Miguel Harth-Bedoya will end his 20-year tenure as music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra with a season full of favorite works and world premieres he says he can't wait for his final audiences to hear.
Highlights of the 2019-2020 season, unveiled by FWSO on January 18, include a Latin Spectacular Festival, the premiere of a work by a Fort Worth composer, collaborations with pop artists Michael Bolton and Kenny G, an all-Beethoven gala with one-name violin superstar Midori, and — a can't-miss show for kids of the '80s — the movie Ghostbusters with a score played live by the orchestra.
"This season will be a momentous one for me, and I want it to showcase all we can do as an orchestra,” Harth-Bedoya says in a release. “From the joy of revisiting beloved favorites to the shared pride in presenting world premiere works, we will celebrate how far we have come together over the past two decades."
Harth-Bedoya announced in May 2018 that next season would be his last; he has not yet revealed his future plans, but as Conductor Laureate, he will return to lead the orchestra occasionally. A search for his replacement is underway.
The 2019-2020 season will also be the orchestra's first under new President and CEO Keith Cerny. “My hope is that Fort Worth will join us in celebrating 20 years of daring artistic growth, deep community engagement, and innovation in performance under a visionary conductor with a commitment to this city on, and off, the podium,” Cerny says.
The season features a mix of Classical, Romantic, and 20th-century composers — it's been a passion of Harth-Bedoya's to play works by living composers. There will be world premieres by Victor Agudelo and Fort Worth composer Till MacIvor Meyn and a U.S. premiere of the orchestral version of the popular chamber work Clockworking by María Sigfúsdóttir.
The symphonic season charges out of the gate September 13-15, 2019, with a Fort Worth fan favorite: Rachmaninoff's impossibly difficult and dreamy Piano Concerto No. 3, played with South Korean pianist Yekwon Sunwoo. It will be an encore performance, of sorts, of his final-round performance with FWSO at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where he captured the gold medal.
Other favorites on the season include Mahler's Symphony No. 3; Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique; Barber's Adagio for Strings; Dukas' The Sorceror’s Apprentice; and Beethoven's beloved Symphony No. 9, "Choral."
The Pops series will bring to Bass Hall some of the "tribute" concerts audiences enjoy at the summer Concerts in the Garden series. There will be the music of The Beatles, Journey, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and more. Halloween week calls the Ghostbusters movie and music to the stage, October 25-27, 2019.
The hottest date night of 2020 is sure to be a pops concert featuring Grammy winner Kenny G's sultry sax-playing, May 22-24.
But first comes the hottest date night of 2019, Michael Bolton's sultry love ballads, performed by the Grammy-winning artist with the symphony in a special concert, September 20.
The FWSO brings back its Family Series; one highlight will be "Journey to Space," showcasing iconic scores from famous films about the final frontier, March 7, 2020.
Finally, a full-circle nod to Harth-Bedoya's time with FWSO, a two-night Latin festival will take place August 31-September 1, 2019. "In the year 2000, the same year he began his 20-year tenure with the FWSO, Miguel won an Emmy Award for a televised Latin Spectacular program he conceived and presented," the orchestra says. "Now, in Miguel’s final festival weekend with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, we come full circle with an exploration of symphonic and jazz music from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Puerto Rico."
Here is a closer look at the full season, with descriptions provided by FWSO:
2019-2020 Symphonic Series
• September 13-15, 2019: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Yekwon Sunwoo, piano (MEYN: Remix, RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3; BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4)
• October 11-13, 2019: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano; Mahler Festival Choir; Texas Boys Choir; (MAHLER: Symphony No. 3)
• November 8-10, 2019: Garrett Keast, conductor; Chloë Hanslip, violin (BARBER: Adagio for Strings and Violin Concerto; COPLAND: Symphony No. 3)
• November 22-24, 2019: Christian Arming, conductor; Lis de la Salle, piano (BRAHMS: Academic Festival Overture; MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466; DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 7)
• January 10-12, 2019: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Jon Kimura Parker, piano; María Sigfúsdóttir, visiting composer (MARÍA SIGFÚSDÓTTIR: Clockworking (U.S. premiere); GRIEG: Piano Concerto; SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2)
• January 31-February 2, 2020: Yaniv Dinur, conductor; Allan Steele, cello (BOULANGER: D’un matin de printemps; TCHAIKOVSKY: Variations on a Rococo Theme; BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique)
• February 28 - March 1, 2020: Robert Trevino, conductor (WAGNER: "Prelude and Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde; BARTOK: Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin; RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2)
• March 13-15, 2020: Carlos Izcaray, conductor; Ingrid Fliter, piano (DUKAS: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto; SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 10)
• April 3-5, 2020: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Twyla Robinson, soprano; Blythe Gaissert, mezzo-soprano; Clifton Forbis, tenor; Michael Adams, Baritone; Beethoven Festival Choir (VIVIAN FUNG: Pizzicato; BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9, “Choral”)
• May 15-17, 2020: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Augustin Hadelich, violin; Victor Agudelo, visiting composer (VICTOR AGUDELO: Algor ra a suceder (World Premiere); DVOŘÁK: Violin Concerto; TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4)
Latin Spectacular Festival
• August 31, 2019: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Jesús Castro-Balbi, cello; Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion (OSVALDO GOLIJOV: Azul; REVUELTAS: Los Noches de los Mayas)
• Sunday, September 1, 2019: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Paquito D’Rivera, saxophone and clarinet (concert featuring jazz, tango, and Caribbean music with Cuban-born saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer Paquito D’Rivera)
The Pops Concerts
• September 6-8, 2019: “Songs of Journey, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, & More!” – Michael Krajewski, conductor (featuring music from the '70s and '80s such as “Landslide,” “Faithfully,” “Hotel California,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Take It Easy,” and more)
• October 25-27, 2019: “GHOSTBUSTERS Film with Live Orchestra” – Peter Bernstein, conductor (featuring Director Ivan Reitman’s two-time Oscar and two-time Golden Globe-nominated film, Ghostbusters, screened live as the FWSO performs Elmer Bernstein’s Grammy-nominated score and Ray Parker Jr.’s Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping theme song, “Ghostbusters”)
• November 15-17, 2019: “Unforgettable: Nat and Natalie” – William Waldrop, conductor; Denzal Sinclaire and Dee Daniels, vocalists (featuring the music of legendary, Grammy Award-winning performers Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole)
• November 29-December 1, 2019: “Home for the Holidays” – Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; (featuring seasonal holiday favorites performed by the orchestra and special guests)
• January 24-26, 2020: “REVOLUTION: The Beatles Symphonic Experience” (featuring a multi-media symphonic tribute to The Beatles which includes arrangements transcribed from the original master recordings at Abbey Road accompanied by hundreds of rare and unseen photos, video, and animation for a sensational multimedia journey)
• March 6-8, 2020: “Oh What a Night!” Carl Topilow, conductor; Connor Bogart, vocalist (featuring cherished hits from your favorite musicals such as Sweeney Todd, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, West Side Story, and Jersey Boys)
• May 22-24, 2020: Kenny G, saxophonist (featuring Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and highest selling instrumental musician of our time performs hits such as “Havana,” “Forever in Love,” “Heart and Soul,” “Silhouette,” and “My Heart Will Go On”)
The Family Series Concerts
• September 7, 2019: Michael Krajewski, conductor (featuring Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals)
• October 26, 2019: Halloween Spooktacular (featuring music from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Danse macabre, In the Hall of the Mountain King, Harry Potter, and much more)
• March 7, 2020: Journey to Space, Carl Topilow, conductor (featuring NASA images and videos projected above the orchestra as they perform music from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Apollo 13, Star Trek, and iconic themes from composer John Williams scores to Super Man and Star Wars)
Special Concerts and Gala
• September 20, 2019: Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and social activist, Michael Bolton will join the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for a one-night-only chance to experience his greatest hits performed live in a program titled "Michael Bolton: The Symphony Sessions"
• December 9, 2019: A holiday tradition, the FWSO will perform Handel’s Messiah, featuring the University of North Texas A Cappella Choir
• December 31, 2019: Ring in 2020 with "New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration" featuring pianist Shelly Berg and vocalist Ann Hampton Calloway performing Gershwin’s greatest hits, including An American in Paris and more, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya
• January 3, 2020: Combining National Geographic natural history footage with original music by Emmy and BAFTA-nominated Bleeding Fingers Music featuring composers Austin Fray and Andrew Christie, the "National Geographic: Symphony for Our World" is a multimedia journey through the spectacles of wildlife
• February 8, 2020: In his final gala concert, Miguel Harth-Bedoya will lead the orchestra in a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in a program of his fifth symphony and his violin concerto, featuring world-renowned violinist Midori
Subscriptions for the 2019-2020 season go on sale January 18 and can be purchased by calling 817-665-6000 or at fwsymphony.org.
Symphonic subscriptions range from $176-$776. Pops subscriptions range from $200.97-$630.70. The Latin Spectacular Festival subscriptions range from $34-$153. Family Subscriptions are $56.40 for adults and $26.70 for children. The FWSO’s Student Subscription program will offer discounted tickets for high school and college students. For $35, students can attend unlimited Symphonic concerts for one full year.
Single tickets will go on sale July 29, 2019.