We’ve been waiting for Austin Symphony to step outside its programming footprint since we moved to town in 1984. For the first time, the ensemble has added a summer Beethoven festival as well as much-needed midday concerts to its next season.

Additionally, Music Director Peter Bay will team up again with Craig Hella Johnson and the Conspirare Symphonic Choir to perform Beethoven’s majestic Ninth Symphony.

We love matinees. Less traffic. Earlier bedtimes. Lighter social obligations. When a major Austin arts group offers a matinee option, we often take it.

The Austin Symphony joins the matinee club — tentatively — with two 2 p.m. concerts in the spring that will present hour-long versions of their evening Masterworks shows.

Also, most significant American orchestras put on some sort of summer fare, sometimes in a cool, sylvan setting. Well, Texas doesn’t really offer that kind of ideal outdoor opportunity, although many a brave soul will take to hillside stages for cultural treats in the hot months.

Instead, the Austin Symphony will celebrate Beethoven’s 250 birthday comfortably indoors at Dell Hall with a two-day-long festival in June that will include performances of all five Beethoven piano concertos by Austin concert keyboard star Anton Nel.

I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Season subscriptions are available now and start as low as $188 for the Masterworks Series concerts and $96 for the Butler Pops Series. Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 12, 2019. Once the season begins, student rush tickets will be available 20 minutes prior to the performance for $5 cash with a current student ID (subject to availability). Season tickets are available online at www.austinsymphony.org. Tickets are also available at the Austin Symphony box office, 11th and Red River, or by calling 512-476-6064.

COMPLETE CONCERT LISTINGS

Masterworks Series – All masterworks performances are at the Long Center for Performing Arts in Dell Hall

MASTERWORKS I: SEPTEMBER 13-14

Season Opener – “Triple Delight”

Jon Nakamatsu, piano

Chorus Austin

Schubert: Magnificat in C Major, D. 486

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467

Duruflé: Requiem, Op. 9

MASTERWORKS II: OCTOBER 18-19

“Spectres!”

Matt Haimovitz, cello

Franck: Le Chasseur maudit (The Accursed Huntsman)

Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33

Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

MASTERWORKS III: NOVEMBER 22-23, 2019

“Compassion”

Lior, vocalist

Mozart: Overture to La clemenza di Tito, K. 621

Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C Major, K. 425, Linz

Westlake-Attar: Compassion (A Song Cycle in Seven Movements)

MASTERWORKS IV: JANUARY 10-11, 2020

“Rach Star”

Orion Weiss, piano

Brahms/Schoenberg: Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op. 30

MASTERWORKS V: FEBRUARY 7-8, 2020

“Picture Perfect”

Jessica Mathaes, violin

Stephanie Busing, visual artist

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, “Autumn,” RV. 293 & “Winter,” RV. 297

Hindemith: Symphony: Mathis der Maler

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

MASTERWORKS VI: MARCH 6-7, 2020

“March Madness”

Vadim Gluzman, violin

Wendy Warner, cello

Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G Major, Op. 39

Brahms: Double Concerto in A Minor, Op. 102

Chabrier: Joyeuse marche

Beethoven: Turkisch Marsch from Die Ruinen von Athen, Op. 113

Palmgren: Exotisk Marsch, Op. 46

J. Strauss, Jr.: Ägyptischer Marsch, Op. 335

Chopin-Elgar: Marche Funèbre from Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 35

Tchaikovsky: Marche slave, Op. 31

MASTERWORKS VII: APRIL 3-4, 2020

“American Landscapes”

John Novacek, piano

Copland: Suite from The Heiress

Gould: Interplay

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite

MASTERWORKS VIII: MAY 15-16, 2020

“Beethoven at 250!”

Conspirare Symphonic Choir

TBA, soloists

Haydn: Symphony No. 104 in D Major, London

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, Choral

Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series

POPS I: OCTOBER 26, 2019; Dell Hall

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” – Film with Orchestra

POPS II: DECEMBER 28/29, 2019; Palmer Events Center

“Lush Life” – Music of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

POPS III: FEBRUARY 22, 2020; Dell Hall

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” – Film with Orchestra

POPS IV: MAY 29/30, 2020; Palmer Events Center

“Unforgettable” – Music of Nat & Natalie Cole

Special Events

OCTOBER 28, 2019; Long Center’s Dell Hall

Halloween Children’s Concert

DECEMBER 4, 2019; Hyde Baptist Church

Handel’s Messiah

DECEMBER 5, 2019; Emmaus Catholic Church

Handel’s Messiah

DECEMBER 2019; Austin area

Christmas in the Community

MIDDAY MASTERWORKS I

APRIL 4, 2020; Long Center’s Dell Hall

MIDDAY MASTERWORKS II

May 16, 2020; Long Center’s Dell Hall

BEETHOVEN FESTIVAL

June 18-19, 2020; Long Center’s Dell Hall

JUNE – AUGUST 2020; Hartman Concert Park

Hartman Foundation Concerts in the Park

JULY 4, 2020; Vic Mathias Shores

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks

JULY 26, 2020; Long Center’s Dell Hall

Sarah & Ernest Butler Texas Young Composers Concert