Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces Season 63 Artistic Program

Press Release

For Immediate Release

May 13, 2024

Annapolis, Maryland – The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO), a non-profit 501c3 organization, announces the launch of its 63rd season of producing an exciting series of Masterworks and Pops performances and a robust schedule of community concerts. Artistic Director and Conductor José-Luis Novo embarks on his twentieth season with the orchestra by designing a distinct mix of classical and contemporary music, propelling the ASO to an unsurpassed level of artistic excellence.

“We are thrilled to unveil our Season 63 lineup, which promises to celebrate inclusivity, diversity, and the enduring power of music to unite us,” said José-Luis Novo, Artistic Director and Conductor of the ASO. “As we embark on this journey, we invite our community to join us in honoring the Year of Civil Rights in Maryland while embracing the spirit of belonging that lies at the heart of our shared humanity.”

The Season 63 Masterworks series will captivate audiences with ten performances over five weekends. The program boasts a mix of classical and contemporary compositions, showcasing the timeless works of Beethoven, Mozart, Ravel, Bruckner, Shostakovich, and others, alongside contemporary composers like Tania León, Adolphus Hailstork, and Leonard Bernstein. Notable guest artists will amaze and delight our audiences, including pianist Brian Ganz, violinist Netanel Draiblate, hornist Alex Kovling, violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, and the string quartet Dalí Quartet.

Season 63 will also include the world premiere of a new composition by Dr. Roydon Tse, co-commissioned by the ASO and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. This première represents Maestro Novo’s and the ASO’s commitment to nurturing new talent.

In addition to performances at Maryland Hall and Music Center at Strathmore, the ASO will host two FREE community concerts over Labor Day weekend at Quiet Waters Park and Downs Park, offering the gift of music to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The season will also feature Holiday Pops Concerts at Maryland Hall and Severna Park High School and engaging School and Family Concerts at Maryland Hall.

Subscriptions are available to the public for sale as of May 13, 2024. Subscriptions enable patrons and music lovers to benefit from significant discounts, guaranteed pricing, the best seats, the most flexibility, and first access to single tickets for Pops concerts.

The Season 63 Masterworks Series is presented by the Brian and Patricia Giese Foundation.

Music Matters

The chosen theme for the 2024-2025 season is “Music Matters”. Indeed, music is a powerful conduit for expression and a reflection of social and cultural trends. The ASO Board of Trustees and staff support Maestro Novo’s commitment to inclusion in the programming presented to patrons and audiences of the course of his 20-year tenure in Annapolis. His dedication to presenting composers, guest artists, and compositions that provoke thought, evoke emotion, and inspire action is vital to creating connections with each other and our community.  “Regardless of how people embrace diversity in their political views, without it, we wouldn’t have the art, music, or culture in our society as we know it now,” said Maestro Novo.

Importantly, Season 63 features exciting and inspiring works by classical and contemporary composers and celebrates a diversity of artists. “Many of the classical composers presented in Season 63 wrote music that foretold diversity, inclusion, and equity in terms of origin, education, social standing, and ethnicity. Theirs were some of the first steps taken to ensure that the world we live in now increasingly makes this grand diversity possible,” Novo said.

2024-2025 Season Inspiration

The 2024-2025 Masterworks program of music and the many pops and community concerts planned offer an opportunity to commemorate the Year of Maryland Civil Rights, as declared by Governor Wes Moore, and the Sixtieth anniversary of the pivotal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its enduring impact on our society. “The Civil Rights Act codifies the core humanitarian values that have made our society so much richer,” said Maestro Novo. “Sixty years beyond this critical legislation that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, we can commemorate the progress made, look at opportunities to be better, and look forward to even bolder steps we can make in the future.”

Novo’s artistic vision for the season focuses on a repertoire of five Masterworks, digging deep into the music to explore themes of diversity, inclusion, community, and connection, recognizing music’s profound capacity to enrich lives and promote mutual understanding. “If we close our eyes to all the different sights, sounds, and colors of our existence, including the many languages, places of origin, preferences, and ways of loving that make us human, our world suddenly becomes so much less interesting,” said Maestro Novo. “The visceral power of music impacts the lives of everyone. It puts us in touch with our better selves, enriches the soul, and frees the imagination.”

Novo is proud to present contemporary and emerging composers who represent a new diversity in symphonic music. Tania León, Adolphus Hailstork, Óscar Navarro, Leonard Bernstein, Sonia Morales-Matos, and a world première from Dr. Roydon Tse are stunning and virtuosic examples of new artists assuming the mantle of engaging the full power of music to speak to culture, Art, and society.
Guest artists include internationally renowned musicians: pianist Brian Ganz, violinist Netanel Draiblate, Hornist Aliex Kovlin, violinist Noah Bendrix-Balgley, and the string quartet Dalí Quartet.

Regarding his artistic vision, Novo said: “We have much to do, and we have not yet embraced diversity and inclusion as much as we should. Nevertheless, Art is always leading the way and reinforcing the way of life after. The music of Season 63 is a good way to make a connection between Art and life, so we can see the role art plays in bringing us to where we are.” He added: “Of course, we’ll have some lighter fun along the way at our hugely popular Pops in the Park concerts on Labor Day weekend at Quiet Waters Park and Downs Park and our annually sold-out Holiday Pops concert at Maryland Hall.” This year the ASO will present an all-new Holiday Pops concert at Severna Park High School.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Season 63 is not just about the music: the programming is a testament to the ASO’s commitment to expanding access to the performing arts across diverse communities. The ASO’s strategic plan includes an ambitious and essential pledge to bring more music to more people in more places. Musicians, staff, and Maestro Novo are dedicated to this endeavor; the effort is reflected in business practices, artistic choices, and community partnerships. With concerts at Maryland Hall and Strathmore, Quiet Waters Park and Downs Park, and museums, medical centers, schools, and churches, the ASO impacts children and adults across the county. This work is supported by individual and corporate donors and ASO subscribers who share the organization’s critical mission and vision.

Season 63 marks the third Masterworks Series season returning to live concerts at Maryland Hall and Music Center at Strathmore since the pandemic. It follows a successful Masterworks and Pops season in 2023-2024 and an international tour to Spain in July 2022. During the four-city tour, one critic called the ASO “a high-level orchestra… dedicated and highly motivated that delivers a magnificent performance.” Another national publication said “The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra performance was far superior to all concerts this year of the most important season of the National Auditorium.”

Other news of import

✅ Masterworks are performed at 7:30 PM at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. in downtown Annapolis, Maryland. The timing reflects patrons’ requests for earlier performances, which they feel adds transportation and dining conveniences both pre-and post-concert.

✅ Masterworks I, III, and IV will be performed at 3 PM at Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, Maryland. The acoustics at Strathmore are outstanding, and allow the audience to experience the magic and power of the full symphony. Parking at Strathmore is free.

✅ The ASO’s popular Holiday Pops Concert will be held twice. Once at Maryland Hall on Friday, December 13th and again at Severna Park High School on Saturday, December 14th. Tickets to these events will be available starting August 1, 2024.

✅ Each year the ASO hosts several days of school concerts, the perfect opportunity for pre-school, elementary, and middle school – aged students to enjoy on a field trip. This concert is subsidized by grants and donations, enabling students, teachers, and chaperones who may not otherwise be able to attend a symphony to enjoy a fun, exciting, and magical experience. Dates will be released by August 1, 2024. Please contact the ASO Box Office at 410-263-0907 to arrange field trip details.

✅ The annual Family Concert, a beautiful late-morning adventure intended for family members aged 5 and up to enjoy, will be held at Maryland Hall on Saturday, May 10, 2024 at 11am. Tickets to these events will be available starting August 1, 2024.

✅ The ASO will continue to offer pre-concert lectures at Maryland Hall Masterworks concerts with WBJC’s Jonathan Palevsky. These lectures include insightful and enlightening discussion about each piece, taking listeners inside the scores. This popular lecture reveals the story, social commentary, history, science, musicology, and behind-the-scenes tidbits that turns a musical score into a true work of art.

✅ $10 student tickets and 25% discounts for active and retired military service members, law enforcement, and first responders are available by calling our Box Office at 410-263-0907.


Subscriptions are available for sale now. Subscriptions enable patrons and music lovers to benefit from significant discounts, guaranteed pricing, the best seats, the most flexibility, and first access to single tickets. The following subscriptions are available for purchase online at annapolissymphony.org/subscribe or by phone at 410-263-0907:

The Masterworks Series includes 5 weekends of concerts at Maryland Hall in Annapolis. Patrons choose either the Friday Series or Saturday Series and enjoy the same reserved seat for each concert.

A FlexPass! Subscription includes a choice of 3 or 4 Masterworks performances at Maryland Hall. Subscribers can mix and match Friday or Saturday performances.

The Series @ Strathmore subscription includes three performances at the Strathmore Music Center on Sunday afternoons at 3pm.

About the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is to inspire, educate, and enrich lives near and far by creating extraordinary musical experiences with uncompromising artistic excellence. As we celebrate our 63rd year in Annapolis, we are more intent than ever on bringing More Music, To More Places, For More People.


The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra offers subscription packages, both for in-person and virtual viewing, as well as tickets for single in-person programs. For more information or to purchase tickets or subscriptions, visit AnnapolisSymphony.org or contact the box office at 410-263-0907.


Media Contact: Diana Love, Director of Marketing and Communications |  DLove@annapolissymphony.org – 410-267-3631