Orchestra Lumos Announces its 2023/24 Season

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Orchestra Lumos Announces its 2023/24 Season

2023/24 is the season of “Storytelling” with a vast variety of new music, music-to-picture, multimedia performances, composers inspired by literature, and charismatic guest artists

Orchestra Lumos has shared the details of its 2023/24 season, a year after the announcement of the Connecticut ensemble’s rebranding from Stamford Symphony. Since the initial phases of transitioning into its new name to serve the purpose of broader, more meaningful engagement with audiences throughout Fairfield County, Orchestra Lumos has successfully reached new families, students, and concertgoers through a variety of initiatives, from Small Space Concerts in unconventional locations to mainstage performances at The Palace Theatre, music and storytelling afternoons for small children, collaborations with local music education partners, and more.

The previous season marked the inaugural year for Music Director Michael Stern, whose 2020 appointment was curtailed due to the pandemic, and 2023/24 will place the conductor’s extraordinary artistic leadership and musical insight at the forefront. The coming season expands on this more robust concept of what an orchestra can do for its community, and those tenets apply to all aspects of Orchestra Lumos’ operations.

This Orchestra Lumos season teems with all the things an orchestra can do for its community in the 21st century,” says CEO and President Russell Jones. “We have thought more about our audiences and what they want from us, whether it be the classical season at the Palace Theatre, popular Family Fun programs, or music education opportunities for students. It’s all there for our Fairfield County community to take. With this genuine engagement we are bringing great music to everyone, in formats and locations that suit our customers.”

Classical music is, by definition, music that has withstood the test of time, and this season, Orchestra Lumos’ concerts honor this interpretation under the theme of Storytelling by curating musical selections that are not merely a joy to hear, but that paint a vivid picture of their time, place, and circumstances. Great works of the classical repertory such as  Elgar’s aptly titled Enigma Variations, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade based on the gripping 1001 Nights folk tales, and Schubert’s achingly beautiful and tragic String Quintet in C Major, are examples of pieces which have enthralled audiences through the centuries both for their musical virtuosity, and also for the stories they bring to life. Even performance format is a tool with which to utilize effective storytelling, with a special “concert” of  music, literature, and theater which takes the audience on a journey of Mozart’s final years and untimely passing; and, the new addition of a Family Fun concert series.  Each guest artist represents a wealth of diversity, talent, and knowledge, from the piano wunderkind Tony Siqi Yun, to the homecoming of Darien-native Chelsea Guo, and Kennedy Center-honored violinist, Midori, headlining on opening night. Works by living composers comprise a significant portion of the coming season, and music by Alejandra Odgers, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jessie Montgomery, Quinn Mason, Charlton Singleton, and others tell their own, important, present-day stories.

“What we have shown Fairfield County over the past season is that great music, in varied formats, is truly for everyone in our community. Every guest artist, every program selection, every concert format was selected with immense consideration for our audience, rather than merely playing to the status quo. The joy felt among Orchestra Lumos musicians at every rehearsal is palpable, and that happiness is mirrored back to us in performances from Greenwich to Bridgeport. Next season we are thrilled to continue to share the stories of fascinating past and present composers, to hear the stories of Fairfield County residents, and to write new stories together,” says Music Director Michael Stern.

Concerts at The Palace Theatre in Stamford are a staple of Orchestra Lumos’ programming, and its 2023/24 Palace season is a dazzling journey through artistic virtuosity with incredible entertainment value.  Programming of the highest caliber paired with enthralling guest performers is always the touchstone for mainstage concerts, but the addition of unprecedented family events elevate Orchestra Lumos to must-see status in the coming season. Palace Theatre audiences of all ages and backgrounds will delight in Bugs Bunny at the Symphony 30th Anniversary Edition, a screening of the beloved movie with live orchestra playing the soundtrack. Orchestra Lumos welcomes Todd Ellison for two exciting Family concerts: Best of Broadway with guest vocalists Nikki Renée Daniels (Hamilton, Company, The Book of Mormon) and Lewis Cleale (The Book of Mormon)  in a night of Broadway showstoppers; and, an interactive holiday concert, Orchestra Lumos Does the Holidays, with musical theater star Shannon Rugani (An American in Paris).

With the success of the previous season’s Small Space Concerts, which could be found in local venues everywhere from Greenwich to Bridgeport, the 2023/24 season will feature an even more expansive series, showcasing smaller ensembles comprising Orchestra Lumos members. Performances in more intimate venues, such as Stamford’s Fish Church and St. Francis Church, The Westport Library, Norwalk’s St. Paul’s on the Green, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, First Presbyterian New Canaan, First United Congregational Church and First United Methodist Church, Greenwich lend themselves brilliantly to the artistry of Orchestra Lumos musicians in closer spaces, with duos, string quartets and quintets, and brass and wind consorts performing a sweeping variety of repertoire, both old and new.

Orchestra Lumos has made significant strides in education and community engagement, reflective of our evolving artistic programming and growing reach to all segments of the community. Last season, Orchestra Lumos provided high-quality music experiences to over 6,000 young people in Fairfield County, with more planned in the coming year. In 2023/24, Orchestra Lumos will expand on the success of its bilingual storytimes in local libraries; chamber music and private coachings with young musicians will grow in numbers; and, the Artists-in-the-Community program, which was overwhelmingly well-received in the current season with the Dalí Quartet, will continue with new guest musicians . These efforts will ensure greater access to music education and engagement for all children, regardless of their background or circumstances, in Fairfield County.

Nicolas Gonzalez, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, has stated,  “I am humbled by the positive response from the past season of musical opportunities, and more convinced than ever that direct engagement with the community is key for us to build meaningful relationships with our residents, and to see our residents build meaningful relationships with classical music. The coming season renews our drive to meet students where they live, attend school, and play, and we look forward to joining them for continued music learning and music making.”

Where the 2022/23 season was a turning point for Stamford, Connecticut’s local symphony orchestra, 2023/24 is the year that Orchestra Lumos hits its stride, expanding on the benchmarks which were the impetus for the complete institutional reimagining last year. With musicians and administration eager to lean deeper into its connection with, and role within Fairfield County, the coming season at Orchestra Lumos reinforces the notion that the arts are not merely a valuable part of the fabric of a community, but a vital one.

THE PALACE THEATRE SERIES

Bohemian RhapsodySaturday, October 14 at 7:30pmSunday, October 15 at 3:00pmMidori, violinMichael Stern, conductor

Alejandra Odgers Toni alossaan (Where are you going?)Robert Schumann Symphony No. 4 Antonin Dvorak Violin Concerto

Enigmatic Elgar

Saturday, November 14 at 7:30pmSunday, November 15 at 3:00pmTony Siqi Yun, pianoMichael Stern, conductor

Gabriela Lena Frank Elegia AndidaSergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2Edward Elgar Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, Enigma

Orchestra Lumos Does the Holidays!Saturday, December 2 at 3:00pmShannon Rugani, vocalistThe Ballet School of StamfordTodd Ellison, conductor

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony 30th Anniversary EditionSunday, February 25 at 3:00pmConducted by George DaughertyCreated by George Daugherty & David Ka Lik Wong

The Miracle of Mozart – A musical dramaSaturday, March 4 at 7:30pmSunday, March 5 at 3:00pmMichael Stern, conductorProgram to include some of Mozart’s greatest works including his Symphony No. 41, JupiterTBA, narrator

Todd Ellison’s Best of Broadway Saturday, April 13 at 7:30pmFeaturing Broadway vocalists, Nikki Renée Daniels (Hamilton, Company, Book of Mormon)  and Lewis Cleale (Book of Mormon)Todd Ellison, conductor

Selections from: Beauty and the Beast, My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Spamalot, American in Paris,  Disney favorites, and more

1001 Nights – How Scheherzade Kept Her Head

Saturday, May 4 at 7:30pmSunday, May 5 at 3:00pmChelsea Guo, pianoMichael Stern, conductor

Quinn Mason A Joyous Trilogy Edvard Grieg Piano ConcertoNicolai Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade

SMALL SPACE SERIES

Autumnal Colors – music for cello, organ and harpsichord

Sunday, October 1 at 3:00pmFirst Presbyterian Church (The Fish Church) – 1101 Bedford Street, StamfordKevin Bailey, organ and harpsichordEliot Bailen, cello

J.S. Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor (excerpt)Peter Matthews Last Day of SummerCamille Saint-Saëns PrayerGabriel Faure Elegie

Schubert’s Farewell

Sunday, October 22 at 3:00pmNorwalk St Paul’s on the Green – 60 East Avenue, NorwalkDeborah Buck and Robert Zubrycki violinsLois Martin violaCaroline Stinson and Peter Sanders cello

Luigi Boccherini Night Music of the Streets of Madrid Op. 30, No. 6 Franz Schubert String Quintet in C Major, D 956

Pulling Out All the Stops for a Brass Fanfare 

Sunday, November 5 at 3:00pmFirst Congregational Church of Greenwich – 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old GreenwichDon Batchelder, trumpetJohn Dent, trumpetEva Conti, hornRichard Clark, tromboneBrian Brown, tubaCraig Symonds, organ

(Highlights):Tomaso Albinoni, arr. Donald Batchelder Sonata St. MarkJohann Sebastian Bach My Spirit Be JoyfulGiovanni Gabrieli Canzona per sonare No. 1Giuseppe Verdi O Terra, Addio from AidaRichard Strauss, arr. Gary Olson Feierlicher Einzug

Inside the Bassoon with Cynde IversonSunday, January 14 at 3:00pmStamford Museum and Nature Center, The Knobloch Family Farmhouse – 151 Scofieldtown Road Stamford, CTCynde Iverson, bassoonDeborah Buck, violin Lois Martin, violaCaroline Stinson, cello

J. C. Voge Quartet Op. 5, No. 1W.A. Mozart Sonata for Bassoon and Cello in B-flat major, K. 292Federico Maria Sardelli Sonata II Prelude for Solo BassoonFrançois Devienne Quartet Op.73, No. 1

Inspired by Clara Schuman

Sunday, February 4 at 2:00pmFirst Presbyterian New Canaan – 178 Oenoke Ridge Road New CanaanDeborah Buck, violinOrli Shaham, piano 

Clara Schumann Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22Amanda Maier Sonata for Violin and PianoJohannes Brahms Scherzo (F-A-E Sonatensatz)Jessie Montgomery PeaceRobert Schumann Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Op. 105

After a Dream

Sunday, March 3 at 2:00pmThe Westport Library – 20 Jesup Road Westport, CTElizabeth Mann, fluteAmy Berger, harp

(Highlights):J.S Bach/Charles Gounod Ave MariaMaurice Ravel Five Greek MelodiesClaude Debussy Beau soirRalph Vaughan Williams English Folk SongsRavi Shankar L’Aube enchantée

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 3:00pmSt. Francis Church – 2810 Long Ridge Road, StamfordSebu Sirinian, violinDavid Steinberg, violinLaura Mount, violaSarah Carter, cello

Giacomo Puccini ChrysanthemumsHarold Arlen Somewhere Over the RainbowGeorge Gershwin Lullaby for String QuartetLennon/McCartney Beatles arrangementsJohn Williams Star WarsW.A. Mozart Allegro from Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Composers and their Muses

Sunday, May 19 at 3:00pmThe First United Methodist Church of Greenwich – 59 East Putnam Avenue Greenwich, CTLisa Tipton and Sebu Sirinian, violinsShelley Holland-Moritz, violaJacqueline Stern, cello

Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 2, Op. 13Fanny Hensel Romanze from String Quartet in E flatFlorence Price Juba Dance from Symphony No. 1Charlton Singleton TestimonyGermaine Tailleferre String QuartetMaurice Ravel Allegro moderato from String Quartet

Summer Winds Come Blowing In

Sunday, June 9 at 3:00pmStamford Museum and Nature Center, The Knobloch Family Farmhouse – 151 Scofieldtown Road Stamford, CTElizabeth Mann, fluteMelanie Feld, oboeShari Hoffman, clarinetCynde Iverson, bassoon Lawrence DiBello, horn

Jacques Ibert Trois pièces brèvesValerie Coleman Red Clay, Mississippi DeltaPaul Hindemith Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2Maurice Ravel Le Tombeau de CouperinPaquito D’Rivera Aires Tropicales (excerpts)

About us

Orchestra Lumos unites the passion and energy of the region’s most talented musicians to create exhilarating experiences for audiences from all walks of life. Formerly known as Stamford Symphony, we’re expanding in multiple dimensions—bringing you more of the music you love throughout Fairfield County. We present and share exceptional musical experiences: awe-inspiring concerts with world-renowned soloists and family-friendly programs that surprise and delight all ages. We are also bringing more intimate performances in smaller spaces, hands-on education programs, and community presentations across the county.  The Palace Theatre in Stamford is our home base, but now you also can join us from Greenwich to Bridgeport at your local library, school, museum, brewery, place of worship, or community venue. We’ll see you at the space that works best for you.

 

Why we’ve changed our name

Our name needed to better reflect who we are and are becoming. With our new footprint across Fairfield County, more performances, and much-enhanced educational offerings—all led by our Music Director, Michael Stern—we needed a new name. Orchestra Lumos is all about shining a bright light on extraordinary music and musicians, radiating energy, engaging new audiences, and sharing new possibilities.

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