New Symphony Season

If you went to one of the Des Moines Symphony’s performances of “Beyond the Score: Tchaikovsky 4,” you not only heard great music but were the first to learn what’s in store for next season. Before the shows, Joseph Giunta announced the lineup for 2013-2014, which also will mark Giunta’s 25th year as the Symphony’s music director and conductor. In planning the season, Giunta kept that milestone in mind, he said, choosing pieces that he studied with his mentors years ago as well as some of his favorites from his early seasons at the Symphony. In addition, he said he wanted to bring young up-and-coming soloists to Des Moines.

Renowned Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev will kick off the season Sept. 14-15 when he returns to Des Moines (he was here in 2011) to perform Prokofiev’s “Third Piano Concerto.”  The all-Russian program also will feature Giunta’s favorite post-romantic symphony, “Symphony No. 2 in E Minor” by Rachmaninoff.

Additional highlights include another “Beyond the Score” production in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, this time featuring “The Planets—Other Worlds?” by Holst (Nov. 16-17). Members of the original Four Seasons will star in “The Hit Men” for the annual New Year’s Eve Pops concert Dec. 31, while the music of George Gershwin will take center stage Valentine’s Day weekend Feb. 15-16. Award-winning pianist Kevin Cole will play “Rhapsody in Blue,” and soprano Sylvia McNair will perform classics like “Summertime.” Giunta will conduct Dvorak’s lyrical “Eighth Symphony,” one of the first pieces he heard as a child, March 15-16, and Beethoven’s “Eroica Symphony” April 12-13.

For a complete lineup and information on subscriber packages, go to

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