MSO’s all-Tchaikovsky concert scores emotional high

MSO’s October 7th concert —Totally Tchaikovsky— features a Romantic Era gamut of emotion.

MSO’s all-Tchaikovsky concert scores emotional high
Composer’s incomparable melodies bring passion to the forefront

Jackson, Mississippi — The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra kicks off its flagship Bravo Concert Series with “Totally Tchaikovsky,” October 7 at Thalia Mara Hall, striking every note on the emotional scale with the sweeping verve and undeniable appeal of one of history’s most popular composers.

That spirit touches a resounding chord with listeners, who are immediately pulled into Tchaikovsky’s musical landscape. The composer’s wide range of emotions is key, said MSO President and Executive Director Jenny Mann. “With Tchaikovsky, it’s very easy to sit there and create a story of feelings or even images as you listen, that draw you in and hold your attention, almost like watching a movie.”

The program starts strong with Suite from Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky’s first ballet composition. The captivating score, so innovative at the time for its thematic threads and narrative, upped the ante in ballet music and helped turn this exquisitely romantic work into an enduring classic.

Tchaikovsky’s famous March Slav draws on Serbian and Russian folk songs for a rousing and festive patriotic flair, capturing the flavor of 19th century nationalism in Europe.

Tchaikovsky put his whole soul into his final masterpiece, Symphony No. 6 (known as “Pathétique” – a mistranslation of his own title “Passionate Symphony”). The highly emotional work consumes the concert’s second half, taking listeners on an unforgettable, deeply felt journey.

MSO’s 79th season brings a fresh focus on the talented musicians who share their skills in Mississippi’s capital city community and state, not just on the concert stage but also in schools, churches and celebrations throughout the area. “I really wanted to do an all-orchestra concert – just me and the musicians onstage, doing our best,” said MSO Maestro Crafton Beck. This Tchaikovsky showcase aligns perfectly with that aim.

“There’s no one who expresses despair and hope, and almost ecstatic joy, better than Tchaikovsky,” said Beck, who really enjoys performing Tchaikovsky’s works and speculates that orchestra musicians worldwide feel the same. “We will relish doing that program as an orchestra.”

A free pre-concert lecture by Tim Coker, emeritus professor of music at Millsaps College, will be held at 6:45 p.m. on the mezzanine of Thalia Mara Hall.

Individual tickets start at $29 for adults, and are $5 for students, kindergarten through college (with valid student ID). Visit for advance tickets and information.

The on-site box office will open at 6:30 p.m. on the evening of the concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. This season is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

MSO’s Bravo Series is presented by the Selby and Richard McRae Foundation. To find out more about season tickets to MSO’s Bravo, Chamber or Pops Series, email or call 601-414-6005.