Anne Harrigan

Battle Creek Symphony

Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 -- the "apotheosis of the dance," according to Richard Wagner - is the centerpiece of a virtual concert by the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 pm on Saturday, Nov 21. It's her favorite Beethoven symphony, admits conductor Anne Harrigan, who conducted the performance to film for this release. Harrigan previewed the music and talked about her commitment to keeping audiences engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online concert is free; register here.


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Last week, Anne Harrigan revealed the details of the 2020-21 season of the Battle Creek Symphony, which begins on October 17, 2020. On the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Harrigan and Cara Lieurance each share their experiences of that day.


Garland Cannon, via Flickr. All Creative Commons license / https://bit.ly/3lMGl5Q

The Battle Creek Symphony, which typically presents around 70 school outreach events every year, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic last spring by offering free online music lessons to all kids in the Battle Creek school system. Now, as music director Anne Harrigan tells Cara Lieurance, it's time to bring the BCSO musicians back to the stage, and give music lovers free access to online events on a pay-what-you-can basis.


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Anne Harrigan is the conductor of two orchestras, one in Billings, MT, and one in Battle Creek, MI. Both have had their seasons derailed by the pandemic.  In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Harrigan says she and the Battle Creek Symphony took two weeks to regroup when the shutdown began in Michigan.  Then came a pivot: Harrigan and other orchestra musicians began offering free online music lessons to young people in the Battle Creek school system. Harrigan also created a series of videos featuring past performances, sharing them on Facebook and YouTube.


NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Feb 26 2020

At 7:30 pm on Saturday, Feb 29, conductor Anne Harrigan will lead the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra in a performance of The Planets by Gustav Holst.  In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Harrigan says Holst wrote the piece at the turn of the last century after reading some mystic writings about astrology. Under her direction, the music, which requires a huge orchestra that can produce unique sonic signatures, will be accompanied by images from NASA, courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. 

Guest artist and rising star Zachary Brandon, a native of Battle Creek, will return from advanced studies in California to play music from the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with his hometown orchestra, Harrigan says. The final piece is the opening overture, written at age 21 by Samuel Barber. His Overture to the School for Scandal is a personal favorite for Harrigan. It's a signature piece for one of her mentors, conductor David Zinman. 

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