The Colorado Springs Philharmonic has announced its upcoming season, and it’s a biggie.
World-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman will return to Pikes Peak Center to perform with conductor Josep Caballé-Domenech and the orchestra.
“He’s a good friend to the Philharmonic, and we’re thrilled to have him back,” said Nathan Newbrough, Philharmonic president and CEO.
The Israeli-American violinist last performed with the Philharmonic in 2012. When he visits again Feb. 27, Perlman will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. It will be the sole Beethoven performance by the Philharmonic during the 2019-20 season. That’s unusual, but the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s 1770 birth is in 2020, so the German composer will be featured prominently in the 2020-21 season, Newbrough said.
The 73-year-old Perlman is beloved not only for his talent on the violin, but also for his humanity. He has garnered a Kennedy Center Honor, the Medal of Liberty, a National Medal of the Arts, four Emmy Awards, 15 Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among other accolades.
“There’s a reason Perlman connects so thoroughly with musicians and audiences around the world. He’s at the top of his craft, and he’s someone who’s dedicated his life to bringing people together through music,” Newbrough said.
While tickets for the one-night-only Perlman concert could be tough to get, the Philharmonic’s upcoming season offers 20 other concerts for music lovers.
Opening the season Sept. 21-22 is “The Planets,” a program of Gustav Holst and Mozart that features piano soloist and “Mozart specialist” Anne-Marie McDermott, artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, performing Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 15.”
“In Holst’s ‘The Planets,’ each movement depicts a planet from the solar system — at least as they were known in his day. These are mysterious and just powerful pieces of music,” Newbrough said.
Other highlights of the season are South American trumpeter Pacho Flores, “probably the biggest name in classical trumpeting today,” on Nov. 16-17, “The Music of Queen” on Sept. 27-28, and Irish vocalist Eileen Ivers in a “Celtic Spirit” concert March 13-14.
The orchestra will perform the score of Pixar animated movie “Coco,” aka Dia de los Muertos, which the film is centered on, on Nov. 1-2. The 1928 Carl Theodor Dreyer silent film “Joan of Arc,” with a score reimagined in the 1990s by composer Richard Eichorn, will be performed with the film on the big screen April 27-28 in “Voices of Light: The Passion of Joan of Arc.”
A Philharmonic Pops tribute to Aretha Franklin, “Aretha: Queen of Soul,” on May 10-11 will feature vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw.
Continuing the tradition of a community festival that originated with the Bernstein Festival, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein in 2017-18, the Philharmonic will hold 10 concerts over eight weeks, from March 28 to May 17, as part of the “Becoming Heroes” festival, which likewise includes many collaborations with area organizations.
”The festival offers a broad theme for organizations to participate in, which in this case is heroism. In this town we’re surrounded by people who deserve the title of military hero, but we believe ‘Becoming Heroes’ is the right title for the festival because it means that anyone can be a hero. It’s not a word to be used casually,” Newbrough said.
The festival caps off on May 16-17, 2020, with “War Requiem,” a “massive performance that includes 450 musicians on stage at once, with 200 choir members, two orchestras, the Colorado Springs Chorale and Children’s Chorale and three soloists,” he said. Based on the poetry of Wilfred Owen, a British soldier who died in the trenches of World War I just before the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, the composition was written by British composer Benjamin Britten in 1962 to commemorate the rebuilding and dedication of Coventry Cathedral.
”It’s profoundly moving for the audience and the musicians on stage at the same time. It’s a once-in-a-generation moment. We think it’s the perfect way to end the entire concert season and the festival,” Newbrough said.
The 2019-20 season is sponsored by Pikes Peak National Bank. For a full schedule, visit csphilharmonic.org.
“From start to finish, this is a season that will not be forgotten anytime soon,” Newbrough said. “My hat’s off to Josep and the artistic team.”