Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra is back in black for next season

Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra

After a year hallmarked by jeans, leggings, and comfort clothes, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra plans to, once again, don tuxedoes and bow ties next October.

The organization has just launched an ambitious and exciting 2021-22 season and a return to Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Subscription renewals go on sale May 14. The new season debuts Oct. 16 and concludes April 30. Visit tallahasseesymphony.org.

While live-streaming from the comforts of home will remain an option, the orchestra fully expects to move forward with in-person concerts, with an ensemble of 80+ members on stage. “We’ve been out of the concert hall way too long,” CEO Amanda Stringer said in a press release.

“It’s time for our musicians to get back to work and for us to do what we do best, which is to play some of the greatest music ever written, and to a live audience.” Conductor Darko Butorac adds, “Our patrons are craving human connection, and the upcoming season will connect them in deep and profound ways through the language of music. As we emerge from the darker days of the pandemic, it will be so fantastic to sit side-by-side with friends in the concert hall. The energy will be amazing.”

The 2021-22 season includes a diverse line-up of guest artists, including the Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear, who along with cellist Christine Lamprea and violinist Francisco Fullana will open the season performing Beethoven’s heroic Triple Concerto.

Other highlights include a Cirque de la Symphonie “Holiday Magic” concert, which combines the magic of Cirque performers with seasonal musical selections; a concert celebrating the American jazz tradition with internationally-acclaimed pianist Aaron Diehl; and the rebirth of a Symphony rehearsed, yet never performed, in March 2020 when the pandemic stopped the orchestra in its tracks mid-week while preparing for a concert.

“In March 2020 we were three rehearsals into Shostakovich’s powerful 5th Symphony when everything shut down, and we had to cancel our upcoming performance. The revival of that effort in May 2022 – two years after our first attempt – will surely be cathartic for the orchestra and our audience,” says Stringer. “It’s like unfinished business, and this business ends in triumph. We hope the world will be feeling very triumphant in May, 2022.”

The TSO was to celebrate its 40th anniversary in the 2020-21 season. Like so many organizations, great plans never materialized.

TSO’s scaled-back virtual season was successful financially and artistically, but also left many of its musicians out of work for the season. “I couldn’t be prouder of the TSO’s Board of Directors for its willingness to take a leap of faith by investing in our musicians and music for the upcoming season, despite the risks involved” says Stringer.

For Butorac, the pandemic has underscored how much the shared experience means to so many. “If there is anything we learned from a year at home is that nothing can replace the magic of the in-person experience. We are looking forward to bringing our community back to the concert hall to share in that excitement – it is the combination of audience and musicians that allows for the creation of that incredible musical energy.”

Courtesy of the Tallahassee Democrat