Season Sneak Peek

Don’t miss the party! Our 2017-18 season celebrates MSO’s 20th anniversary. We’ll look to the past and repeat some of our biggest audience favorites. And we’ll look to the future as we show off our orchestra’s skill with one of the most monumental compositions of all time – Mahler’s 2nd Symphony!

Our anniversary season is also a celebration of you! We are proud to have one of the most loyal subscriber bases in the nation – a true testament to our musical excellence. Through your support, the MSO has become a regional treasure and Mobile’s flagship arts organization. Thank you!

Here is a sneak peek of what is in store for our 20th season anniversary:

September 23-24, 2017

Scott Speck, conductor

The Firebird

Excerpts from Sleeping Beauty

Daphnis and Chloé

The opening act of our season will celebrate the rich history of Russian ballet. We will be joined by professional dancers to bring to life famous scenes from some of the world’s most popular ballets. In addition, MSO will be partnering with the Mobile Museum of Art to bring you art inspired by Ballet Russes which will be presented by projection during the performance.

Most of the pieces on this concert were premiered by or composed for the ballet company, Ballet Russes. In 1909, Russian arts enthusiast Serge Diaghilev founded this company in Paris. Though most of the dancers, choreographers, and composers were Russian, the company never performed in Russia because of the tumultuous political climate. His company represents the Golden Age of ballet which not only revived a dying art form but also inspired a new movement of exploration for fine arts as a whole.  

November 18-19, 2017

Scott Speck, conductor
Marcus Roberts Trio

Symphony No. 7

Piano Concerto in F

Our annual Beethoven & Blue Jeans is a reminder that you don’t have to dress up to enjoy the Symphony. We welcome you as you are!

We are also celebrating the rich diversity that is classical music by contrasting two of the great masters. Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in many ways opened the door to a new era of classical music – the charismatic and evocative Romantic Era. You will likely recognize the famous dark and lush theme from the second movement that has been used in the soundtracks of movies such as The King’s Speech, White House Down, and X-Men: Apocalypse. Meanwhile Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F represents the thrill of orchestral jazz which you have come to know and love from Gershwin’s ever famous Rhapsody in Blue. The arrangement for this concerto will be provided and performed by Marcus Roberts Trio, who’s interpretation creates authenticity with their use of improvisational jazz breaks.


January 20-21, 2018

Scott Speck, conductor
Chee-Yun, violin

Last Round

The Four Seasons

Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Vivaldi was a master of his art in that he was capable of composing music which spoke more powerfully than words. The Four Seasons puts Vivaldi’s mastery on full display. For each season, there is a corresponding movement which provides a vivid musical portrait. Argentina’s tango master, Astor Piazzolla took a different spin on this concept with his piece Four Seasons of Buenos Aires which exudes a distinct Latin flare.

The amazingly talented Chee-Yun will be joining us for this concert. Her first public performance was at the age of 8 and by the age of 13 she had already performed with the New York Philharmonic. Since then, Chee-Yun has performed with many of the world’s foremost orchestras. She plays the Stradivarius “Ex-Strauss” (Cremona, 1708), which is on loan through the generous efforts of the Samsung Foundation of Culture of Korea and the Stradivari Society of Chicago, Illinois.

February 24-25, 2018

André Raphel, guest conductor
Zuill Bailey, cello

Dances from Romeo and Juliet

Cello Concerto No. 2

Enigma Variations

Music has a unique ability to bring people together from all walks of life. Elgar’s Enigma Variations is a literal testament to this fact. This piece is composed of 14 variations, each of which is a musical caricature of family members and friends, including his dog. Each variation is subtitled with different initials. The first being C.A.E. which are the initials of his wife, Caroline Alice Elgar.

Zuill Bailey will be our featured guest artist for Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2. Zuill recently won two Grammy awards for Best Instrumental Solo and Best Contemporary Classical Composition for his performance on “Tales of Hemingway,” alongside the Nashville Symphony with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.

March 24-25, 2018

Scott Speck, conductor

South Alabama Concert Choir
Mobile Opera Chorus
Eastern Shore Choral Society

Symphony No. 2

The Resurrection Symphony cemented Gustav Mahler’s fame as one of history’s foremost composers. This mammoth piece is known for its grandeur and scale. It requires a performing force which includes soloists and a chorus, which the composer directed should be deployed beyond the confines of the stage itself. This will be the first time the Mobile Symphony Orchestra has taken on Mahler’s masterpiece.  We will be joined by three of the areas finest choirs to create an experience that anyone would regret missing!

April 21-22, 2018

Scott Speck, conductor
Menahem Pressler, piano

Piano Concerto No.23

Symphony No. 5

The composition of Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony took place during the height of Soviet Union oppression in his homeland of Russia. Though he was a composer and not soldier, Shostakovich’s career was exploited to produce propaganda.  He had a successful opera condemned as unpatriotic and was forced to withdraw the premier of his 4th symphony for fear of punishment. Though the 5th Symphony is subtitled “A Soviet Artist’s Response to Just Criticism.”, the piece is undeniable laced with themes of both defiance and deep mourning. The history of this piece, makes it one of the most moving works of art.

At 91 years of age, Menahem Pressler has held a long and illustrious career for over 70 years. He captivates audiences throughout the world as performer and pedagogue, performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career. The six time Grammy Award nominee will be joining us to perform the captivating music of Mozart.