Welcome back. That’s the message Augusta Symphony has for its audience with the new season called Come Together. Currently, plans are to conduct the season normally.
“As of now, it looks promising,” says Dirk Meyer, music director. “Things are changing daily, but hopefully, it’s a season as advertised. We haven’t been able to come together for a long time.”
However, the first two Symphony Series concerts of the season, scheduled for October 1 and November 5, have been orchestrated for fewer string players in case covid rules still need to be in place.
Most of the concerts will take place at the Miller Theater, and the Symphony Series showcases masterworks by the greatest composers of all time. This year these six concerts are called Under the Stars, Rejuvenate, Persevere, Explore, Reunite and Explore the World.
“Each concert features a title that describes what the music is about,” says Meyer. “It refers back to the overarching theme of ‘Come Together.’”
For instance, in January’s Persevere concert, all three pieces – Tchaikovsky’s Voyevoda, Op. 78; Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 – deal with perseverance. “It shows our struggles by starting with dark, heavy music and leading to insane, crazy, victorious music at the end,” Meyer says.
He says Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is the “quintessential story of his deafness.” The concert also features the Georgia premiere of Symphony No. 4. When this piece originally premiered in 2018, musicians used the actual Violins of Hope, a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish violinists during the Holocaust.
The February 12 Explore performance, will feature JIJI on guitar, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 with images from the Czech Republic by photographer and multimedia artist Nicholas Bardonnay of Westwater Arts. The photographs, which will be shown on three large screens above the orchestra, will be synched with the music to take the audience on a visual journey through the country.
Explore is scheduled in conjunction with the Symphony’s Discovery educational outreach concert, which annually provides more than 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students, including homeschoolers, with opportunities to experience a free live symphonic performance at the Miller Theater.