Larry Loh is no stranger to Symphoria and Syracuse. In fact he was the conductor for a concert right after the name Symphoria was announced back in 2013. He’s also conducting two of the masterworks concerts this season. One guiding principal in putting together next season was to show how great the orchestra is.
“How are expectations are as high as professional symphonic music in Central New York has always been. So we want to definitely include some of the kinds of masterworks. We’re beginning with the very flashy, symphonic Berlioz Symphony Fantastique. They asked me about a wish list of pieces I thought I’d like to do in the first year as music director.”
Those include some of the selections in next year’s Masterworks series, opening with the Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and including music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Loh found planning the season – with the co-op nature of Symphoria, managed largely by the musicians – exhilarating.
“What I love, especially in the planning process, are the ideas that come from the musicians and the connections with guest artists that come from the musicians. These are amazing direct connections. They know what pieces they are excited to play specifically.”
The seasons also features a pops series once again, including a concert of John Williams Star Wars music (conducted by former WAER announcer Sean O'Loughlin). Loh defends selections from the scores of movies
as both musical and exciting. And he says film music can be an entry point to symphony for some audience members. There’s also a casual series, Spark concerts and a kids’ series. Loh sees the future of the orchestra as encouraging.
“The Masterworks, initially, we were only going to program 6 of them, and then it became 8. Then this amazing collaboration to showcase Itzhak Perlman came up and that’s almost like a 9th Masterworks. We have this incredible feeling that things are fertile and expanding and actually if there’s anything that we’re doing, it’s keeping a good handle on its expansion so it doesn’t grow unreasonably fast.”
Loh says ticket subscriptions are meeting or exceeding expectations. Details for the season which begins in September, are at: ExperienceSymphoria.org.
There’s also a calendar of Summer Concerts, beginning with a free performance in Hamilton July 9th, including concerts in Syracuse, Fayetteville, Cazenovia and Skaneateles.