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.
Press highlights from the inaugural season as Orchestra Lumos include:
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 7:30pm Sunday, October 15 at 3:00pm Midori, violin Michael Stern, conductor
Alejandra Odgers Toni alossaan (Where are you going?)Robert Schumann Symphony No. 4 Antonin Dvorak Violin Concerto
Saturday, November 14 at 7:30pmSunday, November 15 at 3:00pm Tony Siqi Yun, piano Michael Stern, conductor
Gabriela Lena Frank Elegia AndidaSergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 Edward Elgar Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36, Enigma
Orchestra Lumos Does the Holidays!Saturday, December 2 at 3:00pm Shannon Rugani, vocalist The Ballet School of Stamford Todd Ellison, conductor
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony 30th Anniversary EditionSunday, February 25 at 3:00pm Conducted by George Daugherty Created by George Daugherty & David Ka Lik Wong
The Miracle of Mozart – A musical dramaSaturday, March 4 at 7:30pm Sunday, March 5 at 3:00pm Michael Stern, conductor Program to include some of Mozart’s greatest works including his Symphony No. 41, Jupiter TBA, narrator
Todd Ellison’s Best of BroadwaySaturday, April 13 at 7:30pm Featuring 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 3:00pm Chelsea Guo, piano Michael Stern, conductor
Quinn Mason A Joyous TrilogyEdvard Grieg Piano Concerto Nicolai 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, Stamford Kevin Bailey, organ and harpsichord Eliot Bailen, cello
J.S. Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor (excerpt)Peter Matthews Last Day of Summer Camille Saint-Saëns Prayer Gabriel Faure Elegie
Sunday, October 22 at 3:00pmNorwalk St Paul’s on the Green – 60 East Avenue, Norwalk Deborah Buck and Robert Zubrycki violins Lois Martin viola Caroline Stinson and Peter Sanders cello
Luigi Boccherini Night Music of the Streets of Madrid Op. 30, No. 6Franz 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 Greenwich Don Batchelder, trumpet John Dent, trumpet Eva Conti, horn Richard Clark, trombone Brian Brown, tuba Craig Symonds, organ
(Highlights):Tomaso Albinoni, arr. Donald Batchelder Sonata St. Mark Johann Sebastian Bach My Spirit Be Joyful Giovanni Gabrieli Canzona per sonare No. 1 Giuseppe Verdi O Terra, Addio from Aida Richard Strauss, arr. Gary Olson Feierlicher Einzug
Inside the Bassoon with Cynde IversonSunday, January 14 at 3:00pm Stamford Museum and Nature Center, The Knobloch Family Farmhouse – 151 Scofieldtown Road Stamford, CT Cynde Iverson, bassoon Deborah Buck, violin Lois Martin, viola Caroline Stinson, cello
J. C. Voge Quartet Op. 5, No. 1W.A. Mozart Sonata for Bassoon and Cello in B-flat major, K. 292 Federico Maria Sardelli Sonata II Prelude for Solo Bassoon François Devienne Quartet Op.73, No. 1
Inspired by Clara Schuman
Sunday, February 4 at 2:00pmFirst Presbyterian New Canaan – 178 Oenoke Ridge Road New Canaan Deborah Buck, violin Orli Shaham, piano
Clara Schumann Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22Amanda Maier Sonata for Violin and Piano Johannes Brahms Scherzo (F-A-E Sonatensatz) Jessie Montgomery Peace Robert 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, CT Elizabeth Mann, flute Amy Berger, harp
(Highlights):J.S Bach/Charles Gounod Ave Maria Maurice Ravel Five Greek Melodies Claude Debussy Beau soir Ralph Vaughan Williams English Folk Songs Ravi Shankar L’Aube enchantée
Around the World in 80 Minutes
Sunday, April 7, 2024 at 3:00pmSt. Francis Church – 2810 Long Ridge Road, Stamford Sebu Sirinian, violin David Steinberg, violin Laura Mount, viola Sarah Carter, cello
Giacomo Puccini ChrysanthemumsHarold Arlen Somewhere Over the Rainbow George Gershwin Lullaby for String Quartet Lennon/McCartney Beatles arrangements John Williams Star Wars W.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, CT Lisa Tipton and Sebu Sirinian, violins Shelley Holland-Moritz, viola Jacqueline Stern, cello
Felix Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 2, Op. 13Fanny Hensel Romanze from String Quartet in E flat Florence Price Juba Dance from Symphony No. 1 Charlton Singleton Testimony Germaine Tailleferre String Quartet Maurice 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, CT Elizabeth Mann, flute Melanie Feld, oboe Shari Hoffman, clarinet Cynde Iverson, bassoon Lawrence DiBello, horn
Jacques Ibert Trois pièces brèvesValerie Coleman Red Clay, Mississippi Delta Paul Hindemith Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2 Maurice Ravel Le Tombeau de Couperin Paquito D’Rivera Aires Tropicales (excerpts)
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.