Twenty-five years ago next month, Whitney Houston canceled her first appearance at Omaha’s Civic Auditorium since 1987. She never made it back.
But last night, in the person of her former backup singer Amanda Cole, the Omaha Symphony audience experienced the reflected musical light of Houston’s once white-hot shooting star.
Schools across the metro area are quickly approaching their final days of the year, and that means the Omaha Symphony’s education season is officially coming to a close! It’s been a busy and very successful season. Here are a few highlights:
The Omaha Symphony is proud to be participating in Omaha Gives! - a one-day fundraising event organized by the Omaha Community Foundation. Omaha’s fourth annual, 24-hour charitable challenge will take place May 25th. The giving begins at midnight with a minimum $10 donation. Mark your calendars because we will need your help! We will be joining over 700 local nonprofits to raise money together. Hourly drawings, prizes and bonus dollars make your donations go further. The more money we raise, the larger percentage of the bonus dollars we will receive. The more donors we get to give to us, the greater our chances become to win cash prizes.
OMAHA, Neb., May 3, 2016- Oh, What a Night! Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons headline the symphony’s 95th Anniversary Gala concert on Saturday, May 14, 2016, 8 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
Led by Music Director Thomas Wilkins, Valli will perform the hits that brought The Four Seasons to the top of the charts of the ‘60s and ‘70s, such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “December ’63 (Oh, What a Night).” With his signature three-octave range, Valli and The Four Seasons will join the orchestra for an electrifying evening of entertainment.
The talent and vocal accomplishments of the Oak Ridge Boys are beyond question. And in the best moments of Saturday night’s weekend opener with the Omaha Symphony, their loving audience could aurally bask in their full harmonic glory.
OMAHA, Neb., April 27, 2016- Get ready to explore the musical landscapes of the Omaha Symphony at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium! The symphony will present two special performances of its Mission Imagination education program, The Musical Adventures of Melvin the Explorer, Tuesday, May 3, with performances at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium. Over 600 students from 17 area schools will attend the event.
OMAHA, Neb., April 26, 2016- The Omaha Symphony will celebrate one of the greatest singers of our time in The Music of Whitney Houston, Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
In the space of two hours, through two works separated by nearly two centuries, the Omaha Symphony illustrated how the historic harmonic grandeur of orchestral composition is being rediscovered again.
In the process, Friday night’s Holland Performing Arts Center audience also discovered two rising stars of the concert hall.
OMAHA, Neb., April 21, 2016- Join the Omaha Symphony for down-home fun and the unmistakable four-part harmony sound of the Oak Ridge Boys Saturday, April 30, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
OMAHA, Neb., April 15, 2016- It’s Peter and the Wolf like you’ve never seen it before! Join the Omaha Symphony and Ballet Nebraska as they bring the fantastic characters of Sergei Prokofiev’s children’s classic to life in an all-new production Sunday, April 24, 2 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
OMAHA, Neb., April 13, 2016- Grammy Award-winner Augustin Hadelich will perform Beethoven’s tour-de-force for violin on a program paired with John Adams’s explosive and evocative masterpiece on the Omaha Symphony MasterWorks program Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., Holland Performing Arts Center.
Matt Catingub’s annual spell of Omaha musical magic had a Latin sparkle — and he conjured it for Omaha’s orchestra first.
In his previous guest-conductor visits, Catingub energized the Omaha Symphony and excited audiences by drawing from a deep catalogue of rock and pop arrangements. Saturday night, however, marked the premiere of Catingub’s new “Latin Pop Revolution” show tracing south-of-the-border influences on big-band jazz, 1960s and ’70s rock and the dance tunes of more recent decades.
OMAHA, Neb., April 7, 2016- The Omaha Symphony explores the deep spirituality of inspired works by Stravinsky, Haydn, and others in the Symphony Joslyn program Sacred Conversation, Sunday, April 17, 2 p.m., at Joslyn Art Museum.
It’s hard to go wrong with a show featuring 20 selections from stellar songwriters George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern.
Throw in four Broadway singers with opera-quality voices, an orchestra that was in fine form and innovative staging that told a story with each song, and success is almost guaranteed.
OMAHA, Neb., March 29, 2016- The Omaha Symphony will be “Livin’ La Vida Loca” with the hot sounds of Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Santana, and more in the world premiere of Latin Pop Revolution, Saturday, April 9, 7:30 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
OMAHA, Neb., March 23, 2016- Get swept away in the timeless music of Gershwin, Porter and Kern when the Omaha Symphony performs The Way You Look Tonight, Saturday, April 2, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
No matter what type of music they come to hear, concertgoers expect to leave with some sense of completion.
That isn’t at all the theme of this weekend’s Omaha Symphony MasterWorks program, which presents the great “unfinished” 19th-century symphonies of Franz Schubert (1822) and Anton Bruckner (1896).
Never finished, always wonderful.
Two of the Romantic era’s most beloved composers’ unfinished final works will take center stage in the Omaha Symphony’s Schubert and Bruckner Unfinished Symphonies. The performances will be Friday, March 18th and Saturday, March 19th at 7:30 p.m. inside the Holland Performing Arts Center.
A two-evening Shakespeare Festival, the return of Pink Martini and the launch of “Only in Omaha” — concerts you won’t hear anywhere but here — are highlights of the 2016-2017 season for the Omaha Symphony.