Missoula Symphony opener: Struggle & Triumph

“Dazzling” pianist Charlie Albright joins orchestra for concerts Sept. 23-24

On Stage

Join the Missoula Symphony Sept. 23-24 for the opening concert of the 2023-24 season: Struggle & Triumph, a celebration of resilience and true expressions of the human spirit through a collection of inspiring music.

The soundtrack to Rachmaninoff’s journey out of depression and darkness and ascension into true joy, Piano Concerto No. 2, op. 18, C minor will be performed by rising star and pianist Charlie Albright. Albright has been hailed by the Washington Post as “among the most gifted musicians of his generation” with a “dazzling natural keyboard affinity” who “made quite an impression.” Albright brings youthful energy and exuberance to this time-honored masterpiece of the piano repertoire.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s stunning Hiawatha Overture offers striking orchestration and draws inspiration from the 1855 poem The Song of Hiawatha by American Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This dramatic piece promises to captivate listeners with its flowing melodies, inspiring rhythms and rich chords.

Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 in C minor – which was commissioned and composed at the height of the Great Depression and merges traditional African American and modernist elements — offers a diverse expression of stylistic devices, like dissonant passages and cacophonic percussion, at times reminiscent of Wagner, and at other times, Shostakovich.

The orchestra is under the direction of Julia Tai, praised by the Seattle Times as “poised yet passionate.” Considered one of today’s most dynamic young conductors on the international stage, Tai became the first female music director in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s history in November 2020. She is also ithe music director of Philharmonia Northwest and the co-artistic director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra.

Both symphony concerts are at the University of Montana Dennison Theatre. Saturday’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday’s at 3 p.m.

Both single tickets and season tickets for the 2023-24 season are available at missoulasymphony.org.