COURTESY HONOLULU SYMPHONY
Andreas Delfs is preparing for his second season with the Honolulu Symphony.
Notes on a new season
Symphony’s new season heavy on the Beethoven
STORY SUMMARY »
As far as we know, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra conductor Andreas Delfs' hearing is just fine. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, however, Delfs was born in Germany, made his mark there as a musical "Wunderkind" and then moved away, Ludwig to Vienna, and Andreas to Milwaukee, which is clearly the Vienna of Lake Michigan.
This tenuous connection makes sense when you discover that the Honolulu Symphony's newly announced season is heavy on the Beethoven. Not just the now-annual holiday Ninth Symphony, but the Fifth and the "Eroica" as well, in addition to several more Beethoven-only performances.
It's enough to make a droog drool -- and that's enough vague references to "A Clockwork Orange" for today.
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Season subscribers are guaranteed tickets to two of the four concerts.
"The Eroica Symphony":
Subscription packages to the Halekulani Masterworks are $104 to $740 Season tickets to the Symphony Pops are $126 to $511|
Call the Symphony Box Office, 792-2000, or visit www.honolulusymphony.com
Don't get excited -- "Eroica" is Italian for "heroic," whether it's Beethoven's early and misguided regard for Napoleon or his decision to continue composing despite advancing deafness. Also on the bill: Beethoven's operatic "Leonore Overture No. 3" and pianist John O'Conor playing Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, the only piano piece in which Beethoven wandered into minor keys. Andreas Delfs conducts. 8 p.m. March 28
"The Violin Concerto": Beethoven knocked this out at the last minute for the 19th-century equivalent of a benefit concert, and it took a while to become a solid repertoire piece. Violinist Robert McDuffie shows us how it's done, plus there's the overture to Beethoven's opera "Fidelio" and, for good measure, the whole of Symphony No. 7 in A. Andreas Delfs conducts. 4 p.m. March 29
"Beethoven's Fifth Symphony": OK, the dit-dit-dit-dah opening notes are probably the most widely known in all of symphonydom, and the rest continues to be a revelation. Plus, we're talking Beethoven's "Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus" -- his only ballet -- and pianist John O'Conor, violinist Ignace Jang and cellist Yehuda Hanani tag-teaming on Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C. Andreas Delfs conducts. 8 p.m. April 4
"The Pastoral Symphony":
STAR-BULLETIN / 2007
Jorge Garcia: The star of ABC's "Lost" will narrate Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf," Dec. 13 and 14.
Beethoven called his sixth symphony "Recollections of Country Life," and he apparently composed it whilst ambling in the Vienna Woods. O'Conor is tapped yet again for the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat, aka the "Emperor" concerto, and the tragic "Coriolan Overture," about a Roman general who kills himself. Andreas Delfs conducts. 4 p.m. April 5
"Beethoven's Ninth": A holiday concert of Beethoven's monumental, final symphony, composed as soaring wings to Friedrich Schiller's poem "Ode to Joy." Symphony No. 9 in D minor was the first time a major composer had used a choral as an equally weighted instrument with an orchestra. It has been called, simply, "one of the highest achievement of man." 8 p.m. Dec. 27
HALEKULANI MASTERWORKS series
Concerts are at 8 p.m. Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays:
"Watts Plays Brahms": Pianist Andr Watts and the Honolulu Symphony Chorus join the symphony for three Brahms masterpieces: "Academic Festival Overture," Symphony No. 3 in F and Piano Concerto No. 2. Andreas Delfs conducts. Sept. 6 and 7
"Wagner's 'Ring' Without Words": Violinist Cho-Liang Lin fiddles through Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, bookended by Mussorgsky's "Prelude to Khovantchina 'Dawn on the Moscow River'" and Lorin Maazel's greatest-hits approach to Wagner's "The Rhinegold," "The Valkyrie," "Siegfried" and "Twilight of the Gods." Andreas Delfs conducts. Sept. 13 and 14
"American in Paris":
STAR-BULLETIN / 2007
Andr Watts: The renowned pianist opens the Masterworks season Sept. 6 and 7.
Although George Gershwin's monumental take on the bohemian charms of Paris isn't quite as American as freedom fries, Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" surely is. In between, it's cello virtuoso Alisa Weilerstein performing Samuel Barber's Cello Concerto and a modern piece, John Adams' "Slonimsky's Earbox." David Alan Miller conducts. Oct. 10 and 11
"World's Greatest Piano Concertos": With a title like that, you have to call in the A-team of keyboardists. Joyce Yang, Jie-Chen and Peng-Peng perform Franz Liszt's Concerto No. 1 in E-flat, Edvard Grieg's Concerto in A minor and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 in C minor. Mei-Ann Chen conducts. Oct. 18 and 19
"All-Strauss Experience": You're thinking, happy Johann or serious Richard? Turns out, both. The "Waltz King" gets a workout with "Overture to the Gypsy Baron," whilst Richard's "Till Eulenspiegel" and Oboe Concerto in D get their due -- thanks to oboe player J. Scott Janusch -- and the two Strausses together contribute a "Tales from the Vienna Woods," "Tritsch-Tratsch Polka," "Egyptian March," "Unter Donner und Blitz" and "Emperor Waltz" smorgy. Andreas Delfs conducts. Nov. 8 and 9
"Sibelius Symphony No. 2": Jean Sibelius' ode to the struggle for Finnish independence is noted for its thunderous finale. But you must sail the river before the crossing the mountains: Also on tap is Zoltan Kodaly's "Dances of Marosszk" and Segovia student Sharon Isbin playing guitar on Joaquin Rodrigo's "Fantasia para un gentilhombre." JoAnn Falletta conducts. Nov. 15 and 16
"Peter and the Wolf": Assuming Hurley can get himself un-lost and off the island, actor Jorge Garcia will narrate Sergei Prokofiev's charming fairy tale. The evening ends with Igor Stravinsky's breakthrough ballet "Firebird"; it begins with the world premiere of film scorist Michael Giacchino's overture for "Ratatouille: Suite and Savory." Andreas Delfs conducts. Dec. 13 and 14
"Opera Legend Sumi Jo Sings Carmina Burana": That sort of sums it up, doesn't it? The renowned Korean coloratura soprano wraps her gorgeous pipes around Carl Orff's passionate musical composition, in turn built around a mysterious collection of medieval poems. Tenor Brian Stucki, baritone David Adam Moore and the Honolulu Symphony Chorus pitch in as well. The evening begins with Jo scatting on opera's greatest aria hits. Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducts. April 11 and 12
"Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1": The last two Masterworks concerts of the season have a distinctly Russian flavor. Pianist William Wolfram leads the charge on Sergei R's dreamy piano meditation, sandwiched between Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's suite "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" and Dmitri Shostakovich's freshman effort Symphony No. 1 in F minor, written when he was 20. Vasily Petrenko conducts. May 2 and 3
"Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture": Will there be cannons? The season ends with a bang, preceded by Mikhail Glinka's "Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla" and Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," as well as violinist Giora Schmidt playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Andreas Delfs conducts. May 9 and 10
TOYOTA SYMPHONY POPS
All concerts at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, unless otherwise indicated. Matt Catingub conducts.
Peter Cetera: The former singer and bass player with Chicago had some of the biggest power-ballad hits ever, and in his solo career, the hits just kept on coming, songs like "If You Leave Me Now." Sept. 19 and 20
Willie K: Guest stars for the Pops come from all over, including Maui. Willie Kahaiali'i is not only one of contemporary Hawaiian music's most popular players, his repertoire encompasses many styles. Oct. 3 and 4
The Music of Ray Charles featuring Ellis Hall: Charles revolutionized R&B by injecting it with commercial soul. Hall is a musician, actor and vocal chameleon who channels Charles from that great bandstand in the sky. Oct. 24 and 25
Bla Fleck and the Flecktones: Fleck plays the humble banjo like no other. The Flecktones' groove is bluegrass, jazz, pop, rock and world beat, meaning that they pretty much play anything. Nov. 28 and 29
Dave Koz: Saxophonist and disk jockey Dave Koz is known for his ultracool samplings of modern soul, and had two albums at the top of Billboard's Contemporary Jazz charts last year. Jan. 16 and 17
Diana Krall: A jazz artist who has crossed over into the pop charts, Krall is known for her smoky vocals and chops at the keyboard. Her latest work salutes composers like George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20
Poncho Sanchez: As perhaps the first conga player to lead the Honolulu Symphony Pops, Sanchez plays Latin jazz with seasonings of African and Cuban music. The one-time Cal Tjader protg leads what is likely the most popular Latino jazz group ever. April 24 and 25