MSO Season Aims to Enthrall
Compelling guest artists and concerts energize buzz-worthy lineup
JACKSON, MISS., Sept. 6, 2022 –The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra brings the world’s best music to Mississippi’s doorstep, and its 78th season continues that mission with new energy and focus.
“We can’t wait for audiences to see what’s in store, and share the beautiful music that’s such a long-standing MSO tradition,” said Jenny Mann, MSO president and executive director. “This season is all about making connections — between great works of music, among great cultures of the world, and across all parts of our community.”
Aimed to entice both diehard fans and new ears, this slate of concerts showcases long-treasured classics alongside intriguing new works. Charismatic guest artists plus MSO’s skilled professional musicians promise a season to behold.
Count October’s performance by engaging, Syrian-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh among the unique bright spots. His soulful, jazz-tinged, Arab- and classical-influenced melodies and improvisation have gained international recognition. Heard alongside Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, a greatest hit of classical music, “It will really resonate with any and every listener,” Mann said.
Grammy Award-winning, New Orleans-born trumpet virtuoso Nicholas Payton, his jazz quartet and his ambitious Black American Symphony is another must-see/must-hear event with MSO, coming in February. Paired with Dvorak’s New World Symphony — another classical hallmark and a key inspiration for Payton — it propels the conversation of Black American music’s vitality and place in the classical cannon.
Knockout singer Shayna Steele, performing Nothin’ But the Blues, also shines in February. Steele once called Mississippi home, and this tribute to blues legends such as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong will feel right at home here, too.
That’s just a sampling of a season that includes whole evenings devoted to Beethoven, to Mozart and to Broadway, acclaimed pianists Christopher Atzinger and Scott Cueller, rising star cellist Sterling Elliott, Project Fusion Saxophone Quartet, spotlights on MSO ensembles and soloists and so much more.
The season is a window to world cultures in an art form that knows no borders, with thoughtful programming to bring it all home. Tickets will be on sale soon at msorchestra.com.
In addition to a stellar artistic season, MSO also channels renewed energy into its education arm, focusing on community impact and service. Those programs include:
- Group instrument instruction to students in Jackson, Hinds and Clinton school districts, with hopes to expand the program in the future.
- At least eight full-orchestra kids concerts throughout the state.
- In-school “informances” — lecture/performances by a small group of musicians, as they share insights on classical music and their profession.
- Premier Orchestral Institute (POI), a week-long summer festival with students and teachers from around the world.
- Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra, a weekend ensemble with performance opportunities for students.
Within MSO, “We have the whole arc of experience for a musician,” Mann said, with programs that start youngsters on an instrument, support their educational journey and then provide the opportunity for a professional position in an orchestra.
“We are really a full-spectrum organization, when it comes to supporting and developing musicians and artists in our community.”