The New Mexico Philharmonic’s new season embraces Russian romance, Brazilian guitar and Scheherazade in a program of classics and concertos.
The festivities will begin with a three-day Tchaikovsky Festival on October 15, 16 and 22 with pianists Olga Kern and Sylvia Thereza.
Kern will perform the composer’s Concerto No. 1, while Thereza will perform his Concerto No. 2. The concerts are at 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays.
“We had great success with our Beethoven Festival last season,” said music director Roberto Minczuk.
The decision to produce a Tchaikovsky festival is the start of a trend, he said. The Philharmonic will continue to produce annual single-composer festivals each season.
On October 29, the musicians will present the three finalists of the Olga Kern International Piano Competition with more than $30,000 in cash prizes to the winners, as well as concert dates in the United States and Europe.
On November 5, Brazilian guitarist Yamandu Costa will play two original concertos on his seven-string guitar.
“Yamandu comes from southern Brazil,” Minczuk said. “And he’s self-taught, but he’s like a force of nature. I met him when he was playing in a jazz bar. I had never seen such virtuosity on the guitar.
Richard Strauss’ “Don Juan” welcomes the New Year on January 14.
Beethoven dominates the February 11 concert with his nearly 200-year-old Ninth Symphony. The program will begin with a piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Reid. The Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned the work from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
On March 18, Romanian cellist Andrei Ionita, winner of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, will perform Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, followed by Ravel’s Suites from “Daphnis and Chloe”, written for the ballet.
The classics series will end with violin virtuoso Jennifer Frautschi as a soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, nicknamed “Turkish”. The concert will end with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.
“I decided that we were going to do all of Mahler’s symphonies over the next few seasons,” Minczuk said. “Mahler is the composer who explored the symphony orchestra like no other composer. His music is monumental. It’s like climbing Everest.
All concerts are held at Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico campus. All performances take place at 6 p.m., with the exception of the Tchaikovsky Festival concerts, and are preceded by a free pre-concert lecture at 5 p.m. Single tickets cost between $22 and $90 on nmphil.org.