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'Ode to Joy': Austin Symphony embraces an indoor season of 22 concerts

Michael Barnes
Austin 360
The Austin Symphony returns to its indoor homes at the Long Center for the Performing Arts and Palmer Events Center.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with scheduling changes announced by Austin Symphony after publication. Check austinsymphony.org for the latest.

In the first sign that we really might see and hear shows inside the Long Center for the Performing Arts in 2021, the Austin Symphony has announced a 22-concert season that includes some pops performances at the nearby Palmer Events Center. 

This wealth of music will be presented in eight double-concert pairs as part of the Masterworks Series, two single-concert performances played simultaneously with movies, and two double-concert pops shows that seem suitable for spontaneous dancing in the aisles.

Masterworks Series

Sept. 17-18: "Espíritu Latino!" — Dubbed an "Anthony J. Corroa Concert" after the symphony's recently retired executive director, this show will include Édouard Lalo's "Symphonie Espagnole" and Maurice Ravel's "Boléro."

Oct. 15-16: "Otherworldly" — Gustav Holst's epic "The Planets" is paired with Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor, featuring soloist Benedetto Lupo.

Nov. 19-20: "Ode to Joy" — After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germans played Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 to the joy of the world. Austin Symphony hopes to celebrate the expected end of the pandemic with this monumental piece.

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Jan. 14-15, 2022: "The Greats" — Edward Elgar, Johann Strauss Jr. and Richard Strauss are the chosen composers for these concerts.

Feb. 18-19, 2022: "Remarkable Romantics" — Music by Czech composers Josef Suk and Antonín Dvorák go together with Jean Sibelius' Violin Concerto in D Minor starring soloist Midori. 

March 11-12, 2022: "Hemispheric Sounds" — Steward Goodyear will solo during Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5. Added lure: Music by William Grant Still and George Walker.

April 8-9, 2022: "The Mighty Russians" — Igor Stravinsky’s "Circus Polka" and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s "Piano Concerto No. 1" (with pianist Olga Kern) complement Stravinsky's "The Firebird."

May 20-21, 2022: "American Landscapes" — This is another "Anthony J. Corroa Concert" and it couples George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with Ferde Grofé's "Grand Canyon Suite."

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Butler Pops Series

Oct. 23: "Back to the Future" — The symphony plays Alan Silvestri's score while the family movie unspools on the big screen.

Dec. 29-30: "The Paul Simon Songbook" — This concert combines the songwriter's solo work with his hits made popular with Art Garfunkel.

Feb. 26, 2022: "West Side Story" Leonard Bernstein's score lies at the heart of this musical adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet."

June 3-4, 2022: "Swing Is the Thing" — Swing dancers and guest vocalists bring back the era of the 1940s and '50s.

Austin Symphony 2021-2022 Season

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