The Santa Rosa Symphony has announced its 2014-2015 season, the orchestra's third as the resident orchestra of the Green Music Center.
Highlights include a few high-flying fiddles, including crossover artist Mark O'Connor in January and superstar Joshua Bell, who will give a special benefit recital in October.
The symphony's 87th season will culminate in May 2015 with a single masterpiece: Gustav Mahler's multifaceted Symphony No. 3. A free community concert July 31 will feature the Mariachi Sol de M?ico de Jos?Hernandez in collaboration with the symphony.
The theme of the season is "Your Orchestra, Your Music," underscoring its mission of serving the community.
"We are providing the highest-quality musical performances by the best musicians," Music Director Bruno Ferrandis said. "And we are serving the community through extensive music education programs in our school, training the next generation of classical musicians."
On the heels of winning a residency with world-renowned violinist Midori this spring, the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra will benefit from a residency with American violinist Lindsay Deutsch in November 2014.
Here is the lineup for the Santa Rosa Symphony's Viking Cruises Classical Concert Series, which consists of seven triple sets on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays in 2014-2015.
The Discovery Rehearsal Series, providing access to the orchestra and conductor during the dress rehearsal, is held on seven Saturday afternoons. All are conducted by Ferrandis, unless otherwise noted.
"Heroes and Legends" on Oct. 11, 12 and 13: The symphony pays homage to Richard Strauss on his 150th birthday with the tone poem "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks." Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin takes on Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, while the symphony tackles Bela Bartok's showpiece, the Suite from "The Miraculous Mandarin," based on his once-scandalous ballet.
"Poetic Inspiration" on Nov. 8, 9 and 10: Debussy's revolutionary "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" opens the French half of the program, followed by Henri Dutilleux's Concerto for Cello, "Tout un monde lointain," played by German cellist Christian Polt?a. Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 rounds out the rhythmic poetry.
"Angelic Voices" Dec. 6, 7 and 8: The Augsburg Cathedral Boys Choir performs a cappella, then lends voices to Mozart's Mass in C major, "Coronation." The vocal program ends with Stravinsky's complete ballet, "Pulcinella," featuring a trio of young operatic stars.
"Wild West" on Jan. 10, 11 and 12: Guest Conductor Michael Christie, executive director of the Minnesota Opera, leads an all-American program headlined by jazz/folk/classical violinist Mark O'Connor in a performance of his own "Fiddle Concerto." The orchestra ropes in some fun rhythms with Aaron Copland's "Billy the Kid" Suite and "El Salon M?ico."
"An Exotic Mix" on Feb. 7, 8 and 9: Sway to Mexican composer Arturo M?quez's "Danz? No. 3," then tango to a world premiere of Pablo Ortiz's Concerto for Bandone? (an accordion-like instrument) performed by bandone? virtuoso Juan Pablo Jofre. Brahms' Symphony No. 2 closes the program.
"Blaze of Russian Glory" on March 21, 22 and 23: Keyboard queen Olga Kern returns to perform two Russian concertos, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1. The orchestra plays roulette with Leos Janacek's overture to his opera, "K?'a Kabanov? and Stravinsky's "The Firebird Suite."
"Monumental Mahler" on May 2, 3, and 4: Mahler's Symphony No. 3 is one of the longest in the repertory, with six meandering movements, so it will take up the entire program. Mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer sings in the fourth and fifth movements, along with the Women's Chorus of the Santa Rosa Symphony Honor Choir and the Santa Rosa Children's Chorus.