Ninety years ago, the Omaha Symphony consisted of a small but mighty band of talented local players. No one could have dreamed of a home like the Holland Performing Arts Center. No one could have foreseen performing with the world’s best artists, the likes of Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. However, with a passion for artistic excellence and the backing of a generous community, the Omaha Symphony has grown—in size, in artistry, and in impact.
The orchestra marks its 90th Anniversary March 4-6 with a weekend of exceptional music and tremendous gratitude for the community it serves. Two special concerts, featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, will be performed at the Holland Center Friday, March 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 at 2 p.m., both conducted by Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins. A black-tie formal Gala event will be held on Saturday, March 5 at the Joslyn Art Museum. The entire weekend is presented by sponsors HDR, Inc. and the Silverstone Group.“We live in an age when orchestras across America are experiencing challenges that threaten their very existence. In Omaha, we thrive. It is a testament not only to who we were, but also who we continue to be, as a community of artists and lovers of great art,” said Maestro Thomas Wilkins.
Wilkins chose the music for the March 4 and 6 concerts to reflect the grandeur and passion behind the 90th anniversary. “Beethoven’s Ninth is the culmination of both the life and life’s work of one of the greatest composers of all time. In this music, there is the voice of a genius who has much to say and does so patiently, expansively, and poetically,” Wilkins said. Beethoven’s timeless masterpiece will be elevated by a host of beautiful voices—four talented guest soloists, the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Nebraska Wesleyan University Chorus, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Concert Choir and Chamber Choir. The program also includes Symphony No. 2 (“Romantic”) by composer Howard Hanson, a native Nebraskan. Tickets for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony are $20 to $75. Husch Blackwell is Friday’s concert sponsor.
HDR, Inc. and the Silverstone Group will present the Omaha Symphony’s 90th Anniversary Gala Saturday, March 5 at the Joslyn Art Museum. The event’s honorary co-chairs are Pat and Richard Bell and Anne and John Nelson. Gala attendees will experience an evening of timeless elegance and entertainment, including a concert by the orchestra and a special tribute to Richard Holland, a longtime friend of the Omaha Symphony, in honor of his 90th year. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Gala, please contact Heather Hoyt at 402.342.3836 x125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join the Omaha Symphony as it celebrates 90 years—a proud history and bright future. “We intend to be innovative, while preserving the great musical history that has sustained us these many years. We intend to be artist-teachers, pursuing not only our own growth, but indeed that of those in our midst, as well. We intend to partner with other community entities, to create a quality of life that leaves no one behind,” said Wilkins.
For more on the Omaha Symphony’s history, please visit http://www.omahasymphony.org/history.asp.