Hartford Symphony Orchestra launches 76th season with ‘Rhapsody in Blue’

Pianist Kevin Cole

HARTFORD — Hartford Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 76th season with “Rhapsody in Blue,” starting Friday, Oct. 11 and running through Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Belding Theater at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford. These concerts will be led by HSO Music Director, Carolyn Kuan, and feature award-winning pianist Kevin Cole. “Rhapsody in Blue” is part of the 2019-2020 Masterworks Series. Visit www.hartfordsymphony.org for tickets and information.

Bernstein’s “Candide Overture” is a rollicking introduction to the comic operetta that was inspired by Voltaire’s novella by the same name. Gershwin mixes a cocktail of jazz, ragtime, and classical for his timeless “Rhapsody in Blue,” and he was inspired to pen his witty “I Got Rhythm” variations after playing his hit show tune at countless parties. Bernstein noted of Copland’s heroic “Symphony No. 3,” “the symphony has become an American monument, like the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial.”

Please join us for a pre-concert talk led by Carolyn Kuan one hour prior to curtain at Friday’s and Sunday’s performance.

The HSO’s third annual naturalization ceremony, where ten Connecticut residents will take the oath to become U.S. citizens, will take place prior to the concert on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. This ceremony is open to Oct. 12 ticketholders. Additional information on this ceremony will be announced at a later date.

Pianist Kevin Cole is an award-winning concert performer, musical director, arranger, composer, vocalist and archivist whose repertoire includes the best of American Music with a particular affinity for the music of George Gershwin. Recently, he has conducted the Boston Philharmonic (reengagement), Colorado Symphony, Utah Symphony, Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (reengagement), Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, National Symphony at Kennedy Center, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Albany Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, Wolf Trap, Savannah Music Festival, Castleton Festival, and the Chautauqua Institute.

Cole has collaborated with Sylvia McNair, Dawn Upshaw, Brian d’Arcy James, Karen Morrow, Melissa Manchester, John Lithgow, Donna McKechnie, Christine Andreas, Hollis Resnik, Klea Blackhurst, Kim Criswell, and William Warfield.

Cole appeared on PBS’ “Gershwin at One Symphony Space” as a featured soloist with the Nashville Symphony; wrote, co-produced and performed “Play It Again, Marvin! - A Celebration of Marvin Hamlish” with the Pittsburgh Symphony; and wrote, co-produced and performed “Here To Stay - The Gershwin Experience,” with multiple orchestras.

He was awarded Gramophone Musical Album of the Year in 1995 for Gershwin’s “Oh, Kay!” with soprano Dawn Upshaw (Elektra/Nonesuch). He also recorded Cole Plays Gershwin and as solo piano recording, and appeared as part of a vocal/jazz trip on “In the Words of Ira — The Songs of Ira Gershwin.”

Connecticut Media Group