The Santa Fe Symphony is kicking off its return to live performance with a galaxy of classics.
The musicians will launch the 2021-22 season on Sunday, Sept. 12 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center with works by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, minimalist composer Steve Reich and the legendary tango composer Astor Piazzolla.
The evening will include a pairing by Avery Fisher Career Grant violinist Alexi Kenney with conductor/violinist Guillermo Figueroa on Reich’s Duet for Two Violins and String Orchestra. The two also will perform “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires,” a symphonic tango by Piazzolla.
“Maestro Figueroa is a very talented violinist and I love for our audience to hear him perform on violin,” said Emma Scherer, who will take the position as the symphony’s executive director on Sept. 12.
• Oct. 10 will see Figueroa lead the orchestra in a tribute to Beethoven. The pianist Drew Petersen, winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards and artist-in-residence at the University of Indianapolis, will play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, op. 73 (the “Emperor”), as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 36.
• On Nov. 10, the series will move to the New Mexico Museum of Art’s St. Francis Auditorium with the chamber group Santa Fe Strata. Five symphony principals will play Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Fantaisie” in A Major for Violin and Harp, op. 124, Hannah Lash’s “Filigree in Textile,” Maurice Ravel’s “Pavane pour une infante défunte” for Cello and Harp (Pavane for a Dead Princess), and Ludwig Van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, op. 74, “Harp.”
• The musicians will welcome the holiday season with Handel’s “Messiah” on Nov. 20-21 with the full symphony and chorus.
• On Christmas Eve, “A Night at the Opera” will feature arias, duets, trios and quartets sung by Santa Fe Opera apprentice singers.
• On Jan. 16, 2022, the musicians will tackle Mozart’s “Jupiter Symphony” and the Trumpet Concerto by Juno Award-winning composer Vivian Fung performed by Gold Medal Global Music Award-winner Elizabeth Bowden. Fung is the first North American female composer to write for a female trumpet soloist.
• The Feb. 13, 2022 performance will include music by Antonín Dvorák and Jennifer Higdon (author of the opera “Cold Mountain.”) Higdon’s “blue cathedral” was inspired by the death of her brother. Principal flutist Jesse Tatum will play Pulitzer Prize-winner Christopher Rouse’s Flute Concerto.
• On March 20, the music will turn romantic with Symphony No. 1 by Florence Beatrice Price, the first female African American to be recognized as a symphonic composer and the first to have a piece played by a major orchestra. The musicians also will play Giuseppe Verdi’s dramatic Overture to “La Forza del Destino.” Acclaimed cellist Mark Kosower will play Dvorák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, op. 104.
• On April 28, 2022, the symphony will celebrate the music of Stravinsky at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in a recreation of his “Symphony of Psalms.” The composer himself conducted the work at the cathedral in 1960. Handel’s Sinfonia concertante and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 are also on the program.
• For the May 15, 2022, season finale violinist Rubén Rengel will join the orchestra on Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. American composer Charles Ives’ “The Unanswered Question” and Brahm’s Second Symphony will bring the series to a close.
For tickets, visit santafesymphony.org; 505-983-1414.