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Fresno Philharmonic Season: Jazz Meets Classical, Clovis North Events
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By News
Published 8 months ago on
August 15, 2023

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The Fresno Philharmonic’s 2023-24 season, “New Directions — Jazzing it Up,” will explore the remarkable two-way connection between jazz and western classical music in works by Francis Poulenc (“Concerto for Two Pianos”), George Antheil (“A Jazz Symphony”), John Adams (“The Chairman Dances”), Guillaume Connesson (“A Kind of Trane”), and George Gershwin (“An American in Paris”).

“The cross-fertilization between popular and concert music has been a hallmark of American classical music and continues to this day as younger composers draw on an eclectic range of influences,” said Rei Hotoda, the Philharmonic’s music director. “We’re excited to trace this conversation between jazz and classical music across a whole season!”

The season will include the first California performance of jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer’s “Human Archipelago for Cello and Orchestra” with soloist Inbal Segev. This concert on Nov. 18 and 19 will be a part of the California Festival, a statewide celebration of new music involving 95 organizations.

Other guest artists appearing this season include pianists William Eddins (Poulenc’s “Concerto for Two Pianos”) and Joyce Yang (Barber Piano Concerto), saxophone player Timothy McAllister (Connesson’s “A Kind of Trane”), and soprano Jasmine Habersham (Mahler Symphony No. 4).

Season highlights include recently composed works by Valerie Coleman and Gabriela Lena Frank, performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, and the continuation of Hotoda’s multi-season Mahler cycle with the Symphony No. 4.

The season concludes with Ravel’s revolutionary and popular orchestral showpiece “Boléro.”

Masterworks Series

New this season, all Daniel R. Martin Masterworks Series concerts will take place in the 750-seat Paul Shaghoian Memorial Concert Hall in north Fresno on the Clovis North High School campus, with performances of each concert program on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

In addition to allowing for two performances, the intimate setting of Shaghoian Hall offers Fresno Philharmonic Masterworks audiences superb acoustics, no venue ticket fees, and ample free parking.

“As the Fresno Philharmonic assessed audience trends and customer preferences coming out of the COVID pandemic, we came to the conclusion that performing Masterworks concerts in Shaghoian Hall would provide the best opportunity to attract new audience members,” said Fresno Philharmonic President & CEO Stephen Wilson. “In addition, as we learned during the pandemic, Shaghoian Hall is an excellent venue for recording, which allows us to develop plans for distributing our performances digitally.”

Pops Series

The 2023-2024 Pops Series in the William Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno welcomes back guest conductor Stuart Chafetz (Music of John Williams and Superhero Soundtrack) for a celebration of hits from the 1980’s by icons like George Michael, Phil Collins, Blondie, Huey Lewis & The News, Cher, and more.

Hotoda leads the Fresno Philharmonic’s annual Home for the Holidays concert in December with the Fresno Master Chorale, directed by Anna Hamre. The Pops Series concludes in March with the Grammy award-winning Mariachi Los Camperos performing music from the Golden Era of mariachi.

Fresno Philharmonic in the Schools

The Fresno Philharmonic, under Hotoda’s leadership, will once again partner with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to present “Link Up: The Orchestra Rocks” in May 2024 in the Saroyan Theatre. This highly interactive concert will be the culmination of an extensive in-class curriculum for recorder and voice in which thousands of students from throughout Fresno County will have the opportunity to perform with the Fresno Philharmonic.

In 2023-24, Link Up is offered districtwide in Fresno and Sanger unified school districts, as well as in several individual schools with the support of the Fresno County Office of Education, the California Arts Council, the Bonner Family Foundation, the Sahm Family Foundation, Fresno Lexus, and other local funders.

The Fresno Philharmonic’s Link Up program has been recognized with the Yale School of Music’s Distinguished Music Educator Award and is the largest partnership between Fresno County Schools and a performing arts organization.

How to Buy Tickets

Subscriptions and single tickets to the Fresno Philharmonic’s 2023-24 season are on sale now. The Fresno Philharmonic offers subscription packages for the full Masterworks and Pops Series and a three-Concert Create Your Own Series.

Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased online at fresnophil.org or by calling the box office at (559) 261-0600.

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