dallas. We are very pleased to partner with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as our first major collaboration with the Fort Worth Arts Organization.”

At the orchestra’s Symphony Series premiere, piano lovers will recognize Yunchang Lim, the youngest and most recent winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

The family-friendly series makes room for “all the kiddos and laughter” at concerts, with music from Cinderella to Harry Potter.

Although Day now lives in Canada, where he is an adjunct professor of composition at Wilfrid Laurier University, he remembers going to Forth Symphony concerts as a child.

“It’s like coming home,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be working with this great orchestra and Robert Spano and seeing this come to life.”

Marcheta Fornoff covers art for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at [email protected] or call Twitter. At Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of board members and financial backers. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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