The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra opened its 23rd season on September 24, performing works by Beethoven and Grieg for an enthusiastic live audience in Easton, MD, and for virtual viewers around the nation.
Under the direction of Maestro Julien Benichou, the Orchestra welcomed a live, socially-distanced audience at the Church of God in Easton. They were joined by livestream viewers from across Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Delaware, as well as from Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.
“We are so fortunate to be able to present live performances at a time when so many orchestras are silent and so many musicians are out of work,” said Mid-Atlantic Symphony Board Chair Jeffrey Parker. “We are grateful to Maestro Benichou, our board and staff for their tireless efforts to make this season possible.”
Maestro Benichou added: “I am so proud of our musicians and how resilient and artfully creative they are during these times of challenge, playing each and every note with heartfelt meaning.”
The 2020-2021 season opened on the originally scheduled date, but with reimagined programs featuring compositions and arrangements for string orchestras to avoid the risk of aerosol sprays from woodwind and brass instruments.
The September 24 concert began with Erotik from Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces. It was followed by guest soloist Kurt Nikkanen, the New York City Ballet Orchestra’s concertmaster, who delivered a virtuosic performance of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major and received a standing ovation. The concert concluded with Grieg’s Holberg Suite, delighting the audience with classical dances and other contemporary musical forms.
Upcoming programs in the Orchestra’s five-concert subscription series include a November 3 performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Lute Concerto & Double Concerto for Two Mandolins, Anton Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky and Bela Bartok’s Divertimento. The popular Holiday Joy program on December 3 features a festive selection of seasonal music, with guest soloists including soprano Alexandra Raszkazoff and tenor Michael Butler.
Subscription concerts and a special New Year’s Eve program will be performed at the Church of God in Easton, MD, with Orchestra and audience members screened and socially distanced, consistent with guidance from federal and state officials.
Individual tickets to attend single performances are $45, while supplies last. Tickets for the livestreamed performance are $15 per person. Both in-person and livestream tickets include pre- and post-concert events hosted by Maestro Benichou and featuring guest artists and Mid-Atlantic Symphony musicians.
Purchasers of full-season subscriptions, at $155, have the option to attend performances in person. Full-season subscribers also will have the opportunity for a private virtual chat with Maestro Benichou or a Mid-Atlantic Symphony musician of their choice.
The only professional symphony orchestra serving Maryland’s Eastern Shore and southern Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council; the Talbot County Arts Council; the Worcester County Arts Council; the Sussex County, DE Council; and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.