The upcoming season for the IRIS Orchestra brings back several popular guest artists, notably superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who will perform at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in October.
"IRIS has collaborated with a stellar group of guest artists, and Yo-Yo certainly tops that list," says Michael Stern, artistic director and conductor.
Ma was the first guest artist in the orchestra's debut concert in September 2000 and also performed the following year. With 16 Grammys and countless other awards, he is one of the most recognizable classical music talents on the globe.
His performance at the Cannon Center downtown is a departure for IRIS. The orchestra has performed nearly all its concerts at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre except for an Itzhak Perlman appearance in 2005 and a repeat concert with pianist Jeremy Denk last year at Ole Miss.
Next season's other guest artists have all played with IRIS before to considerable acclaim.
In November, pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform two Bartók concertos. He previously played with IRIS in 2003, and performed a solo recital last year on GPAC's newly acquired Steinway grand piano that he chose for the venue.
Augustin Hadelich, who was here last year, performs Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in December.
The energetic and engaging young trio Time for Three (here in 2006) returns with a new piece in January 2011. The work -- co-commissioned by IRIS -- is "Travels in Time for Three" by Chris Brubeck (son of jazz legend Dave Brubeck). It is described by the composer as taking the audience "from Baroque to Bayou, by way of country, gospel and a few dueling violins."
Alon Goldstein (here in 2007) returns to perform the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 in April 2011.
In February 2011, IRIS, Stern says, "continues to push the creative envelope, partnering with the Tennessee Shakespeare Company for the first time." The group is a Germantown-based classical theater company, and the concert will feature Michael Gandolfi's 2001 work "Themes from a Midsummer Night."
The economy took its toll on IRIS this season. In recent years it has offered six concerts each season, but only five this year. And for the first time it presented no commissioned works. But the 2010-11 season is a return to form with the six scheduled concerts and the commissioned Brubeck piece.
Subscriptions for the 2010-11 season are $265 until April 2 and $295 thereafter. For more information, call 751-7500.