2019–2020 | Season 70

Charles Latshaw, conductor and music director

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

Concerts are preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a Conversation with the Conductor, giving the audience the opportunity to speak with the conductor and guest soloist(s) about the evening’s program.

Upcoming Concerts

Masterworks I
September 27, 2019

Daniela Liebman, piano soloist

John Estacio -Frenergy
Frédéric Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2 op. 21, F minor
Peter Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5, op. 64, E minor

The clash of a cymbal embarks the symphony’s 70th season with Frenergy (frenetic energy), the aptly named opening piece by Canadian composer John Estacio.  The 1998 work propels the audience on a thrilling ride to inaugurate this anniversary year. 

“Dazzling” describes the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 as played by the sensational 17-year-old piano soloist Daniela Liebman.  Enjoy the work of two prodigies: Chopin was only 20 when he composed the concerto in 1829; Liebman made her Carnegie Hall debut at 11.

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 is one of his most popular works. The beautiful theme of the second movement has become familiar, a classic romantic Tchaikovsky melody.  

Masterworks II
October 25, 2019

Halloween Pops Show

Shivers! Be prepared for an evening of scary themes (including music from “Psycho” and “The Exorcist”) by dressing up for this Halloween concert!  The orchestra will also be in costume as they perform twenty popular and spooky numbers for all ages. 

Special – The Nutcracker Ballet
December 6 & 7, 2019

NAU Community Music and Dance Academy Troupe
Flagstaff Youth Chorale   

Peter Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker Ballet, op. 71

Flagstaff’s kick-off to the holiday season is FSO’s offering of Tchaikovsky’s beloved The Nutcracker ballet suite. A sparkling party, a dramatic battle, and a whimsical journey to the Land of Sweets are all experienced through one of the greatest symphonic scores ever written. The dancers bring the story to life through captivating choreography. Adored by children and parents, this is a Flagstaff holiday tradition.

Masterworks III
January 24, 2020


If you’re not familiar with “beatboxing,” PROJECT Trio will bring it alive for you during this concert of eclectic, present-day chamber music. Greg Pattillo (flute), Eric Stephenson (cello), and Peter Seymour (double bass) form the Brooklyn-based trio.  Hailed for their “wide appeal, subversive humor and first-rate playing,” this ensemble embraces styles from Baroque to hip-hop. This won’t be a typical classical concert experience. 

Masterworks IV
February 14, 2020

Louise Scott, violin soloist
Jeannette Hirasawa Moore, flute soloist

Karen Amrhein – Serenade
Aaron Copland  – Appalachian Spring Suite for 13 Instruments
Johann Sebastian Bach – Concerto for 2 Violins,  BWV 1043, in D minor
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 1, in C major, op. 21

This concert of smaller orchestral works is a perfect intimate date night. It opens with Serenade, a tonal work for chamber orchestra, by American composer Karen Amrhein (b. 1970).

Aaron Copland created Appalachian Spring in 1944 as a ballet suite for Martha Graham. Celebrating the American pioneers, the dance borrows the “Simple Gifts” motif from a Shaker hymn. This all-American suite won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

For a fresh take on Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, Jeannette Hirasawa Moore, FSO’s Principal flutist joins concertmaster Louise Scott. One of Bach’s best-known works, this concerto exemplifies the music of the late Baroque period. 

The first two chords of Beethoven’s First Symphony indicate that this composer was to be an innovator in classical music. While not performed as often as some of his other nine symphonies (and played here for the first time by the FSO), its four movements hearken to Beethoven’s teacher Joseph Haydn as well as Wolfgang Mozart. Its debut in 1800 launched Beethoven’s titanic symphonic career.  

Masterworks V
March 13, 2020

Rachel Barton Pine, violin soloist

Camille Saint-Saëns -Violin Concerto No. 3, op. 61, in B minor
Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major 

Warmly welcomed back to Flagstaff after her triumphant debut with FSO in 2015, Rachel Barton Pine performs the virtuosic Saint-Saëns violin concerto. The tone of the Chicago violinist, playing a prized 1742 Guarneri instrument that is on permanent loan to her, is described as an “excellent glass of red wine—full-bodied, rich and complex.”  

Renowned German organist and composer, Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), nicknamed his fourth the “Romantic” symphony. It is one of Bruckner’s most popular works since its first performance in 1881, when the composer was called out to take a bow after each movement. The work opens with a simple horn solo meant to announce the day from a town hall, and rapidly grows into a melodically complex composition redolent of medieval romance. 

Masterworks VI
April 17, 2020

Master Chorale of Flagstaff and NAU Shrine of the Ages Choir

Edith Copley conductor

Franz Joseph Haydn – The Creation

The season’s finale is a celebration of the FSO’s 70th season, as well as a tribute to long-time Master Chorale conductor Edith Copley. Some 150 voices join for one monumental work, The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn. Inspired by Handel, this 1798 oratorio depicts the creation of the world as described in the Biblical books of Genesis and the Psalms and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. It is written in three parts, with soprano, tenor and bass soloists. The first part depicts the creation of light, heaven and earth, and the natural world. Animals, men and women are created in the second part. Finally,
Adam and Eve are idyllically portrayed in the
Garden of Eden.