DULUTH — The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2022-23 season, which includes seven classical music concerts and two pop programs presented in Symphony Hall at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, executive director Brandon VanWaeyenberghe said the orchestra has adopted “three new programming goals”: “to celebrate unknown voices”, “to highlight emerging artists” and “to engage new audiences”. “.
While the orchestra‘s programs will include classic mainstays like Ludwig von Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (May 6) and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (March 18), the orchestra will also perform works by composers who are not yet known.
“The focus here is on music by black composers, from the past (Samuel Coleridge Taylor, Florence Price, William Grant Still) to the present (Adolphus Hailstork, Jessie Montgomery),” music director Dirk Meyer said in a statement. “We are also presenting other works which I suspect might be less familiar to our audience, such as Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara’s beautiful ‘Cantus Arcticus’ or Michael Tippett’s moving oratorio ‘A Child of Our Time’.”
The DSSO’s programming push echoes new efforts by classical music organizations around the world to address serious and longstanding disparities in the representation of artists of color, both in repertoire and among performers. The orchestra also aims to increase accessibility by making tickets more affordable.
“One of the most visible changes we’re making this season is adjusting our ticket prices and card,” VanWaeyenberghe said in the season announcement. “This change adds 280 $20 seats to the venue, most of which are on the ground floor.” The DSSO is also continuing its “casual concert” series with two matinee performances free for ages 17 and under and $10 for adults.
The new season’s pop concerts include a Feb. 25 tribute to John Williams, who consistently tops the polls as the most popular living composer – with credits from films such as ‘Star Wars’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and the “Harry Potter” series. The other pop concert, on December 3, will be a “holiday show”.
Among the guest artists who will join the DSSO for the Symphony Hall concerts next season are pianist Terrence Wilson, violinist Bella Hristova and cellist Gabriel Martins. In the announcement, VanWaeyenberghe said that in the spirit of showcasing emerging artists, the DSSO has “a vision to be a career launcher for soloists.”
Meanwhile, this summer, the DSSO will return to Bayfront Festival Park for Independence Day and perform small sets at venues such as the Great Lakes Aquarium and local breweries. Three free “Bridge Sessions” featuring DSSO artists at Depot in the summer of 2022 include a July 15 collaboration with singer-songwriter Rachael Kilgour.
The DSSO’s 2021-2022 season concerts at Symphony Hall conclude on April 30, with the new season kicking off on September 24. This program begins, fittingly, with the opening of the Hailstork concert “An American Port of Call”.
Tickets for individual concerts in the 2022-23 season will go on sale September 1, with subscription packages available earlier. Details are available at dsso.com.