Glacier Symphony will launch its 35th concert season with a new look, a 35th Gala celebration and a concert that focuses on the power of healing through world music.
In April the symphony board approved a streamlined name for the organization — opting to shorten it to just Glacier Symphony — to indicate the parent company and referencing the orchestra or chorale in specific performances.
Kicking off the season will be a special concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, featuring the R. Carlos Nakai — Peter Kater duo, performing on Native American cedar flute and piano. The Grammy-nominated duo will perform music from their album “Ritual Music” along with new improvisations. The concert will be held at the Flathead High School Performance Hall.
In addition to the Sunday performance, the Nakai-Kater duo will perform, along with several symphony ensembles, for a special gala event on Saturday, Sept. 16. The private concert will be held at Dancing Spirit Ranch in Whitefish from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $125 and the deadline for reservations Sept. 7. Call the GS Box Office, 406-407-7000 for tickets and details.
The 35th Masterworks season opens on Oct. 14 and 15 with Beethoven 9 (Symphony No. 9 in D minor Choral).Considered by some to be the composer’s “hymn to humanity” Beethoven’s final symphony continues to be performed nearly 200 years after its composition. The final “Ode to Joy” chorus has become a universal anthem of peace and brotherhood. The performance will feature the orchestra and chorale with four voice soloists.
Nov. 18 and 19 brings a concert featuring Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D minor called “Titan.” Mahler was to become one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Guest artists for this concert will be the young string quartet called Invoke, currently in residence at the University of Texas in Austin. Invoke offers a unique blend of classical with more edgy modern, pops-oriented pieces. They also sing. In addition to a mini solo set, they will be featured in the Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra by 20th-century composer Benjamin Lees, a work with a strong rhythmic profile.
“Peter and The Wolf — Holiday Pops” concerts on Dec. 9 and 10 will feature the orchestra in the timeless work by Sergei Prokofiev as interpreted by Noble Dance, who will bring the story to life with narrative dance. This festive family holiday concert also features a number of Christmas favorites, including “The Polar Express,” “Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson and more. A special additional treat will be the young harpist, Brittany Barnes (of Whitefish) who will be the featured soloist for Handel’s “Harp Concerto.”
Messiah Sing on Dec. 15, 16 and 17 brings the Glacier Chorale to the communities of Bigfork, Whitefish and Kalispell. The Chorale, accompanied by an organist, will present most of the choruses from Handel’s most famous work, and invites the audience to sing along.
“Messiah Sing will be an exciting and interactive experience for our musicians and our audience,” said Glacier Chorale Conductor Micah Hunter. “Bring your scores, sing along with your favorite choruses, and maybe even challenge yourself to sing along with something new! If you need to take a break and listen, that’s fine too. We hope to hear you lend your own voice to this timeless and magnificent work!”
The concerts will be held in area churches to be announced in each town.
“A Young Artist Showcase” on Jan. 20 and 21 will highlight two young soloists, pianist Tanner Jorden from Billings and trumpet virtuoso Natalie Dungey from Seattle. Featured works will be Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 and the Haydn Trumpet Concerto. The orchestra will perform movie music from “Lord of the Rings” and “Batman.”
“This will be a great concert for all ages and will highlight young musicians on the rise,” said Artistic Director and Conductor John Zoltek.
“Schubert 9 and The Egyptian” on Feb. 17 and 18 brings the orchestra front and center.
“We also welcome the outstanding pianist Stephen Beus as soloist in our performance of the evocative Piano Concerto No. 5 Egyptian, a lyrical work with Middle-eastern influence, by French composer Camille Saint-Saens,” Zoltek said. He added that Franz Schubert’s final Symphony No 9 in C titled “The Great” is a seminal work and is one of the great Austrian Romantic symphonies.
Wrapping up the Masterworks season will be the second annual Easter Festival, offering three concerts over four days. The finale concert will be a grand performance of Haydn’s sacred oratorio “The Creation,” featuring orchestra, chorale and three voice soloists. Haydn was inspired to compose the work after hearing Handel’s music in London at the beginning of the 19th century. This work uses text drawn directly from the the book of Genesis. The festival also includes music by Bach, Cantata No. 140, Mozart and Bruch, Kol Nidrei, featuring principle cellist Griffin Browne as soloist, and a free concert performed by the visiting voice soloists.
A special bonus on May 11 will be Jazz Night with the Maestro, when Maestro Zoltek transforms into jazz composer, guitarist and arranger for this special end-of-season show featuring a jazz combo with string section. Table seating and refreshments will be available.
Subscriber packages for three, five and seven concerts, as well as all 12 concerts, are available and offer priority seating, free ticket exchanges and discounts on additional single tickets. Call the Glacier Symphony Box Office at 406-407-7000 for complete details. Single tickets, as well as more information, is available at https://www.gscmusic.org.