Daniel Brier

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Daniel Brier and Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus director Chris Ludwa join Cara Lieurance to preview Sounds of the Season, the symphony's annual holiday concert, which will be held at 8 pm Friday, Dec 13 at Chenery Auditorium. Brier and Ludwa talk about their two groups teaming up to perform part 1 of Johann Sebastian Bach's  Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, a joyous work which includes three soloists, chorus, and orchestra. 

After the oratorio, the program becomes a variety pack of holiday music and special guests, including the 2019 KSO Youth Soloist competition winner, Alyssa Waswick. The alto saxophonist will be featured in a movement of Glazunov's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Strings. The Kalamazoo Children's Chorus will join the orchestra for carols like Little Drummer Boy and maestro Kuerti's own arrangement of Coventry Carol. 

courtesy of the artist

Kevin Cole is a friend of a friend of George Gershwin. Several friends, in fact. Prior to his appearance with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Cole tells Cara Lieurance that as a teenager growing up in Bay City, Michigan, he introduced himself to Gershwin's friend and biographer, Edward Jablonski.

J.B. Millot

Violinist Corey Cerovsek will perform the Violin Concerto No. 2 by Bela Bartok in the season-ending concert by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra on Friday, May 17 at 8 pm in Miller Auditorium. A nomadic musician from Vancouver, British Columbia who began performing professionally as a child, Cerovsek also maintains an equal interest in mathematics, and recently launched a start-up company in the field of medical technology. For this concert, Cerovsek was up to the challenge of re-learning the Bartok concerto, a piece he has performed 20 years before, in a short period of time as a replacement for the scheduled soloist. 

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will also perform Stravinsky's 1913 ballet The Rite of Spring. It's a work that completely transformed orchestral playing, according to assistant conductor Daniel Brier. He points to the fact that the original performance required 17 orchestral rehearsals to learn the piece, and today, orchestras routinely learn it in four. As for conductors, Brier says that anyone who masters the Rite of Spring will find conducting nearly any other work a little easier.

Ronel Reyes, via Flickr all creative commons

Conductor Daniel Brier promises a fast-paced, surprising, and still poignant concert on Saturday when the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra performs 'Sounds of the Season' in Chenery Auditorium at 8 pm. Joining the orchestra are the Kalamazoo Children's Chorus' Touring Choir, KSO Youth Competition winner Jessalye Zhu, and three solo singers who bring Broadway experience: J. Mark McVey, Marissa McGowan, Valerie Lemon.

Lisa-Marie_Mazzucco / IMG Artists

Nina Kotova is a celebrated Russian-American soloist who will perform one of her favorite works on Saturday with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra: the Cello Concerto in B minor, by Antonin Dvorak. Conductor Daniel Brier will conduct another masterpiece the Symphony No. 5 by Jean Sibelius, to begin the program, a work he says is hard to describe, other than "it sounds like it is composing itself." 

The concert will be held at 8 pm in Miller Auditorium on Saturday, Nov 17. Veterans and current servicements who contact the box office (269-387-2300) will receive two free passes for this concert.