Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's Spend the Night Together!! (Rolling Stones Tribute)

Series sponsor: VALMONT Artist sponsor: Midlands Choice

WHEN: Saturday, October 10, 2009 @ 8 PM

WHERE: Holland Performing Arts Center 1200 Douglas Street

TICKETS: Start at $15! Call 402.342.3560 or order online @

“Satisfaction” is guaranteed as Hot Rocks—the premier Rolling Stones tribute band—and the Omaha Symphony present “Let’s Spend the Night Together” Saturday, October 10 at 8 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Concertgoers will hear Rolling Stones hits like “Paint It Black,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “ Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Get Off Of My Cloud” belted out and brought to life by dead-on renditions of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The astonishing likeness and electric energy of Hot Rocks promises to thrill audiences of all ages.

Symphony Rocks, in its second season, is designed for the next generation of symphony lovers—classic rock fans, baby boomers, young professionals, or anyone who is looking for a truly unique, live entertainment experience. In 2009/10, this series will also feature the music of pop sensation ABBA and the matchless Beatles.

Monday, September 28, 2009

MY FIVE Favorite Things by Thomas Wilkins

From this Saturday's Omaha World-Herald:

"Thomas Wilkins is like the Tiger Woods of classical music, a big talent with a mean baton backswing and follow-through.

Golf is one of the Omaha Symphony music director's many passions. The maestro, who is opening the symphony's 2009-10 season this weekend at the Holland Performing Arts Center, is especially fond of these five things..."

Click here to read on.

Reporting by John Pither / Photograph courtesy OWH/Alyssa Schukar

OWH REVIEW: Pianist plays with grace, ferocity

"Pianists need two qualities to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, the composer once reportedly said.

They should, of course, possess the grace of a gazelle. But they must also have the unremitting ferocity of a tiger.

Pianist Kirill Gerstein proved that he had all the right feral stuff during his appearance Friday night with the Omaha Symphony.

In town for the opening of the symphony’s 2009-10 season at the Holland Performing Arts Center, Gerstein gave a rendition of the “Rach Three” that was remarkable both for its fearlessness and tenderness.

He played the concerto’s expansive opening movement with sweep, power and great rhythmic vitality. He blazed through extended passages of double-fisted chords, creating veritable sonic earthquakes along the way. And he tossed off quicksilver notes with ease and elegance."

For entire review by OWH reporter John Pitcher,
click here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


OWH Preview: Practice enables pianist to tame tough concertos

"Pianist Kirill Gerstein is touring the world with a trio of grizzly bears.

Make that three utterly ferocious, feral piano concertos."

READ the entire article by the Omaha World Herald's John Pitcher.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fiendishly difficult piano concerto, feisty folk music

WHAT: Passport to Russia First concert of the 2009/10 Omaha Symphony Season
WHEN: Friday, September 25 & Saturday, September 26 at 8 PM
WHERE: Holland Performing Arts Center 1200 Douglas Street
TICKETS: Starting at $25 for Main Floor seats… 402.342.3560

Omaha, Neb – The Omaha Symphony is ready to wow audiences with a season opener that is as difficult as it is delightful. Passport to Russia, the first program of the 2009/10 season, showcases spirited Russian folk melodies and Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, commonly known as the most demanding piece ever written for piano. The work was deemed the “Mount Everest” of piano repertoire in the Academy Award-winning film Shine. Join the Omaha Symphony September 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center, as pianist Kirill Gerstein performs this true feat of talent.
Famous for his masterful technique and musical interpretations, Gerstein is one of classical music’s rising stars. Reviewers have praised him as “a player of patrician finesse and the most fastidious intelligence” (Classical Source), who demonstrates “how virtuosity and soulfulness can go hand in hand” (Chicago Sun-Times).
Maestro Thomas Wilkins conducts this popular MasterWorks program, sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Main floor tickets are still available, starting as low as $25. To purchase your tickets, call 402.342.3560, order online at, or visit the Omaha Symphony Box Office at 1605 Howard Street.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Prince of Pops" Erich Kunzel dies of cancer; Krajewski will guest conduct in Omaha Nov. 20-22

Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel, scheduled to headline the Omaha Symphony’s Patriotic Celebration November 20-22, passed away this morning after a four-month battle with cancer of the pancreas, liver, and colon. Honoring Maestro Kunzel’s wishes, all concerts he was scheduled to conduct during the 2009/10 season—in Cincinnati and beyond— will move forward. Michael Krajewski will now conduct the Omaha Symphony’s first Pops performance of the season. Krajewski is principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra.
Today the Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announced that Kunzel has been named Founder and Conductor Emeritus of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The orchestra has also established an Erich Kunzel memorial website and Erich Kunzel Pops Legacy Fund. More information on these tributes can be found online at
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “The Prince of Pops,” Kunzel joined the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1965. The 74-year old conductor led the orchestra in his final performance in Cincinnati on August 1.
“The world has lost a true talent, and I have lost a friend and colleague, but Erich has left a rich legacy of beautiful music and community service with us. We look forward to honoring his life and legacy at our first Pops concert of the season,” said Omaha Symphony music director Thomas Wilkins. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director Paavo J√§rvi adds, “He was a remarkable spirit and a tremendous musician. His many years of music making…brought joy to
literally millions, and I join with our community in Cincinnati as well as his fans around the world in mourning the loss of this great musical icon.”
Kunzel’s legacy will be remembered at Omaha Symphony’s Patriotic Celebration November 20-22. This Pops concert will feature the best of Broadway with favorites from 1776, Of Thee I Sing, Strike Up the Band, and more. For tickets, call the Omaha Symphony Box Office at 402.342.3560 or visit
Michael Krajewski

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Maestro on the Mound!

What: Conductor Ernest Richardson throws first pitch for Omaha Royals

When: Thursday, Sept. 3 at 6:50 PM (Game starts at 7:05 PM)

Where: Rosenblatt Stadium 1202 Bert Murphy Ave.

You normally see him at the podium of the Holland Performing Arts Center, but on Thursday night, the Omaha Symphony’s Maestro is at the plate! Resident Conductor Ernest Richardson will throw the first pitch at the Omaha Royals’ last home game of the season. The Royals take on the Iowa Cubs Thursday, September 3 at 7:05 p.m., shortly after Richardson’s pitch at 6:50 p.m.
The 2009/10 season marks Richardson’s 17th year with the Omaha Symphony. We know Richardson can conduct an orchestra, but can he pitch? Find out this Thursday at Rosenblatt Stadium.