Arts and Culture

Perhaps the biggest news from the Louisville Orchestra’s new 2017-18 season announcement is that in November, conductor Teddy Abrams will premiere “The Greatest: Muhammad Ali,” a musical celebration and tribute to the Louisville athlete and humanitarian.

This work comes off an eight-minute composition called “Float, Rumble, Rest,” which Abrams recorded with My Morning Jacket frontman and Louisville native Jim James shortly after Ali’s death in June.

This season — the orchestra’s 80th — offers works for both adventurous listeners, as well as those seeking balance in their selections. Other performances throughout the year include:

Why Beethoven?

Oct. 14, 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

Conducted by Abrams, this is an All-Beethoven concert exploring the mind and heart of a composer whose influence still resounds today.

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Jan. 13, 2018

Jean Sibelius:  Symphony No. 7 (in one movement)
Pytor Tchaikovsky:  Concerto for Violin + Orchestra

War + Peace

Feb. 3, 1018

Samuel Barber:  Adagio for Strings
Maurice Ravel:  La Valse
Ralph Vaughn Williams:  Dona Nobis Pacem 
Claudio Monteverdi:  Madrigals of War and Love (selections)
Gustav Mahler: “Revelge” from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Charles Ives:  They Are There
Avo Pärt:  Summa
Kurt Weill:  The Ballad of the Soldier’s Wife (Und was bekam des Soldaten Weib)
Arnold Schoenberg:  A Survivor from Warsaw
Sergei Prokofiev:  Waltz from War + Peace

Kentucky Classics: Festival of American Music 1

March 24, 2018

Aaron Copland:  Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Michael Cleveland, fiddle and “I’m with Her” trio

Other selections include 2017 Musical America’s Artist of the Year, Yuja Wang, performing Rachmaninoff; 2017 Grawemeyer winner Andrew Norman’s “Play” as well as Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” as a powerful season finale.

But if pop is maybe more your thing, Bob Bernhardt, the orchestra’s principal pops conductor, has you covered with a 50th anniversary celebration of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” an evening of B52s tributes and the jazz duo Mambo Kings at the LO Pops.

A full schedule of the season is available here.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.