Galen Wixson, President and CEO of Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, joins us on this episode of The Front Row to discuss their upcoming performance season and also gives a special performance of his own.
Your new season, titled “Imagine: Our Music, Your Canvas,” strikes a connection between art and music. Is that what you had in mind?
Exactly what we had in mind. The idea that so much of the musical repertoire is tied to literature, visual art and dance and so we really thought that with David Cho’s choices of repertoire this year, that it was an appropriate connection to make to visual art especially, and to have that visual imagery hopefully pop into people’s heads during the year.
One of the first things I saw on your brochure was that you’re going to do the Mussorgsky pictures at an exhibition.
And that was the inspiration really for the whole theme of the season and how we tied these things together. So that was really the inspiration. When David said pictures, that just came right to my head, “we need to do something with visual art.
Give us an overview of the season.
So we’ll start actually this week, tomorrow night, September 12, at the Legacy. We’ll have our opener, which is a chamber concert. It’s a small orchestra concert. It will feature works by Part, Elgar and Mendelssohn. Now the work by Elgar is pretty typical, English country-side imagery, you know Elgar. It’s just incredible. And so, typically English. And then you have this Part piece, which is so magnificent and ethereal and the imagery—well I’m not sure if there’s any imagery other than you’re just swept on this wave of drifting sound. It’s incredibly relaxing. And then the Mendelssohn. You know, he composed it when he was 13 years old, this work. And it is the most bubbly, happy thing. You can tell the man hasn’t lived a hard life quite yet because it’s just incredibly happy and bubbly and effervescent. It makes you smile the whole way through.
And then we'll have our first pop’s concert on September 23, with Mr. Tony Desare and his trio of folks coming in with him. So his quartet will be in front of the orchestra, will be accompanying a Sinatra-and-beyond-themed show. So Frank Sinatra, of course an American icon and all of that song catalogue that he produced and his cohorts in that era is what we’ll hear that night.
And then we’ll open the year, in October, with Beethoven’s 9th symphony, the Lubbock Choral, a group of soloists, the orchestra. There’s not a more iconic group by Beethoven, is there? From there it just kind of sweeps along and we’ll be able to hear pictures and exhibition. We’ll have our holiday concert, which will feature a group called Jeans ’n Classics. Really, if you want to call it a rock show you can. We’re fine with that. We really think the orchestra should be showcased to do all the sounds that an orchestra is capable of making. So if you could imagine a top 40 radio program during Christmas time, this is what you’ll hear.
Tell us more about the concert that’s tomorrow night, the Chamber Concert.
It’s at the Legacy. That environment is so great for the Chamber concert. It’s intimate. It’s church-like because it used to be the church of course. The acoustics are wonderful. I think the environment is just perfect for this kind of show.