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The Akron Symphony Orchestra is preparing for a 2017-18 season that is filled with celebrated works, exciting discoveries and visual imagery to greatly enhance the listening experience.
The season includes works from Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Verdi and more; collaborations with Neos Dance Theatre and The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra; the 25th anniversary of Gospel Meets Symphony, and the Northeast Ohio debut of Video Games Live.
"Next season we perform several major works of significance, several of which include aspects of visual storytelling," according to Music Director Christopher Wilkins. "Visual elements include Video Games Live, Pictures at an Exhibition, Petrushka and Planet Earth.
The season opens on Sept. 23 with the first of seven Classic concerts. Opening night will feature Dvok's Symphony No. 7 and Tchaikovsky's Marche slave.
Highlights of the Classic Series include:
Excerpts from Wagner's Die Meistersinger on Oct. 6, much of it performed by the Symphony for the first time, along with Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
Pictures at an Exhibition on Nov. 18, a thrilling exploration of music and art including visual projections above the orchestra.
Guest conductor Daniel Hege on Jan. 20 in Brahms' Symphony No. 2. Hege is Music Director of the Wichita Symphony, Principal Guest Conductor of the Tulsa Symphony, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Binghamton (N.Y.) Philharmonic.
A Carnival Mardi Gras celebration on Feb. 9 when we welcome Neos Dance Theatre for a fully staged performance of Stravinsky's Petrushka.
Planet Earth on March 23, featuring projected imagery accompanying Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia antartica, music originally composed for "Scott of the Antarctic" about the ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.
Verdi's Requiem on May 5, which returns to the Akron Symphony schedule for the first time in 20 years, featuring the combined forces of the Akron Symphony Chorus and Summit Choral Society.
The Pops Series opens on Oct. 28 with Video Games Live, which combines the energy and excitement of a rock concert with the power and emotion of a symphony orchestra. The stage will be filled with video screen visuals, state-of-the-art lighting and special effects, along with a stage show production and on-stage interactive segments that will dazzle crowds of all ages -- gamers and non-gamers alike.
"Normally, we use visual techniques to bring people into our music, but this concert turns that experience around," Wilkins explained. "The visuals come first. This concert has been so successful around the world because the music sounds so good when played by an orchestra."
The Pops Series also includes the popular Home for the Holidays concert on Dec. 8 and Jazz Meets Orchestra on April 14 as ASO joins with The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.
On Feb. 24, the entire community comes together for the 25th anniversary of an Akron tradition unlike any other; Gospel Meets Symphony.
All concerts take place at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, located on the campus of The University of Akron.
The best way to make sure to not miss a note is to become a season subscriber. Patrons who subscribe enjoy steep discounts on a full season of concerts, guaranteed seats, a 10 percent discount on additional single ticket purchases, and a flexible ticket exchange program.
Subscription packages start as low as $140 for the Classic Series and $60 for the Pops Series. To subscribe, call the Akron Symphony Box Office at 330-535-8131 or visit akronsymphony.org.