Annual ‘Mozart by Candlelight’ glows with great music

Annual ‘Mozart by Candlelight’ glows with great music
Concert is a magnet for many, enthralling on every level

Jackson, Mississippi — The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s annual “Mozart by Candlelight” concert returns January 14, 7:30 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts, bringing mid-winter’s warmth, candlelit charm and the greatest hits of an unparalleled musical genius.

The much-anticipated evening has charmed Mississippi music fans for more than 20 years. “From the very beginning, there was a magic to it,” said Maestro Crafton Beck, who started the tradition his very first year with MSO. The enchantment of a performance by candlelight becomes positively entrancing when the weather outside is chilly, the venue is intimate, and the music is Mozart’s. Fans across the spectrum gather each year for this can’t-miss treat on the season’s calendar.

The program offers a virtuosic and thrilling mix of Mozart favorites: the rapid-fire fun of his famous The Magic of Figaro overture; the joyful celebration of his Haffner Symphony; the rare, gorgeous appeal of his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola.

“The Figaro and the Haffner are as light and carefree Mozart as there is,” Beck said. “And, Sinfonia Concertante is as beloved a piece for solo instruments as there is in the world. It is some of the most heavenly music ever written.”

Concertmaster Shellie Brown Kemp and Principal Viola Ausra Jasineviciute will bring Sinfonia Concertante’s brilliant instrumental dialogue to beautiful life during the program.

In addition to all the enchantment of the evening itself, there’s a very practical reason MSO makes “Mozart by Candlelight” a season staple: It lends a glow to everything else they do.

“One of the wisdoms of our industry is that if you can play Mozart, you can play anything. It’s so transparent that you can’t hide, so everybody has to step up and play their part beautifully. And, it’s all about phrasing,” Beck said.

“You really learn how to make music with Mozart, because it’s all there.”

Tickets for the “Mozart by Candlelight” chamber concert are $25 general admission and $5 for students kindergarten through college. Advance tickets may be purchased online at

What: Mozart by Candlelight, MSO chamber concert

Who: Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 14, 2023

Where: Belhaven University Center for the Performing Arts   835 Riverside Drive, Jackson