The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra recently announced the extension of music director Jose-Luis Novo's contract for another five years, as well as the orchestra's 2013-2014 lineup, with five classical concerts plus a holiday program and a family concert.
Under Novo's direction since 2005, Annapolis Symphony has grown significantly, earning critical praise while attracting increased subscriptions and donor support.
Orchestra officials say the organization is pursuing a vision to be the best regional orchestra in the country, and chairman Harley Flack said the orchestra's board of trustees is confident Novo can take it there. He said the board admires Novo's vision and leadership, "as does our audience."
And concertmaster Netanel Drailblate said, "The musicians respect him immensely, and it shows in their performance."
"I am thrilled to keep working with this incredibly talented group of musicians and continue building on the many accomplishments we have shared thus far," Novo said. "The ASO is an arts organization of which to be proud, and I am honored it has renewed its trust in my artistic leadership."
That leadership is apparent in the programming planned for next season. The 70 professional musicians in the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will present a range of music likely to appeal to audiences of all ages.
With the exception of the popular Labor Day free family concert, performances are held at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. A presentation of "Pops in the Park" is scheduled this season for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Quiet Waters Park amphitheater. The rain date will be Sept. 2.
The orchestra's season formally opens Sept. 27 and 28 with Mark Kosower, guest soloist and winner of both the Rostropovich and International Pablo Casals Cello competitions. Kosower's program features Samuel Barber's "Essay No. 2," Edouard Lalo's Cello Concerto and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 1.
On Nov. 1 and 2, American pianist Peter Serkin will be the soloist at a concert featuring Benjamin Britten's "Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge," Frank Bridge's "The Sea" and Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2.
The orchestra's Holiday Pops concert, "Christmas in Annapolis," will be held Dec. 20, with vocal ensemble Five by Design lending its signature harmonies to a program of holiday favorites.
ASO's Family Concert will be presented Feb. 8, when "The Lost Elephant" with Dan Kamin tells the story of Elmer the Elephant, who escapes from a zoo. Kamin was originally commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to create this program, which has become one of his most popular. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and families can attend "Meet the Musicians" sessions at 1:15 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
On Feb. 28 and March 1, the orchestra will perform Mozart's Symphony No. 36 and Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7. Violinist Soovin Kim will be ASO's featured soloist April 4 and 5 in concerts featuring Bela Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2 and Dvorak's Symphony No. 6.
On May 2 and 3, acclaimed pianist Jon Nakamatsu will present a program including Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Jesus Guridi's "Diez Melodias Vascas" ("Ten Basque Melodies") and Maurice Ravel's "La Valse."
Subscriptions for the 2013-2014 season are now on sale. New subscribers receive 50 percent off Lexus Classic Series in sections B and C. Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 22. For tickets, subscriptions or further information, call the ASO box office at 410-263-0907 or go to annapolissymphony.org.