The Memphis Symphony Orchestra is bringing in famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma to celebrate its 60th anniversary season.
Ma will perform at a special concert in October in conjunction with an artistic engagement forum designed to encourage partnerships between the orchestra and community groups and to initiate a professional development plan for MSO musicians. The forum is being paid for by a grant from the Assisi Foundation.
"This forum, to be held at the Cannon Center during the day, is timed with the concert because Yo-Yo Ma himself is a model for citizen musicians in our community" said MSO president and CEO Ryan Fleur. "He constantly encourages orchestra players to step outside their traditional boundaries to help build relevance for this art form."
Ma has performed to high acclaim twice with the IRIS Orchestra, in its inaugural concert in 2000 at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre and again in October 2010 at the Cannon Performing Arts Center. He also performed with the Memphis Symphony in 1998 at a gala celebrating GPAC's fifth anniversary.
Music director Mei-Ann Chen, in announcing the new season, said the MSO's theme in the coming year would be Memphis stories, partly to highlight Memphis talent and partly to stress the organization's increasing focus on community involvement. "This year marks our 60th anniversary," she said in a statement, "and we will celebrate the resilience and the ongoing rejuvenation of Memphis through its music, heritage and people -- all of which make this such a great city."
Other notable programs for the 2012-2013 season include another "Beyond The Score" multimedia event, this time featuring Holst's "The Planets"; a world premiere of a commissioned work by Michael Gandolfi inspired by Memphis themes; and a collaboration with Ballet Memphis and the U-Dig Dance Academy.
Memphis music will be key in the season's pops concerts, with an October performance titled "STAX! The Memphis Sound" with the Soulsville Charter School and Stax Academy, a January event recreating Elvis Presley's "Aloha From Hawaii" broadcast 40 years ago, and in February, "A Memphis Gospel Celebration."
The upcoming season will again have three Paul & Linnea Bert Classic Accents concerts at Lindenwood Christian Church. Those chamber concerts had been presented at Wiener Auditorium at the Hutchison School this season.
Memphis Symphony Orchestra 2012-13 Season
First Tennessee Masterworks Series
Rachmaninoff & Mahler: Sept. 22-23, 2012
Shostakovich 5: Nov. 17-18, 2012
Innovation: Beethoven, Bernstein & Ballet: Jan. 12-13, 2013
Beyond The Score — Holst The Planets: Feb. 23-24, 2013
Tchaikovsky 5: March 16-17, 2013
From Gandolfi To Memphis: April 13-14, 2013
Porgy & Bess: May 18-19, 2013
Guest Artist Yo-Yo Ma — Oct. 22, 2012
LeMoyne Owen College free concert Sept. 9, 2012
Symphony in the Gardens: Sept. 30, 2012 and May 7, 2013
Memphis Messiah: Dec. 14, 2012
MSO Pops Series
STAX! The Memphis Sound: Oct. 13, 2012
Home For The Holidays: Dec. 8, 2012
Aloha Elvis: Jan. 5, 2013
A Memphis Gospel Celebration: Feb. 16, 2013
Feelin’ Groovy — The Music of Simon & Garfunkel: March 9, 2013
Paul & Linnea Bert Classic Accents Series
Beethoven 8: Sept. 14, 2012
Bach and Mozart: Jan. 18, 2013
If Bach Were a Beekeeper: March 22, 2013