NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) announces details for innovative fall programs of the 2020-21 season that provide local and global audiences with multiple connections to the LPO. This new vision has been developed in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, offering a variety of digital and safe in-person opportunities to experience new performances by the musician-members of the LPO. The LPO seeks to ensure that the orchestra will not only continue to uphold, but also expand upon, our mission to transform lives and communities through music. A re-invented concert experience through new media, including the creation of innovative projects will reach a broad, cross-cultural audience representing New Orleans.
“In a city with a 200-year classical music tradition, the LPO is resiliently developing new programs and initiatives to connect with audiences and foster spirit and pride in our community,” said Interim Executive Director Scott Harrison. “As our city reopens and the economy rebounds, the LPO is here to share music with New Orleanians safely and accessibly. We are embracing our role in helping to energize the unique culture of our region.”
The Orpheum Sessions will feature ensembles of up to 30 LPO musicians captured with HD video and sound in the LSO’s iconic home, the Orpheum Theater. Audiences are invited to watch on demand at their convenience via lpomusic.com. The official opening of the 30th anniversary season of the LPO begins with the series premiere on Friday, October 2, available starting at 7:00 p.m. (Central). This first session, America Rising, features a tapestry of 20th and 21st century American composers, including Aaron Copland (“Fanfare for the Common Man”), George Walker (“Lyric for Strings”), Clarice Assad (“Impressions”) and the LPO’s newly-appointed Creative Partner and New Orleans native Courtney Bryan (“Blooming”). Conductor Lina González-Granados, named to El Mundo’s “Latino 30 Under 30” list for her advocacy of Latin American music, will take the podium for her LPO debut.
The eight inaugural episodes premiere every other Friday, from October 2 to January 8. Future highlights include Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” with LPO musicians as soloists, a program pairing works of Mozart, Joseph Bologne Saint-Georges, and New Orleans composer Tucker Fuller, and collaborations with Cyril Neville and Tank and the Bangas.
Access to the Orpheum Sessions is included with all 2020-21 subscription packages or passes are available for $115, providing access to more than 15 programs this season.
Additional episodes will be released through the end of the season, with more details to be announced in December. Episode program details are available here.
“The LPO plays with a versatility and virtuosity that represents the heritage and excellence of New Orleans music making,” shared Carlos Miguel Prieto, Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin Music Director and Principal Conductor. “We will honor and uplift the wide spectrum of New Orleans’ music, celebrating past traditions and vibrant new collaborations.”
The new Suite Sundays are fun and engaging programs that will feature LPO chamber ensembles online. With stunningly clear audio and crisp, high-quality video, these video streams of chamber music will provide intimate and engaging concert experiences and storytelling from LPO musicians. Upgrade packages include a limited edition 30th Anniversary LPO wine and dessert delivered by an LPO musician. The series begins on October 11, 2020 at 2:30 pm with the LPO Woodwind Trio, with subsequent performances streaming every other Sunday. Future program details will be announced for a string quartet program of music by Haydn and Debussy; viola and bassoon duets; and Courtney Bryan joins the LPO Chamber Players.
Starting Thursday, October 1, 6:00 pm LPO chamber ensembles perform at iconic NOLA museums in Music at the Museum. Strict safety and distancing protocols will be in place for limited capacity live audiences. Upcoming performances will take place at Hermann-Grima Historic House, New Orleans Botanical Garden, Longue Vue House & Gardens, and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
Ticket information for Suite Sundays and Music at the Museum is available here.
In addition to outdoor museum locations, musicians will delight and connect around the community in a variety of settings and locations as part of LPO on the GO. LPO’s new series of planned and pop-up performances will be held in imaginative, unexpected, and less formal settings throughout our city, designed to engage, entertain, and be interactive. LPO musicians will also perform Musical Storytime regularly on Saturday mornings at City Park’s Storyland featuring delightful tales with narration and music.
With a renewed focus on access to music education, the LPO is creating engaging programs for families and educators to share with children of all ages. Designed for grades K-2, Early Explorer videos and curriculum are a fun-filled opportunity to explore the instruments of the Orchestra. For teachers in schools and at-home, the Arts Integration Lessons will provide resources and lesson plans that align with benchmark standards to engage students in the classroom and at home. Music for Life provides virtual music lessons to students at four schools taught by LPO musicians and Soul Strings provides music therapy for children and adults at five different sites with a licensed music therapist and LPO string quartet.