The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra announces the 2022–2023 season programming for the Symphonic, Pops, Chamber, Meet the Composer, and Family Series, six special one-night-only concerts, the much-anticipated return of Concerts in the Garden and a special Gala Concert performance including internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. In calendar 2021, the FWSO made two significant artistic appointments: Robert Spano as Music Director, and Kevin John Edusei as Principal Guest Conductor. The 2022-2023 season reflects Maestro Spano’s artistic vision including several important new elements. The FWSO is expanding the Symphonic season from 10 to 11 weekends, and the Pops season from 7 to 8 weekends, allowing the FWSO to present even more inspiring guest artists and conductors. The FWSO will be partnering with two outstanding ensembles – the Texas Ballet Theater and vocal group Seraphic Fire – and presenting Chamber Music concerts and Meet the Composer lectures at the Kimbell Art Museum. Many of the concerts will incorporate stirring visual images and projections into our concert series, adding a new dimension to the audience’s concertgoing experience.
“The Board of Directors and I look forward to Robert Spano’s much-anticipated inaugural season as Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra,” said
Chairman of the Board Mercedes T. Bass. “Maestro Spano will lead this orchestra to new artistic heights as a fully-fledged member of the Fort Worth community which brings me unparalleled joy ahead of the coming season.”
“As we welcome Robert Spano to Fort Worth in his official capacity as Music Director, I am thrilled that this new era for the orchestra is coming to fruition,” said President and CEO, Keith Cerny Ph.D. “Working with Maestro Spano on the development and planning of the artistic vision for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has been an exceptionally positive collaboration, and I am delighted to present the 2022–2023 season with his clear programmatic influence.”
“In my first season as Music Director with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with so many brilliant conductors and soloists, and to be presenting programs that promise to be so varied and exhilarating,” said Music Director Designate Robert Spano. “As the 2022-23 season inches closer, I get more and more excited to move to Fort Worth and become part of this vibrant city, and to work with this orchestra, whose members are clearly devoted to preserving a rich legacy and history.”
“The opportunity to serve as the Principal Guest Conductor for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as my first appointment in the United States is an experience I will cherish,” said Principal Guest Conductor Kevin John Edusei. “To be a part of this trailblazing American orchestra which is so clearly committed to artistic growth is truly exciting, and I look forward to beginning my tenure in the 2022–2023 season.”
Symphonic Season Overview
During the 2022–2023 season, the FWSO will perform eleven Symphonic Series concerts.
Featured soloists include Jorge Federico Osario, piano; Joe Lovano, saxophone; Joyce Yang, piano; Michael Shih, violin; Christine Brewer, soprano; Benjamin Baker, violin; Gil Shaham, violin; Jake Fridkis, flute; Sterling Elliot, cello; Jessica Rivera, soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Nmon Ford, baritone; Seraphic Fire, chorus
Guest conductors include Edo de Waart, Delyana Lazarova, Dame Jane Glover, and Roberto Abbado.
• A New Musical Era Begins: Brahms, Beethoven, and Schubert – September 9–11, 2022: Robert Spano, conductor; Jorge Federico Osario, piano
Pianist Jorge Federico Osario kicks off the 2022-23 season with Beethoven’s triumphal “Emperor” piano concerto, a work of surging euphoria and unrivaled majesty. In this opening night celebration, FWSO Music Director Robert Spano will bring to life Brahms’ lyric Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Schubert’s mysterious “Unfinished” symphony.
The grandeur of Beethoven's "Emperor" piano concerto, the mystery of Schubert's "Unfinished" symphony and the charm of Brahms' Variations on a Theme by Haydn make for a quintessentially classical evening.
• Rachmaninoff's Thirds – October 7–9, 2022: Edo de Waart, conductor; Joyce Yang, Piano
Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto is a gorgeous but grueling test of a soloists’ mettle. Don’t miss superstar pianist Joyce Yang — who rose to stardom when she took silver in the 2005 Van Cliburn Competition — takes on this mammoth concerto before the FWSO turns to the Russian giant’s celebrated Symphony No. 3, a work Rachmaninoff himself called one of his finest creations. Distinguished conductor Edo de Waart leads this exceptional concert.
A ferocious cadenza early in Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto separates the students from the masters in this all-Rachmaninoff program that also include the sublime Symphony No. 3.
• A Trip to Harlem: Bernstein, Ellington, Gershwin, and Douglas J. Cuomo – October 28–30, 2022: Robert Spano, conductor; Joe Lovano, saxophone; Douglas J. Cuomo, visiting composer
Experience an elegant evening of jazz in this homage to some of America’s greatest music, with works by A-listers like Bernstein, Gershwin, and Duke Ellington. Plus, the FWSO continues to propel classical music forward with a
world premiere by noted film, television, and concert music composer Douglas J. Cuomo.
• A Trip to St. Petersburg: Glinka, Glazunov, and Tchaikovsky – October 28- 30, 2022: Delyana Lazarova, conductor; Michael Shih, violin
With more than 20 years serving as the orchestra’s lieutenant-general under his belt, FWSO concert-master Michael Shih steps into the spotlight to deliver Glazunov’s masterful Violin Concerto. This all-Russian program launches with Glinka’s spirited Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila and wraps up with a searing blast of fate music: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.
• Wagner Highlights – November 18–20, 2022: Robert Spano, conductor; Christine Brewer, soprano
Marvel at some of the greatest moments in the operatic repertoire as FWSO Music Director Robert Spano delves into the music of Richard Wagner. “The Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre, the Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” from Götterdämmerung. It’s the perfect evening for Wagnerites and newcomers to the genre alike. The program will include images by famed British illustrator Arthur Rackham.
• Classical and Neo-Classical: Prokofiev, Beethoven, Mozart, and Stacey Garrop – January 6–7, 2023: Dame Jane Glover, conductor; Benjamin Baker, violin; Stacy Garrop, visiting composer
Composer Stacy Garrop’s Spectacle of Light begins with “a single firework illuminates the sky, followed by a massive eruption of light, color, and sound,” according to the composer herself. This concert also kicks off with another burst of color, Prokofiev’s “Classical” symphony, followed by Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and wraps up with Mozart’s cherished Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.
• Gil Shaham Plays Tchaikovsky: Mahler and Tchaikovsky – March 10–12, 2023: Robert Spano, conductor; Gil Shaham, violin
The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto remains one of the finest gems in the repertoire, and there is perhaps no better interpreter of this work than world- renowned superstar violinist Gil Shaham. Thrill to the sweeping lyricism of the first two movements and the reckless abandon of the finale before the orchestra confronts Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 1.
• Jake Fridkis in Concert: Schumann, Reinecke, and Liszt – March 24–26, 2023: Roberto Abbado, conductor; Jake Fridkis, flute
FWSO principal flute Jake Fridkis steps to the front of the stage to perform Reinecke’s Flute Concerto, a work of nimble grace and charm that showcases the flute’s lyrical and technical capabilities. The evening opens with Schumann’s stately Symphony No. 4 and closes with Liszt’s innovative Les Préludes, the first symphonic poem on record.
• A Night at the Ballet: Brian Raphael Nabors, Humperdinck, Griffes, Ravel, and Stravinsky – April 21–23, 2023: Robert Spano, conductor; Texas Ballet Theater; Ben Stevenson O.B.E., choreographer; Brian Raphael Nabors, visiting composer
In a unique artistic collaboration, the Texas Ballet Theater leaps onstage for a join program with the FWSO of sultry favorites including Stravinsky's evocative Suite from The Firebird, Griffes' tantalizing Pleasure Dome of Kubla Kahn and more. Balancing out the program is Of Earth & Sky: Tales from the Motherland, a world premiere work by Alabama native Brian Raphael Nabors, a rising star in the world of composition whose music has already been performed by some of this country's greatest orchestras.
• Elgar's Enigma Variations: Strauss, Saint-Säens, and Elgar – May 5–7, 2023: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor; Sterling Elliot, cello
Music Director Laureate Miguel Harth-Bedoya returns to lead the FWSO in a memorable evening. In a brilliant bit of musical mischief, Edward Elgar said that the melody to "Enigma" fits perfectly with another melody, but more than 100 years later, the finest musical minds have yet to settle on a definitive answer to the riddle. Join us to experience Miguel’s returns to the podium to direct Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Strauss' rapturous Tod und Verklärung ("Death and Transfiguration"). Cellist Sterling Elliot, winner of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition, also makes his debut with the orchestra in Saint-Säens' fiery Cello Concerto No. 1.
• Haydn: The Creation – May 19–21, 2023: Robert Spano, conductor; Jessica Rivera, soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Nmon Ford, baritone; Serpahic Fire, chorus; Elaine J. McCarthy, visual design
At the end lies a new beginning, as the FWSO closes out Robert Spano’s inaugural season with the FWSO with Haydn's monumental Creation, a dramatic oratorio for vocal soloists, orchestra and choir that renders the Biblical text in music. The Miami-based vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire joins the orchestra in this special “Theater of a Concert” while acclaimed visual artist Elaine J. McCarthy — whose work has appeared at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, on Broadway and more — lends her talents to bring this ambitious production to life.
Pops Season Overview
The 2022–2023 Pops Series programming will contain 8 concert weekends with a variety of music including film scores, popular genres, and annual family favorites such as “Home for the Holidays.” All performances will take place at Bass Performance Hall except Star Wars which will be presented at the Will Rogers Auditorium.
• National Geographic Symphony for Our World – August 26–28, 2022: Scott Terrell, conductor
Symphony for Our World combines National Geographic’s intimate portraits of wildlife with an original score by Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated Bleeding Fingers Music, performed by live symphony orchestra and choir. This moving experience takes audiences on a breathtaking journey from the depths of our mysterious seas to the great heights of our majestic skies in a powerful tribute to the beauty and wonders of our world.
• Queens of Soul – September 2–4, 2022: Byron Stripling, conductor; Shayna Steele, vocalist
He conducts, he plays the trumpet, he sings, he dances — ladies and gentlemen please welcome the inimitable Byron Stripling to the stage for an unforgettable night as he explores the music of soul. Stripling, who made a name for himself performing with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and more, will lead the FWSO in a tribute performance that spotlights musical royalty like Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nina Simone, Jennifer Hudson, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, and Adele.
• Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration – October 21–23, 2022: Carl Topilow, conductor; Scarlett Strallen, vocalist; Hugh Panaro, vocalist; William Michaels, vocalist
Harken back to the golden age of musical theater when one of the greatest writing duos in history had their heyday and launched a run of award-winning Broadway shows including
Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and more.
• Home for the Holidays – November 25–27, 2022: Stuart Chafetz, conductor; N’Kenge, vocalist; Lone Star Youth Chorus
Catch a glimpse of jolly old St. Nick with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for another magnificent installment of every family’s favorite holiday tradition, complete with magical snowfall and Christmas carols.
• Star Wars: A New Hope – December 16–18, 2022: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra takes you on a journey as young farm boy Luke Skywalker is thrust into a galaxy of adventure when he intercepts a distress call from the captive Princess Leia. The event launches him on a daring mission to rescue her from the clutches of Darth Vader and the evil Empire. Be there as the orchestra plays John Williams’ beloved score live as you are whisked to a galaxy far, far away in this breathtaking film experience.
• Twist & Shout: The Music of the Beatles – February 3–5, 2023: Byron Stripling, conductor
Twist & Shout celebrates The Beatles in America, beginning with their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, and following their journey through the USA including highlights from their Shea Stadium and Hollywood Bowl appearances that brought Beatlemania and the British invasion into the hearts of Americans everywhere.
• Dancing in the Street: The Music of Motown – March 3–5, 2023: William Waldrop, conductor
From 1961 to 1971, Motown Records had more than 100 hits in the top 10 hits. That kind of success didn't come by accident — founder Berry Gordy Jr. had a
true knack for identifying soul artists with a mainstream pop appeal who would flip the music world on its head. Hear hits by Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Michael Jackson, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and more.
• Pink Martini – April 28–30, 2023: Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor
Featuring a dozen musicians and a setlist of songs in 25 languages, the band Pink Martini is a globetrotting musical ambassador for the melting pot that is America. Originally founded in Portland as a cure to the “unneighborly” music of political fundraisers, the band now has a listenership all around the world and regularly performs its distinctive blend of classical, pop, Latin, and jazz music with top orchestras around the country.
Chamber Music Series Overview
The 2022–2023 Chamber Music Series at the Kimbell Art Museum expands from two performances to three and puts the audience closer to the music than any other series on the season with the performance taking place in the intimate Renzo Piano Pavilion.
• Robert Spano Performs Chamber Music – November 13, 2022, at 2:00 PM: Robert Spano, piano; Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano; FWSO musicians
Robert Spano himself, the FWSO's Music Director Designate and an accomplished pianist, launches the Kimbell Chamber Series with a stirring song cycle of his own composition, the Sonnets to Orpheus, with Grammy Award- winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor. Enjoy a more intimate FWSO concert experience as Spano is joined by members of the orchestra for the Brahms' Piano Quintet in F Minor, the "crown of his chamber music," while Debussy's ethereal Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp balances the program exquisitely.
• From Despair to Hope: Messiaen and Mozart – March 19, 2023, at 2:00 PM: Robert Spano, piano; FWSO musicians
Talk about impossible odds: Messiaen wrote the first sketches Quatuor pour la fin du temps ("Quartet for the End of Time") as a prisoner in Germany during World War II for himself and fellow musician prisoners, who premiered the work at the camp. Be there when pianist Robert Spano and musicians of the FWSO bring to life the anguished voices of the birds of Messiaen's best-known work as well as Brahms' transformative Trio in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin and Horn.
• Three Chamber Music Masters: Mozart, Poulenc, and Lutosławski – May 14, 2023, at 2:00 PM: Robert Spano, piano; FWSO musicians and Guests
The breeziness of Mozart's "Kegelstatt" trio for clarinet, viola, and piano is inherent, as the melodies came to him during a friendly afternoon at skittles, a game similar to our duckpin bowling. The atmosphere remains vivacious and playful for Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet before the Kimbell Chamber Series closes with a selection of chamber works by the 20th-century master Lutosławski, often described as Poland's most inspired composer since Chopin.
Meet the Composer Series Overview
New to the FWSO in the 2022–2023 season, the Meet the Composer Series at the Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum is an opportunity for listeners to learn more about composers and their works either from the composer themselves or a musicologist who specializes in the featured composer.
• Composer Douglas J. Cuomo – October 13, 2022, at 6:00 PM at Kimbell Art Museum: Featured composer and speaker Douglas J. Cuomo will discuss his piece a raft a sky, a wild sea which the FWSO will present the world premiere performance of on the October 14–16, 2022 concerts under Robert Spano at Bass Performance Hall.
• Composer Stacy Garrop – January 5, 2023, at 6:00 PM at Kimbell Art Museum: Featured composer and speaker Stacy Garrop will discuss her piece “Spectacle of Light” which will be performed on the January 6–7 concert under the baton of Dame Jane Glover at Bass Performance Hall.
• Musicologist Robert Greenberg – February 2, 2023, at 6:00 PM at Kimbell Art Museum: Robert Greenberg will speak on the legacy of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams ahead of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s annual Gala Concert and Dinner featuring iconic cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
• Composer Brian Raphael Nabors - April 20, 2023, at 6:00 PM at Kimbell Art Museum: Composer Brian Raphael Nabors will return to Fort Worth after a successful debut performance with the orchestra in the 2021–2022 season and will speak to attendees about his work Of Earth & Sky: Tales from the Motherland
which will receive its world premiere performances conducted by Robert Spano at Bass Performance Hall on April 21–23.
Family Series Overview
The 2022–2023 Family Series provides age-appropriate programming, performance times, and concert lengths that creates a symphonic experience for newcomers of all ages.
• Dancing with the FWSO Stars! – September 17, 2022, at 11:00 AM at Bass Performance Hall: Explore all types of dance music from around the world. From traditional to folk, and from ballet to modern, come hear how an orchestra shakes their bones as we travel through different cultures utilizing the rhythmic power of dance and music.
• Heroes at the Symphony – February 4, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Bass Performance Hall: Get your cape ready to celebrate the most memorable musical themes of heroes and heroines. The FWSO showcases what being a hero means, from Beethoven to Superman. Hear all your favorites from blockbusters like Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, The Incredibles, The Avengers, Star Wars, and more!
• Wild Symphony – March 4, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Bass Performance Hall: #1 New York Times bestselling author Dan Brown made his picture book debut with Wild Symphony: a mindful, humorous, musical, and uniquely entertaining book – and he even wrote the music too! Travel through the trees and across the seas with Maestro Mouse and his musical friends! You’ll meet a big blue whale and speedy cheetahs, tiny beetles, and graceful swans. Each has a special secret to share.
Special Concerts and Gala
There are six one-night-only concerts in the 2022–2023 season including the Gala Concert and Dinner, two performances led by Principal Guest Conductor Designate Kevin John Edusei, the Three American Tenors, the return of Handel’s Messiah, and the annual New Year’s Eve concert.
• Handel’s Messiah – December 10, 2022, at 7:30 PM at Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium: Julian Wachner, conductor; Molly Netter, soprano;
Steven Soph, tenor; Jonathan Woody, bass; University of North Texas Vox Aquilae
Be there for the return of Handel’s masterpiece come alive as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, UNT Vox Aquilae Chorus, and spectacular soloists perform this stirring music—played the way Handel himself would have heard his Messiah.
• New Year’s Eve: ABBA The Concert – December 31, 2022, at 7:30 PM, Bass Performance Hall: Robert Franz, conductor; ABBA The Concert
With sold-out shows at the famous Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Highland Park in Chicago, it’s easy to see why many critics agree ABBA The Concert is the most amazing and authentic ABBA tribute show in the world.
• Edusei Conducts: An Evening of Brahms, Schumann, and Howard
– February 11, 2023, at Van Cliburn Concert Hall, Texas Christian University: Kevin John Edusei, conductor; Michael Shih, violin; Allan Steele, cello
This one-night-only special concert will be conducted by newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor Kevin John Edusei in the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at Texas Christian University.
• Annual Gala Concert and Dinner with Yo-Yo Ma – February 25, 2023, at 7:00 PM at Bass Performance Hall: Robert Spano, conductor; Yo-Yo Ma, cello
For one-night-only, witness the ultimate artistic mastery of Yo-Yo Ma, one of classical music's best-recognized figures and ambassadors. From performances in the White House to children's television shows and, lately, small community centers for everyday Americans, Ma is the consummate artist, renowned as much for his generosity of spirit and humility as for his musical ability.
Run, don't walk, to the box office to book tickets for an unforgettable performance of composer Edward Elgar's final great offering, the Cello Concerto, a work of unparalleled pathos, its simplicity allowing performers to cut through to listeners' emotional cores in the most profound manner. To open this special evening, Robert Spano conducts another English masterpiece, Vaughan Williams' Symphony No. 2, "A London Symphony," setting the stage for the splendor to come.
• Three American Tenors – May 13, 2023, at 7:30 PM: Robert Spano, conductor; Michael Fabiano, vocalist; Bryan Hymel, vocalist; Matthew Polenzani, vocalist
Three of the most sought-after tenors of the 21st century perform an exciting and varied program of classic opera arias, Broadway favorites, and American standards
• Edusei Conducts: An Evening of Kodály, Mozart, and Brahms – June 2, 2023, at 7:30 PM at Bass Performance Hall: Kevin John Edusei, conductor; Joshua Elmore, bassoon
Principal Guest Conductor Kevin John Edusei will conduct this special concert will be the orchestra’s final performance in Bass Performance Hall for the 2022– 2023 season.
Concerts in the Garden
After two years without Fort Worth’s summer staple, the 30th Anniversary Celebration of Concerts in the Garden festival is returning to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Instead of five weeks with performances Friday through Sunday, the FWSO will be presenting three weeks with the most popular concerts Thursday through Sunday and two Fourth of July Celebration concerts.
• Asleep at the Wheel – Thursday, June 16, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• Jackopierce – Friday, June 17, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• The Music of The Eagles – Saturday, June 18, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• Sarah Jaffe – Sunday, June 19, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• Classical Mystery Tour –Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• The Music of Pink Floyd – Friday, June 24, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• Star Wars and Beyond – Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• Star Wars and Beyond – Sunday, June 26, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• The Music of The Rolling Stones – Friday, July 1, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• The Music of Queen – Saturday, July 2, 2022, at 8:15 PM • July 4th Celebration – Sunday, July 3, 2022, at 8:15 PM
• July 4th Celebration – Monday, July 4, 2022, at 8:15 PM