When COVID-19 hit Maryland in March, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Music Director José-Luis Novo was well into preparation for the 2020-21 Masterworks Series “Harmony in Nature.” In a matter of days, everything changed.
“It was impossible to predict that we would find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, affecting everyone to an extent we have never experienced before,” said Maestro Novo.
The continuing pandemic fueled a decision to forego in-house audiences for virtual concerts until official guidelines allow, not excluding the possibility that limited seating concerts could begin gradually as Maryland’s COVID-19 cases decline.
“To launch our new season, we had to reimagine the complete symphony experience,” said ASO Executive Director Edgar Herrera. “We had to find ways to comply with pandemic restrictions while delivering our standard of musical excellence to patrons in their homes. In order to do that, we needed the best technology available.”
This led to the development of Symphony+, a comprehensive virtual platform powered by Vimeo Over the Top (OTT) comprised of three unique components:
- ASO Live! – A live stream of each concert in the 2020-21 Masterworks Series “Harmony In Nature” and Holiday Classics with Music Director José-Luis Novo and the Orchestra from the Music Center at Strathmore utilizing the Center’s existing multi-camera capabilities for patron’s enhanced viewing experience.
- ASO RePlay – the ability to access previous ASO Live! performances, including additional content such as ASO Chats, past performances, interviews, and behind-the-scenes video.
- ASO Chats – virtual offering of the popular pre-concert talks with Dr. Rachel Franklin. These 45-minute discussions will cover history, musical examples, stories, and anecdotes of the composers. Available for unlimited viewing a few days prior to the concert on ASO RePlay.
The All-Access Household Pass for Symphony+ is $99. This includes all ASO Live! Masterworks live stream performances, the Holiday Classic concert, six pre-concert ASO Chats and unlimited ASO RePlay. A single ASO Live! Household ticket for real-time viewing of one concert is $49. Tickets are available beginning September 8, at AnnapolisSymphony.org/VirtualSeries or the box office at 410.263.0907.
2020-21 Masterworks Series “Harmony In Nature”
“Harmony In Nature” is a season-long theme highlighting composers and works inspired by timeless Mother Nature. Concerts will be virtual until official guidelines allow the ASO to proceed with limited seating performances. To allow for social distancing on stage, the Symphony has adjusted its program through December to involve only string, percussion, keyboard, and harp. Unless otherwise noted, performances will be at the Music Center at Strathmore, of which the Symphony is an affiliate member, to utilize its larger stage and multi-camera capabilities.
The second program “Copland Clarinet Concerto” embraces the season-long theme of Harmony in Nature both through poetry and music in the works of Norwegian Edvard Grieg and American Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. The inclusion of both Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Afro-British) and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (African American) in the same program is a deliberate effort from the ASO to reflect the current social and civil unrest and to reach out to the underrepresented musical culture of the African American community. Connecting beautifully with this subject, the Copland Clarinet Concerto brings this program to a glorious end with his masterful assimilation of the jazz idiom into the symphonic repertoire.
The Four Seasons – Piazzolla
Ralph Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Astor Piazzolla, Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) – Chee Yun, violin
George Walker, Lyric for Strings
Edward Elgar, Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47
- ASO Chats September 17, 2020, 7 PM | Piazzolla and His Contemporaries
- ASO Live! September 26, 2020 | 8 PM | The Music Center at Strathmore
- ASO RePlay available the week of October 5, 2020
Copland Clarinet Concerto
Edvard Grieg, Holberg Suite Op. 40
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Novelette in A major, op. 52 No. 1
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Grass, Poem for Piano, Strings & Percussion
Aaron Copland, Clarinet Concerto – Robert DiLutis, clarinet
- ASO Chats October 8, 2020, 7 PM | The Greatness of Copland
- ASO Live! October 24, 2020 | 8 PM | The Music Center at Strathmore
- ASO RePlay available on the week of November 2, 2020
Holiday favorites and classical selections by Arcangelo Corelli, Johann Strauss, Scott Joplin, and Leroy Anderson, among others.
- ASO Chats December 3, 2020, 7 PM | Holiday Classics Stories
- ASO Live! December 18, 2020 | 8 PM | The Music Center at Strathmore
- ASO RePlay available on the week of December 21, 2020
Billy the Kid – Copland
Felix Mendelssohn, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture, Op. 27
Richard Strauss, Four Last Songs – Janice Chandler-Eteme, soprano
Florence Price, Mississippi River Suite
Aaron Copland, Billy the Kid, Ballet Suite
- ASO Chats February 11, 2021, 7 PM | The Greatness of Copland II
- ASO Live! February 27, 2021 | 8 PM | Maryland Hall
- ASO RePlay available the week of March 8, 2021
Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1
Jean Sibelius, Tapiola
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1 – Olga Kern, piano
Igor Stravinsky, Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)
- ASO Chats March 4, 2021, 7 PM | Greatest Piano Concerto Ever?
- ASO Live! March 21, 2021 | 2 PM | The Music Center at Strathmore
- ASO RePlay available the week of March 29, 2021
Debussy’s La Mer
Tan Dun, Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds
Zhao Jiping, Pipa Concerto No.2 – Wu Man, pipa
Claude Debussy, Nuages and Fêtes from Nocturnes
Claude Debussy, La Mer
- ASO Chats April 15, 2020, 7 PM | The Importance of Being Debussy
- ASO Live! May 1, 2021 | 8 PM | Maryland Hall
- ASO RePlay available the week of May 10, 2021
About the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
Now entering its 59th season, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is led by renowned Music Director José-Luis Novo and features 70 professional musicians who perform a variety of symphonic concerts for over 30,000 people of all ages every year. Additionally, the non-profit organization provides educational programs through its partnerships with local schools, as well as other community outreach efforts. The Annapolis Symphony Academy is an integral part of the Symphony’s programs. The Academy identifies and nurtures musical talent in children and youth in an environment of excellence that values and promotes diversity.
Major funding for the Annapolis Symphony is generously provided by Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, the Maryland State Arts Council, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony’s residency at Maryland Hall is made possible in part by a generous grant from Laird Lott and Linda Gooden.
Devan Costello-Mays/Annapolis Symphony Orchestra