Liszt Fantasy

Beethoven: King Stephen Overture
Liszt: Totentanz (József Balog, piano)
Liszt: Hungarian Fantasy (József Balog, piano)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2

One of the first rockstars of classical music, the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt galvanized nineteenth-century audiences with passionate performances of richly expressive music. It is said that young ladies collected his used handkerchiefs and made lockets from strands of his wild hair. Hungarian pianist József Balog plays Liszt’s diabolical Totentanz, “Dance of Death,” as well as the tuneful Hungarian Fantasy. Liszt would be pleased to find himself featured alongside his idol Beethoven; we will hear the early Symphony No. 2 and the overture to King Stephen, written to commemorate the founding of the Kingdom of Hungary.


Berlioz: Harold in Italy (Charles Hogue, viola)
Bizet: Carmen Suites 1 & 2 (selections)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol

Composers have long been fascinated by the sea and sun of Spain and Italy, two great jewels of the western Mediterranean. Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, a symphony with solo viola, was commissioned by Paganini and inspired by Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Set in Seville, Carmen became the most successful French opera of the late nineteenth century, adored for the atmospheric dances which Bizet later extracted for orchestra. Even Rimsky-Korsakov, a master of the Russian school, succumbed to the charms of Iberia in his Capriccio espagnol, rooted in authentic Spanish folk melodies.

Conversation with Mozart

Eötvös: Dialog mit Mozart (US premiere)
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 (Tai Murray, violin)
Schubert: Symphony No. 4 in D

Mozart’s phrases often seem to take on a question-and-answer format, as if he is scripting musical conversations. Composer Petér Eötvös created his Dialog mit Mozart in 2014; throughout the piece, he engages in a dialectic exploration of tunes by his renowned predecessor. Violinist Tai Murray takes the stage to perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in a program crowned by Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, the “Tragic,” composed at age nineteen but unheard until decades later.

Hollywood Hits

John Williams has penned the soundtracks to some of the most successful films of all time, from Superman to the Star Wars series. A great film score lingers with the audience long after the closing credits have scrolled; the composer uses music to underscore the action, to help characters and emotions resonate, and to make those magical moments even more memorable. Tonight’s concert features the full symphony orchestra in performances of classic cues from the likes of Henry Mancini, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, Michael Gioacchino, and of course from Mr. Williams himself, dean of the silver screen.

The Doo-wop Project

You know them as the stars of Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical. But the fellas of the Doo Wop Project begin at the beginning, tracing the inception of street corner harmony through the biggest radio hits of today. They’ve consistently captivated audiences with flawless renditions of classic tunes by the Flamingos and the Four Seasons, as well as doo-wop arrangements of Jason Mraz and Maroon 5. The Doo Wop Project returns to the HSO stage for a special New Year’s Eve celebration of great American music, sure to have you grinning and grooving your way into 2023.

One Vision: The Music of Queen

The biggest British sensation to follow the Beatles, Queen dominated the rock and pop charts of the 1970s and 1980s with anthems like “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The band has sold 300 million records, with all four members having penned number one hits. The phenomenal artists of Jeans ‘n Classics join forces with the musicians of the HSO to perform the very best of these mercurial chart-toppers in grand symphonic style. Make no mistake: WE WILL ROCK YOU!

Free Family Concert: The Composer is Dead

Featuring Huntsville M.E.T.

Music by Nathaniel Stookey
Text by Lemony Snicket

A terrible thing has transpired at the concert hall: the composer is dead! Where were the violins on the night in question? Has anyone seen the harp? With your help we will scour the stage for clues, examining each instrument of the orchestra with care – before the trail of evidence goes cold. It’s a bit of film noir fun for the whole family, a suspiciously charming introduction to the symphony for children of all ages.

Mozart à la Haydn

Schnittke: Moz-Art à la Haydn (Alabama premiere)
Haydn: Symphony No .45 “Farewell”