Arts and Humanities
6:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

New Louisville Orchestra Music Director To Open Next Season With Own Work

Teddy Abrams
Credit Louisville Orchestra

The Louisville Orchestra has announced its next season of classics programming, which opens Sept. 6 with music director designate Teddy Abrams conducting Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D Major and a new composition, yet to be written, by Abrams himself. 

Abrams says each show in the Orchestra's 2014-15 classics season will somehow question or expand upon pre-conceived ideas of what a classics concert can be.  Other highlights of the season include a commissioned world premiere by American composer Sebastian Chang, Aaron Copland's "Rodeo," Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, the return of Gershwin expert and pianist Kevin Cole, appearances by Pink Martini vocalist Storm Large and trio Time for Three, 2014 Grawemeyer Award winner Djuro Zivkovich with his winning piece "On the Guarding of the Hear" and a full choral production of Carl Orff's "Carmina burana." 

Tune in to Byline today at 1 p.m. on 89.3 WFPL to hear Abrams discuss the upcoming season.

Abrams was named music director designate in October, and will officially take the reins as music director in September, when Jorge Mester (who conducts four concerts in the upcoming season) transitions into an emeritus role. He says balance is the key to programming a successful season.

"I would assume most people go to a concert just think that the conductor chooses his favorite pieces," Abrams says. "In one sense, yes, you want to  choose favorite pieces. But in another sense, I'm more like a chef choosing the ingredients for an entire year's worth of meals." 

"The modern symphony orchestra is capable of playing in so many styles," he adds. "We can play anything from music written now to the music of the Renaissance and the music of the medieval. That's a tremendous amount of music to cover, and I think we should cover it, because the styles play off each other and show themselves in new and interesting lights." 

With centuries of music to choose from, including new works written every day, Abrams finds himself looking for balance, both across the season and within each evening’s program, between works that are challenging, exciting and affirming.  

Learn more on WUOL, where Daniel Gilliam discusses the season in depth with Abrams

Here's a look at the 2014-15 classics season. All concerts are in the Kentucky Center's Whitney Hall unless noted. 

Teddy Abrams’ FANFARA
Saturday, September 6, 2014  at  8:30 p.m. 
Teddy Abrams, conductor. Featuring a new work by Abrams and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major (Titan).

Gershwin & Copland
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics — Friday, September 26, 2014  at 8 p.m.
Teddy Abrams, conductor. Featuring Richard Rodgers’ “Overture to Oklahoma!,” soprano Storm Large on Kurt Weill’s “The Seven Deadly Sins” and pianist and George Gershwin expert Kevin Cole on Gershwin’s “New York Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra.” The program also includes Aaron Copland’s “RODEO: Four Dance Episodes” (“Buckaroo Holiday,” “Corral Nocturne,” “Saturday Night Waltz,” “Hoe Down”)

Carmina burana
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics — Friday, October 17, 2014  at 8 p.m.
Teddy Abrams, conductor; Kent Hatteberg, chorusmaster. The program includes Charles Ives’ “The Unanswered Question,” Teddy Abrams’ arrangement of “Medieval Dance/Song” from Carmina burana, Thomas Tallis’ “Spem in Alium,” Claudio Monteverdi’s “Sinfonia a 6” and “Magnificat a 6: Magnificat,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Vesperae solennes de confessore K. 339” and "Laudate Dominum," “The Shining Shore” (trad.), Caroline Shaw’s “Partita” and “III. Courante,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Cantata No. 147  ‘Jesu bleibet meine Freude’,” Carl Orff’s “Carmina burana,” Featuring soprano Celena Shafer, tenor Javier Abreu.

 Sibelius Violin Concerto
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics — Saturday, November 8, 2014  at 8 p.m.
Jorge Mester, conductor. The program includes Samuel Barber’s “Essay No. 1, op.12,” Jean Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47,” featuring violinist Elmar Oliveira, and Felix Mendelssohn’s “Symphony No. 3 in A minor, op. 56 (Scottish).”

Chu-Fang Huang plays Mozart
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics — Friday, January 16, 2015  at 8 p.m.
Jorge Mester, conductor. Program includes Maurice Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite,” W.A. Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 18 in B-flat Major, K. 456 (Paradis)” featuring pianist Chu-Fang Huang, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 6 in B minor, op. 54”

Brahms Symphony No. 1
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics — Friday, January 30, 2015  at 8 p.m.
Teddy Abrams, conductor. Featuring a new classical symphony commission by Sebastian Chang, composer. Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Symphony No. 43 in E-flat Major ‘Mercury’,” Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68.”

Enigma Variations
Hilliard Lyons Classics — February 21, 2015  at 8 p.m. (BROWN THEATRE)
Jorge Mester, conductor. Program includes William Schuman’s “New England Triptych,” Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, op.107” featuring cellist Julian Schwarz, and Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations, op. 36”

Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”
Hilliard Lyons Classics — Saturday, March 7, 2015  at 8 p.m. (BROWN THEATRE)
Teddy Abrams, conductor. Featuring Jean Baptiste Lully’s “Le Bourgeois gentilhomme,” Djuro Zivkovich’s  “On the Guarding of the Heart,” Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” François Couperin’s “Unmeasured Preludes,” and Antonio Vivaldi “The Four Seasons”

Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique”
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics —Friday, April 10, 2015  at 8 p.m.
Jorge Mester, conductor. Program includes Hector Berlioz’s “Le carnaval romain,” Serge Prokofiev’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26” featuring pianist Robert Thies, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 6 in B minor, op. 74 (Pathétique)”

 Beethoven’s Fifth
Treyton Oak Towers Coffee Classics — Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
Hilliard Lyons Classics —  Saturday, April 25, 2015  at 8 p.m.
Teddy Abrams, conductor. Featuring guest artists Time for Three. Includes John Williams’ “The Cowboys Overture” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67”