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Knoxville Symphony Orchestra announces 2016-17 classical series

February 4, 2016

Feb. 4, 2016

Rachel Dellinger
KSO Director of Communications
Direct: 865-521-2317 Cell: 865-660-3037
[email protected]


The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra has announced the 2016-2017 Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Series and Chamber Classics Series, with the understanding that further repertoire selections will be forthcoming after the announcement of the KSO’s next Music Director, to occur this spring. View the KSO Concert Calendar here.

“I am pleased to share details of a new season – one filled with beloved masterworks and that we anticipate will feature the debut of the KSO’s next Music Director,” said Rachel Ford, executive director. “The current season showcases six Music Director candidates. Conducting slots for the 2016-17 Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Series are reserved for the new Music Director, pending selection and conductor availability.  Thus, conductors will not be announced at this time.  We look forward to the excitement of next season as we introduce our new Music Director and continue the KSO’s 81-year tradition of artistic excellence.”

All eight Masterworks programs will be held at the Tennessee Theatre on Thursday and Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m.  Four Chamber Classics concerts will take place on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre, and — new this year — one program at the University of Tennessee Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. Subscriptions to both series are now on sale by contacting the KSO box office; single tickets will go on sale in August 2016. Subscriptions to the Masterworks Series start at just $94 and Chamber Series subscriptions start at just $59.50.

2016-2017 Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Season

Subscriptions to the 2016-2017 Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Series start at just $94 and are on sale to the general public now. Subscriptions can be purchased through the KSO box office by calling 865-291-3310.  All eight Masterworks programs will be held at the Tennessee Theatre on Thursday and Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

September 15 & 16, 2016

7:30 p.m.

The KSO will open its 81st season with a concert of Russian passion featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Guest pianist Orion Weiss returns to join the KSO for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. He recently performed with the KSO in 2012 for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Stay tuned for more information to come about this thrilling opening concert.

Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. Weiss’s impressive list of awards includes the Gilmore Young Artist Award, Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Gina Bachauer Scholarship at The Juilliard School and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. A native of Lyndhurst, Ohio, Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2004, he graduated from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.

October 13 & 14, 2016
7:30 p.m.

The KSO’s October Masterworks performances feature Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons, with violinist Giora Schmidt as soloist.

Violinist Giora Schmidt has appeared with many prominent symphony orchestras around the globe, including Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, National Arts Centre, Toronto, Vancouver and the Israel Philharmonic. Committed to education and sharing his passion for music, Giora regularly seeks out new ways of reaching young violinists and music lovers around the world through technology and social media. Giora was the First Prize winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Competition in 2000, the recipient of a 2003 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 2005 won the Classical Recording Foundation’s Samuel Sanders Award. From 2004 to 2006 he was chosen to be a Starling Fellow where he taught as Itzhak Perlman’s assistant at The Juilliard School.

NOVEMBER 19 & 20, 2016
7:30 p.m.

Join the KSO for fabulous music of Copland and a little ditty on the mandolin. Jeff Midkiff will bring life to the Tennessee Theatre stage with his Mandolin Concerto, “From the Blue Ridge,” plus Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Mandolinist and fiddler Jeff Midkiff feels comfortable in more than one setting — musically and personally. Even as he was immersing himself in the classical repertoire, he continued to gain attention as a mandolin and fiddle player. In 1983 he joined the Lonesome River Band, which would eventually become one of bluegrass’s most acclaimed groups. For the next five years, he completed his education and started working as a music instructor, recording two albums with the group, including its self-titled Rebel Records debut in 1987. Shortly after that, he enrolled in graduate school at Northern Illinois University, earning his master’s degree in clarinet at the end of the decade. Midkiff’s concerto for mandolin and orchestra, “From the Blue Ridge,” was composed in 2011 in a commission from Music Director David Stewart Wiley and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

January 19 & 20, 2017
7:30 p.m.

The KSO’s January Masterworks concerts ring in the new year with the fabulous Violin Concerto by Sibelius, featuring soloist Bella Hristova.

Violinist Bella Hristova is a young musician with a growing international career as a soloist and recording artist. Her talent has been recently recognized with a prestigious 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, given to outstanding instrumentalists and based on excellence alone. Born in Pleven, Bulgaria in 1985 to Russian and Bulgarian parents, Hristova began violin studies at the age of 6. In 2003, she entered The Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with Ida Kavafian and studied chamber music with Steven Tenenbom. She received her Artist Diploma at Indiana University in 2010. Recent highlights include the 2013 late spring release of her newest recording, Bella Unaccompanied, (A.W. Tonegold Records) a CD of works for solo violin. Appearances included performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, at the Young Concert Artists Gala Concert at Alice Tully Hall, with the Mississippi Symphony, City of London Sinfonia, Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela and at Seoul National University.  As a result of winning the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Hristova made a  critically acclaimed concert tour of New Zealand and a similarly acclaimed CD of solo violin works by the Belgian virtuoso Charles de Bériot (Naxos).

February 16 & 17, 2017
7:30 p.m.

The KSO Masterworks audience is in for a treat. In February, we welcome pianist Lise de la Salle for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

Since 2001, Lise de la Salle has been following an impressive international career performing in the major concert halls of Europe, the United States and Asia, such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Wigmore Hall in London. In 2013, her last CD “a portrait” celebrates her 10-year anniversary with Naïve. Born in 1988, Lise started playing the piano at the age of 4 and gave her first concert, broadcast live by Radio France, when she was 9. At the age of 13 she made her concerto debut with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 2.

March 16 & 17, 2017
7:30 p.m.

Talented KSO Concertmaster Gabriel Lefkowitz returns to the Tennessee Theatre stage bringing life to Brahms’ Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in D Major for the March Masterworks concerts.

Violinist Gabriel Lefkowitz has served five seasons as the KSO Concertmaster, and for four seasons has programmed and performed his own Concertmaster Series, Gabriel Lefkowitz & Friends, as well as being the featured soloist on several KSO programs. In addition to many violin and conducting engagements, the 28-year-old Lefkowitz also composes scores for films and video games. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where he graduated magna cum laude and a master’s degree in violin performance from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Joel Smirnoff and Masao Kawasaki.

APRIL 20 & 21, 2017
7:30 p.m.

Notable concert pianist Adam Golka returns to Knoxville to join the KSO in April for Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. He previously performed with the KSO in 2009 for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Adam Golka’s recent solo performances include Berlin, Zurich, and at the Ruhr Festival in Germany. A first generation American from a Polish family, Adam was raised in Texas and studied first with his mother, pianist Anna Golka, and with José Feghali at Texas Christian University.  Adam is a winner of the Gilmore Young Artist’s award and the Max I. Allen Classical Fellowship Award of the American Pianists Association. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

MAY 18 & 19, 2017
7:30 p.m.

The KSO’s 81st season concludes with Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony.

2016 – 2017 KSO Chamber Classics Season

Subscriptions to the 2016-2017 Chamber Classics series are available beginning Monday, February 1.  Subscriptions start at just $59.50 and can be purchased through the KSO Box Office by calling 865-291-3310.  All five Chamber Classics concerts will take place on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 PM.  Four concerts will occur at the Bijou Theatre and one performance will take place in the Powell Recital Hall in the University of Tennessee’s Natalie L. Haslam Music Center.

SEPT. 25, 2016
2:30 p.m.

James Fellenbaum, conductor
Gordon Tsai, violin
Kathryn Gawne, viola

The 2016-17 Chamber Classics series will open on Sunday, Sept. 25, with music of Mozart & Haydn, conducted by James Fellenbaum and featuring two KSO soloists: Gordon Tsai, violin and Kathryn Gawne, viola. Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” Overture will open the program, followed by Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, known as “London.”

Oct. 30, 2016
2:30 p.m.

James Fellenbaum, conductor
Edward Pulgar, violin

Join the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra in October for a spicy Latin American program. Maestro James Fellenbaum conducts Marquez’s Danzon No. 4, Romero’s Fuga con Pajarillo, Copland’s Three Latin American Sketches, and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.

Nov. 27, 2016
2:30 p.m.

James Fellenbaum, conductor

The Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra will perform “A Classical Christmas” again this year at the Bijou Theatre just in time to get you and yours in the holiday spirit. This performance, conducted by James Fellenbaum, will feature some favorite holiday selections, including Sleigh Ride, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and selections from Handel’s “Messiah,” plus many more.

Jan. 29, 2017
2:30 p.m.

Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall at the University of Tennessee Natalie L. Haslam Music Center

The January installment of the Chamber Classics series features the Principal Quartet. This concert will be held at the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, located at 1741 Volunteer Blvd., on the University of Tennessee Campus. Musical selections include Beethoven’s Op. 59, No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No. 1 in D Major. Principal Quartet members include: Gordon Tsai, violin; Edward Pulgar, violin; Kathryn Gawne, viola; and Andy Bryenton, cello.

APRIL 2, 2017
2:30 p.m.

James Fellenbaum, conductor
Claire Chenette, oboe

The KSO Chamber Classics Series concludes with lighthearted music, including Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Mozart’s Oboe Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, under the baton of Maestro James Fellenbaum, with KSO Principal Oboist Claire Chenette soloing.


About the KSO

Established in 1935, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches. The KSO is currently undergoing the search for a new Music Director, to be announced in 2016. For more information please visit

For more information about the KSO’s 2016-2017 season, visit Subscriptions to both series are on sale to the general public beginning Monday, February 1 and may be purchased through the KSO Box Office by calling (865) 291-3310 or in person at the Emporium Building, 100 S. Gay. St.

Maria Cornelius