There is little that pleases a music director more than sensing an increase of  excitement , and witnessing a growing audience, for the orchestra’s concerts.  This is happening now at the FMSO and the sobering task is how to continue the trend.  The pieces we perform for you play a huge role in this of course.  Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony--our finale of last season--is a hard act to follow, but I am confident you will remain resurrected throughout this year and, who know, perhaps even enter upon another plane?

MASTERWORKS I – September 26 & 27  
    Igor Stravinsky         Firebird Suite  
    Takashi Yoshimatsu   “Cyberbird” Concerto
            featuring saxophonist Russ Peterson

    Manuel de Falla         Ritual Fire Dance
    Ottorino Respighi      The Pines of Rome    

I think there is an ecstatic, almost deliriously expressionistic quality to the music of our first concert.  Every piece blazes with color, light, spark and energy.  Special mention goes to our principal bassoonist, Russ Peterson, who will be on virtuosic display with his “other” instrument, the saxophone. The final piece, the Pines of Rome, uses a huge orchestra in a dazzling and irresistible display of instrumental prowess.


MASTERWORKS II – November 14 & 15    
    John Adams               Short Ride in a Fast Machine
    George Gershwin      Concerto in F - featuring pianist Rebecca Davis
    Antonin Dvorak          Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"   


Our second concert features two of the United States’ greatest composers-- one alive and one no longer--and a third “foreign” composer who was sufficiently inspired by the music and musical heritage of this country to write his most beloved work—and one of the most beloved of all orchestral pieces—the “New World” symphony.



MASTERWORKS III – January 23 & 24  

    Sergei Prokofiev         Romeo & Juliet - Music from Orchestral Suites
    Peter Tchaikovsky      Romeo & Juliet Overture-Fantasy
    Daniel Breedon          Heart's Ease - FMSO-commissioned work
        for string orchestra inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet"

    Leonard Bernstein      West Side Story Symphonic Dances  

Fargo’s winter arts festival this year celebrates Shakespeare, and the Symphony’s contribution will focus on some of the most intense and beautiful musical creations that were inspired by the great playwight’s “Romeo and Juliet”.  This includes the performance of a brand new work by composer and FMSO violinist, Daniel Breedon.




MASTERWORKS IV – March 12 & 13 
    featuring guest violinist Cho-Liang Lin, former teacher of
        FMSO Assistant Concertmaster Sonja Harasim

    Johannes Brahms         Academic Festival Overture - featuring a
        side-by-side performance with FM Senior High Youth Symphony

    J. S. Bach                      Double Violin Concerto - Cho-Liang Lin and Sonja Harasim
    Paul Dukas                  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
    Peter Tchaikovsky        Violin Concerto - featuring Cho-Liang Lin

For our penultimate Masterworks concert, we are tremendously excited to be able to present one of the country’s great violinists, Cho-Liang Lin, in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto.  Not only that, he will be joined by one of his former students, our very own associate concertmaster Sonja Harasim, in Bach’s concerto for 2 violins.  In keeping with the teacher/student flavor the orchestra will also play the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (yes—of Mickey Mouse fame!), which we hope to keep under control.


MASTERWORKS V – April 16 & 17  

CARMINA BURANA...and other pleasure
s of the flesh
    Pablo de Serasate        Carmen Fantasy -
          featuring concertmaster Benjamin Sung

    Richard Strauss             Dance of the Seven Veils from "Salome"

    Carl Orff                         Carmina Burana

And in our final concert we will feature another of our brilliant and treasured musicians, Benjamin Sung, our concertmaster.  Ben’s beguiling and seductive playing will undoubtedly set the tone for a program which celebrates down to earth human pleasures with as much intensity, beauty and inspiration as, this time last year, Mahler reached for the heavens.

Special Guests for "Carmina Burana" - Soprano Mariane Lemieux-Wottrich, Baritone Mark Womack, Tenor Joseph Gaines, FM Choral Artists, NDSU Concert Choir, and Fargo-Moorhead Youth Choir.