The Phoenix Symphony is excited to announce we are upgrading to a new, easy-to-use ticketing system. During this transition, our TICKETING SYSTEM IS DOWN September 11, 12, 13, and 14. Our new ticketing system will be live on September 15. Sorry for any inconvenience. Feel free to browse our performances in the meantime.

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The 2012-13 Performance Season

The business of choosing a new music director for a symphony orchestra is tricky. The idea is to engage several guest conductors of various styles and backgrounds – older and younger ones, Europeans and Americans and Asians, men and women – and try them out on the orchestra, the board and audiences. Take a poll or two to see what people like, interview the candidates to grasp their grasp of the administrative end of things, and make a hire.

Seems fair. But, like everything else, it isn’t. The last time The Phoenix Symphony picked a new music director was for the 2003-2004 season. The candidates all dutifully prepared their programs, little knowing that one of them, Michael Christie, would present a strange concatenation of new Australian music that would, simply due to the force of programming innovation if nothing else, push young Christie to the front of the line. The season wasn’t half over, and fewer than half the candidates had performed, when word was out that Christie was in.

Who knows what will happen this year. The candidates include a couple of elder statesmen in their 50’s (one of whom is the best-known name on the roster, Andreas Delfs) and at least one 20-something. Early word is that Mei-Ann Chen is a favorite. But don’t count out Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son of the famous Russian novelist, or for that matter, any of the others. Meanwhile, the balancing feature of the season is a series of major score that Christie has always wanted to conduct and that the Symphony will now allow him to conduct. They come from different eras and are in different styles, but the common denominator is large-boned dramatic writing: Holsts’s The Planets; Liszt’s Dante Symphony; Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony, Schumann’s Symphony No. 4; Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra; and Orff’s ubiquitous Carmina Burana.

On the soloist side, string players seem to be favored, from the Symphony’s own spectacularly gifted concertmaster, Steven Moeckel, to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and violinist Nokothula Ngwenyama. The biggest name among the 2012-13 soloists may actually be that of the sole wind player, clarinetist David Shifrin.
Opening night, September 20 and 22
Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducts Stravinsky, November 8 and 10
Andreas Delfs conducts Bach ad Barber, February 7 and 9
Michael Christie conducts Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, March 21 and 23
Michael Christie’s Farewell, May 9 and 11


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