2019-2020 season announced!
A night to rememer: GIL SHAHAM AT gBS!
April 13 was a night to remember, as violin virtuoso Gil Shaham performed with GBS at The Klein. In a masterful rendition of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Shaham thrilled the crowd of nearly 1200, not only with his technique, but with his energetic style. “He was so into what all of the musicians were doing. You could see him getting excited about how the music was progressing,” said one concertgoer. Indeed, a broad smile never left his face as he alternated between playing to the audience, and turning to the musicians with gestures of encouragement and delight. Against “the rules,” the audience thunderously applauded after the first movement, but the best was yet to come. Conductor Jacobsen masterfully crafted the dynamics of the music, ranging from delicate strains on the edge of audibility, to grand crashing chords of joyous sound. When the third movement closed, the audience was on its feet for several minutes, until Shaham returned to the stage with an encore of Bach. “It’s such a thrill to play alongside Gil,” said a GBS musician. “He and Eric take us to new heights and stretch our capabilities. Amazing!”
In keeping with the season’s theme, celebrating 50 years since the first moon landings, the concert opened with a new orchestral arrangement Lennon and McCartney’s Across the Universe by Milford composer Rex Cadwallder. The Harding High School Choir, under the director of Connecticut Teacher of the Year Sheena Graham, provided ethereal vocal accompaniment.
The concert closed with the full suite of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, running the gamut of emotions through music. GBS’ professional musicians were joined by seven students from as far as New Canaan and East Lyme, who were members of the GBS-X19 Student Experience Program. The students were selected by audition in the fall, and spent the season working alongside GBS mentors in order to achieve a level of professional quality that enabled them to join the orchestra for this concert. “We are all about education,” said GBS President Jean Moffitt. “We want to do all we can to bring Classical music appreciation to the youth of the region, and this program, in its second year, is a fantastic experience for these talented young people. We’re very proud of them.”
Eric Jacobsen took the entire orchestra — with special guest Gil Shaham! — into Bridgeport’s Central High School on the Friday before the concert. “These kids came in expecting an easy last period before school break, but they got a whole lot more. There were very few cellphones out once the music took off!” said one teacher. Jacobsen and Shaham spent a good deal of time asking and answering questions of the nearly 500 students in attendance, and a large number of music students stayed after the presentation to speak with Eric and Gil. “When are you guys coming back?” asked one student; free tickets were offered to interested students for the concert at The Klein the next evening. GBS Executive Director Mark Halstead said, “We have to be where these kids are. This is the future of Classical music. There is nothing like seeing this music reveal itself to the students; they see beyond the classroom, the neighborhood, and the phone screen into a whole new world of culture.”
Forget the Philharmonic. The GBS plays just as well and is so much more fun! -4/28 concertgoer
Even better than the movies!
Our audience is getting younger all the time!
"I noticed at the beginning when we were all singing the National Anthem, and Eric was smiling and facing us; he looked at all of us, from the first row all the way back up into the balcony. We were there with him, and he was there with us. It was extraordinary!" - 4/28 concertgoer
"Weren't the kids fabulous? Amazing voices and talent! I loved the feeling of community, as if we were one huge musical family." -4/28 concertgoer
"Isn't it amazing how Eric shares the applause? He is so generous. Remember those eight kids standing? They will never forget that, will they? And he gets those players in the back to stand, the ones we never see. He is so inclusive! -4/28 concertgoer
Eric Jacobsen performing the Ravel String Quartet on CT STYLE with members of (GBYO) in 2016.
Welcome to a season in space -- the 2018-19 Season of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony
Eric Jacobsen returns for his fifth exciting season as Music Director of GBS.
Mark your calendars for the remaining two concerts of our great 73rd season:
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2019 MOONSTRUCK
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2019 ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
For more information, click the 2018-19 Season tab.
Want to hear a sample? Click above!