Next Symphony season: new, American & diverse!

Knoxville Symphony Music Director Aram Demirjian announcing the next classical season during a reception at the Emporium Center last night.

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Music Director Aram Demirjian announced the 2020-2021 classical music schedule to season ticket holders last night — and boy is it a doozy.

“Next season is the clearest realization of what I envisioned the Knoxville Symphony would be doing when I started as music director,” the young maestro said during an interview after the announcement. “It’s collaborative. It’s artistically ambitious. And it’s extremely fresh in terms of what we are programming, while still maintaining the romantic symphonic repertoire that lies at the core of what orchestras do.”

Demirjian assumed the helm of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in June 2016.

A look at the upcoming Masterworks and Chamber seasons — the Pops schedule¬† will be announced later — shows:

  • 25 percent of the pieces are by living composers.
  • 20 percent are written by women or members of underrepresented racial, ethnic or cultural heritage.
  • 32 percent of the pieces programmed are from outside the “traditional canon.”
  • 38 percent are by American composers.

Sheena McCall, title sponsor of the Chamber Classics series, left, with Rachel Ford, executive director of the Knoxville Symphony.

In addition, the KSO will collaborate with Knoxville Choral Society, Marble City Opera, Webb School Chamber Singers and Indigenous Vibes, a group of professional drummers led by Obayana Ajanaku, who also teaches African drumming at Knoxville’s Austin-East High School.

The schedule also includes beautiful classics by familiar composers including Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Berlioz, Wagner, Chopin, Strauss, Schumann, Ravel, Stravinsky, Respighi, Copland and others.

Full details of the upcoming Moxley Carmichael Masterworks and Sheena McCall Chamber Classics series will be on the KSO website soon.

Season subscribers will receive their renewal packages in the mail within the next 10 days. New subscribers may contact the KSO box office, located in The Emporium Center at 100 S. Gay St., Suite 302. It is open Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The phone number is 865-291-3310.

The KSO’s Woodwind Quintet performed during the reception. From left, Jessica Petrasek, Gary Sperl, Jessica Findley Yang, Jeffery Whaley and Claire Chenette.

KSO staff members manned the bar. From left, marketing consultant Chuck Kocal, development director Mary Sue Greiner and development manager Amber Mullins.

It was good crowd at The Emporium Center on the 100 block of Gay Street.

Aram Demirjian introducing Kathryn Frady, the founder of Marble City Opera, which will perform with the KSO on Feb. 7, 2021, as part of the Chamber Classics series. At left is Abby Strickland, the KSO’s director of communications.

Kathryn Frady said the Marble City Opera will be featured during “The Soldier’s Tale” by Stravinsky.

Obayana Ajanaku and his ensemble Indigenous Vibes will perform with the KSO at the Tennessee Theatre on March 18 & 19, 2021, in a program called “Beats & Bolero.” Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Jessica Petrasek and Gary Sperl during one of the interludes.

Jeffery Whaley.

Claire Chenette making a few remarks prior to playing a sample from next season.

Andrew MacDonald and Jacqueline Whittemore enjoyed snacks with their daughter prior to the program.

Here are some of those snacks!

From left, Pete and Cynthia Sowa, Elizabeth Offringa and Victoria Cape.

It was nice meeting Dr. Anthony Wilson, left, and Tyler Janow.

Janet Bower had the perfect scarf for this event!

Always great to see Gil and Edie Volk, left, and Jane and Frank Venable.

Emma and Lewis Brewer were there for the preview.

Obayana Ajanaku spent some time with Jennifer Harrell, the KSO’s education and community partnerships director. His Austin-East High School drum group will perform with the KSO’s Very Young People’s concert next month. She’s in charge of that program.

Kathryn Frady, left, and my friend Karen Clark, a patron of almost all the arts in Knoxville.



Filed under: Knoxville, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Next Symphony season: new, American & diverse!

  1. Monique Anderson, on January 29th, 2020 at 5:15 pm said:

    Sounds like a great season!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on January 29th, 2020 at 8:30 pm said:

    Monique: I think it might be the best one ever! Hope you’ll be joining us for some of the exciting performances!

Leave a Reply