MSO’s Candlelight Concert Shines with Mozart & Friends 

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MSO’s Candlelight Concert Shines with Mozart & Friends
The master and his peers in the spotlight at Belhaven University Center for the Arts

Jackson, Mississippi — The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s popular “Mozart by Candlelight” concert, a Jackson staple for decades, expands its program this season to wrap in fellow composers of the classical era, 7:30 p.m. January 13 at Belhaven University Center for the Arts.

Hundreds of flickering candles illuminate the former church with cozy charm for this intimate concert — “Mozart & Friends by Candlelight” — featuring the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Josef Haydn and Ignaz Pleyel.

The “friends” moniker is right on point. Mozart’s personality as well as his genius drew people in. “Mozart was a lovely man,” said MSO Maestro Crafton Beck. “He was a fascinating person to be with, and he had countless acquaintances and friends because, even as a young man, he had traveled all over Europe.” Though a generation apart, Haydn and Mozart had tremendous love and respect for one another. Mozart also greatly appreciated Pleyel’s talent, saying of him, “What a joy for music.”

Joy bubbles to the surface in the compositions of all three in this popular annual chamber concert. The highlight is Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp showcasing MSO Principal Flutist Amulet Strange and MSO Harpist Kristina Finch. “A tremendous piece,” Beck said of the concerto that spotlights two of the orchestra’s most heavenly instruments, with melodies to match.

The overture to Haydn’s comic opera Lo Speziale opens the concert on an amusing note, followed by his engaging Feldparthie (Divertimento) and Pleyel’s rich Symphony in D. Mozart’s exuberant Symphony No. 24 closes out the evening in spectacular fashion.

“It’s a wonderful potpourri of music from that period,” said Jenny Mann, MSO president and executive director.

Mozart’s outsize popularity, then and now, can overshadow others of the period who were also producing glorious works. “It’s like being a golfer in the years that Tiger Woods was in his prime,” Beck said of Mozart’s prominence. This concert marks a fresh move to celebrate more of the classical era’s finest alongside the longtime favorite, and even introduce audiences to composers and works they may not have heard before.

General admission tickets to the January 13 “Mozart & Friends by Candlelight” concert are $25 adults and $5 for students, kindergarten through college (with valid student ID). Visit for advance tickets and information. Tickets will be on sale at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m., if capacity permits and seating is available

This concert is made possible through sponsorships from Emerson (Bud) and Judy Robinson, the Meyer & Genevieve Falk Endowment Fund for Culture and Arts at the Community Foundation for Mississippi, and StateStreet Group. The 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.

What: Mozart & Friends by Candlelight, MSO Chamber Series concert
Who: Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 13, 2024
Where: Belhaven University Center for the Arts, 835 Riverside Drive, Jackson, MS