2021-22 Season Features Music by an Array of Living Composers, Including the World Premiere of a new Violin Concerto by Martin Kennedy

Nine Artists Make their Omaha Symphony Debuts as Soloists

OMAHA, NE—The Omaha Symphony, under the leadership of President and CEO Jennifer L. Boomgaarden, announces programming for the Symphony’s inaugural season with its new music director, Ankush Kumar Bahl. The 2021-22 season marks the orchestra’s 101st, with Bahl leading five of the Symphony’s seven MasterWorks series programs at its home, Peter Kiewit Concert Hall at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Bahl will also conduct four of the Symphony’s six programs on the Joslyn Museum series in the Witherspoon Concert Hall, as well as community and family programs throughout the season.

“What better way to usher in a new era for the orchestra than welcoming Ankush Kumar Bahl to the Omaha Symphony,” said Jennifer L. Boomgaarden, President and CEO. “After bringing the music to our audiences through their screens or in reduced capacity performances, it feels like we’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. Live music is finally returning in its fullest expression, and under Maestro Bahl’s baton we are reminded why so many of us turned to the arts to find beauty, comfort and inspiration during the pandemic. The energy that he brings to the podium is palpable, and his musical chemistry with the musicians breathes new life into the classics we know and love. I can think of no better way to begin the story of our second century than to launch this partnership. The Omaha Symphony Board, staff, and musicians all know that it will have been worth the wait!”

“I felt an instant and intense connection to the artists and administration within Omaha Symphony as well as the Omaha community as a whole,” said Maestro Bahl. “Their impressive musical talent is matched only by their kindness, openness, honesty and sincerity. I knew this was the right fit and I am so looking forward to joining the Omaha Symphony family. Together, we’ll bring unforgettable musical experiences to the Omaha community and beyond.”

Subscription Programming

Bahl’s programming features a rich array of music spanning the 17th to 20th centuries, as well as music written by today’s composers. Across the season, his programs feature works by dynamic American composers, including William Grant Still, Jennifer Higdon, Adam Schoenberg, Michael Daugherty, Gabriela Lena Frank, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sarah Kirkland Snider, John Adams, and George Walker, the first Black composer to win a Pulitzer Prize for music. The robust offering of repertoire, which includes the world premiere of a new violin concerto by Martin Kennedy, features composers both familiar and less well-known, from Bach, Dvořák, Respighi, and Tchaikovsky to Britten, Martinů, and Pärt. (A complete list of repertoire is included at the end of this document.)

Nine distinguished musicians and ensembles make their debuts with the Omaha Symphony in the 2021-22 season, including violinists Simone Porter, Blake Pouliot, and Lara St. John, genre-mixing trio Time for Three, jazz pianist Aaron Diehl, clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Martinez, soprano Susan Lorette Dunn, and Omaha Symphony bassoonist Nichols Nelson. Throughout the season, four of the Symphony’s own musicians appear as soloists: Alexandra Rock (oboe d’amour), trombonist Jason Stromquist, and bassoonists Jim Compton and Nelson.

Guest conductors include Kazem Abdullah (making his Omaha Symphony debut), JoAnn Falletta, Alasdair Neale, and Larry Rachleff.

The Symphony performs eleven works for the first time:

BOULANGER D’un matin de printemps

CANTELOUBE Selections from Chants d’Auvergne

CHABRIER “Fete Polonaise” from The Reluctant King

MICHAEL DAUGHERTY “Red Cape Tango” from Metropolis Symphony

GABRIELA LENA FRANK Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout for Strings

GERSHWIN Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra


MARTIN KENNEDY Violin Concerto (world premiere)


SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER Something for the Dark

STILL Out of the Silence for Piano and Strings


Beyond the MasterWorks and Joslyn classical series, the Symphony also offers a six-concert Pops series, led by Resident Conductor & Principal Pops Conductor Ernest Richardson. Next season spotlights soloists Renée Elise Goldsberry, who won the 2016 Tony® Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton; champion of the American Songbook Anne Hampton Calloway in a tribute to Barbra Streisand; actor and singer Michael Cavanaugh, who sang the lead vocals in Broadway’s Movin' Out; and Frankie Moreno, who brings a mix of Rat Pack glamour, original and classic hits, and vintage sounds to his program.


The 2021-22 Symphony Rocks series of five concerts also features Richardson, along with guest conductors Brent Havens and Michael Krejewski, and the Symphony, in musical tributes to such rock legends as the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, and Bruce Springsteen.


The Symphony offers three films in 2021-22, with the scores played live as the films are shown on the big screen: Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, a collection of classic cartoons for all ages; film four in the series, Harry Potter & the Goblet of FireTMin Concert; and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back in Concert.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©️ JKR. (s19)

Subscription packages are on sale May 19; new and current subscribers can begin purchasing or renewing their subscription packages on May 19 via mail, phone, or online at Subscribers to most series receive a discount on their season ticket package equivalent to one free concert. Subscribers also receive a 15% discount when adding tickets to concerts not included in their subscription package.

Single tickets go on sale to the general public in August.

For ticketing information, contact the Omaha Symphony at 402-345-0606, or visit the website.

Sponsor Recognition

The Omaha Symphony would like to thank the following sponsors for their support:

Omaha Steaks Masterworks Series Sponsor

Immanuel Communities Pops Series Sponsor

First National Bank Rocks Series Sponsor

UNMC Movies Series Sponsor

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Programs, artists, dates, times and availability subject to change.

2021-22 Season Repertoire (alphabetical by composer)

JOHN ADAMS The Chairman Dances

J.S. BACH Concerto for Oboe d'amore in A Major, BWV 1055

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

BERLIOZ Béatrice et Bénédict Overture

BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture

BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique
BOULANGER D’un matin de printemps*

BRITTEN Simple Symphony, op. 4

CANTELOUBE Selections from Chants d’Auvergne*

CHABRIER “Fete Polonaise” from The Reluctant King*

MICHAEL DAUGHERTY “Red Cape Tango” from Metropolis Symphony*

DEBUSSY Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun
DVOŘÁK Serenade for Winds, Op. 44

ELGAR Serenade for Strings

FALLA The Three-Cornered Hat, Suite No. 1

FARRENC Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 36

GABRIELA LENA FRANK Leyendas:An Andean Walkabout for Strings*

GERSHWIN Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra*


JOHNSEN Concerto for Two Bassoons in F Major

MARTIN KENNEDY Violin Concerto (World Premiere)*

MARTINŮ Toccata e Due Canzoni

MOZART Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K.622

MOZART Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K.543

MUSSORGSKY/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition

RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2

RESPIGHI Fountains of Rome

RESPIGHI Pines of Rome

ADAM SCHOENBERG Picture Studies*

SAINT-SAËNS Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61

SCHUBERT Symphony No. 5 in B flat Major, D. 485

SCHUMANN Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61
SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER Something for the Dark*

STILL Out of the Silence for Piano and Strings*

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS Street Song for Symphonic Brass

WALKER Lyric for Strings

* first performances of this work by the Omaha Symphony