February 22, 2018:  Andrew Constantine, Music Director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and James W. Palermo, Managing Director, today announced the Orchestra’s 75th Anniversary 2018-2019 Season.

A wide variety of world-renowned artists and programs will be presented throughout the season, celebrating the beloved masterworks of the repertoire alongside new compositions commissioned by Constantine and the Philharmonic to mark this milestone anniversary.

75th Anniversary Season Highlights:

  • Opening Night on October 6, 2018 features the world-renowned opera star and darling of classical music, the incomparable Renée Fleming.
  • Music Director Andrew Constantine leads all ten Paul Yergens and Virginia Yergens Rogers Masterworks Series concerts, with a wide range of repertoire by the following composers:  Adams, Barber, Beethoven, Berlioz, Bizet, Britten, Butterworth, Chausson, Dukas, Dvořák, Janáček, Puckett, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Sibelius, Strauss, Stravinsky, Tower, and Vaughan Williams.
  • The Philharmonic will perform two works by American composer Joel Puckett:  the premiere of an overture for Opening Night (October 6, 2018), and the Indiana premiere of Short Stories - Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (April 6, 2019.) Both were commissioned by Music Director Andrew Constantine.
  • Constantine will lead the Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Ballet March 22-24, 2019 in performances of Sergei Prokofiev’s hauntingly beautiful ballet Cinderella, based on the classic folk tale.
  • On February 2, 2019 Andrew Constantine leads the Philharmonic and guests in a concert version of the world’s most popular opera, George Bizet’s Carmen, with stunning projected visuals.
  • Benjamin Britten’s monumental War Requiem will be performed nearly 100 years to the day after the armistice of WWI, on November 10, 2018.
  • Beethoven’s 9th Symphony will be paired with John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls on March 16, 2019.

Sweetwater Pops Series includes Walt Disney’s Fantasia (November 3, 2018), Holiday Pops (December 7, 8, 15, 2018), Wynonna in Concert (January 26, 2019), The Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel (February 16, 2019), Salute to America with Sandi Patty and the Indiana University Singing Hoosiers (March 30, 2019), and George Gershwin:  Rhapsody and Rhythm (May 11, 2019.)

On March 2, 2019 the Philharmonic will present Broadway and Hamilton star, the 2016 Tony Award® winner Leslie Odom. Jr., in Concert.

Artists making debuts or appearing on the Masterworks Series include soprano Renée Fleming, pianist Lise de la Salle, violinist Andrew Wan, cellist Robert deMaine, pianist Stewart Goodyear, and violinist Paul Huang.

Recorded rebroadcasts of Saturday Masterworks subscription concerts continue on WBNI-FM on select Thursday evenings throughout the year.

Complete Masterworks Series concert details are listed below.

Said Music Director Andrew Constantine: “It is an honour to be your music director during this momentous 75th Anniversary Season, one that brings with it palpable excitement about the orchestra and its role in this community. This season you will notice the brightest stars, beloved, tried and true masterworks, and some new projects, all presented with our loyal and growing audiences in mind. We hope you enjoy all we have in store for you.”

Said Managing Director James W. Palermo: “Fort Wayne is truly one of the greatest places to live in America and the Philharmonic is a big part of this community. This orchestra is positioning itself to engage every citizen through performances, programs, educational opportunities, and collaborations. We are redefining how a 21st Century orchestra can serve its community. Thank you for joining us to celebrate this milestone anniversary and for supporting this special cultural jewel known as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.”

The Philharmonic’s 75th Anniversary Season opens with the Paul Yergens and Virginia Yergens Rogers Foundation Masterworks Series concert featuring one of the most beloved and celebrated singers in the world, soprano Renée Fleming. Captivating audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence, Fleming will sing a wide-ranging program of operatic and popular songs. The concert will begin with a world premiere, an overture for the Philharmonic’s Anniversary Season, by American composer Joel Puckett.

Masterworks Series
Other highlights of the Paul Yergens and Virginia Yergens Rogers Foundation Masterworks Series include:

  • The stunning French pianist Lise de la Salle performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 on October 27, 2018.
  • Benjamin Britten’s monumental War Requiem on November 10, 2018, with Andrew Constantine conducting, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Chorus, Purdue University Fort Wayne Chorus (formerly known as IPFW), Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, and guest soloists. This concert will be performed nearly 100 years to the day after the armistice of World War I. Benjamin Britten’s powerful masterpiece juxtaposes the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass with contemporary texts illustrating the ravages of war.
  • George Bizet’s opera Carmen, on February 2, 2019, under the direction of Andrew Constantine, with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Chorus, members of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, and soloists. A femme fatale for the ages, Carmen’s allure is spellbinding as she seduces a hapless corporal and a dashing bullfighter before meeting her demise at the hands of a jealous ex-lover. Bizet’s bewitching melodies, including the “Habanera” and the “Toreador Song,” and stunning projected visuals make this semi-staged production an ideal introduction to the thrill of opera.
  • Beethoven’s 9th: An Ode to Joy, on March 16, 2019. Andrew Constantine, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Chorus, Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, and soloists perform a concert that includes Beethoven’s magnum opus, a work that has inspired audiences with its monumental scale, intensive technical demands, and the utopian idealism of its “Ode to Joy.” It is paired with American composer John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls, a musical commemoration of the victims of 9/11.

Sweetwater Pops Series
The Sweetwater Pops Series brings the very best in popular entertainment to Fort Wayne. Favorite artists, great film music, nostalgic tributes, and holiday traditions all find a place on this iconic series:

  • Disney’s Fantasia opens the Series on November 3, 2018. The animated film masterpiece is screened with the Philharmonic performing the score live on stage, including a compilation of scenes from the original 1940 version and Fantasia 2000, set to works like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Pomp and Circumstance,” and music from “The Firebird.” Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts. © All rights reserved.
  • Holiday Pops is back on December 7, 8 & 15, 2018 with the music, memories, and popular culture of Christmas. Audiences will revel in scenic splendor, exquisite dancing, special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, a carol sing-along, and the “Hallelujah” Chorus.
  • On January 26, 2019, Wynonna in Concert brings the five-time GRAMMY® winner, her commanding voice, and greatest hits to the stage with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
  • The Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel on February 16, 2019 features vocalists AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle singing the 1960s folk rock duo’s harmonies, complete with lush acoustic orchestral arrangements of standards such as “Mrs. Robinson,” “Sounds of Silence,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
  • Salute to America features Indiana’s own legendary vocalist Sandi Patty on March 30, 2019 with the Indiana University Singing Hoosiers in a musical tribute to the USA. Featured will be stunning symphonic arrangements of iconic American music for voice, chorus, and orchestra.
  • George Gershwin:  Rhapsody and Rhythm on May 11, 2019 is a multimedia extravaganza with choreography and historic film footage that celebrates the ingenious musical legacy of George and Ira Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue and the pair’s most popular songs, such as “I Got Rhythm” and “Summertime.”

Chamber Orchestra Series
The Ambassador Enterprises Chamber Orchestra Series offers personal, intimate, and engaging concerts for smaller orchestra that focus on a colorful array of classical masterpieces. Some of the most popular works and genres have been curated for this series, performed against the backdrop of the stunning stained glass windows of the First Wayne Street United Methodist Church. In March, the Philharmonic joins Fort Wayne Ballet at Arts United Center for four thrilling performances of Prokofiev’s Cinderella. The Ambassador Enterprises Chamber Orchestra Series includes:

  • The Grand Viola on Saturday, November 17, 2018, featuring Andrew Constantine and Zoë Martin-Doike, viola. Curated by Music Director Andrew Constantine, English folk tunes, pastoral scenes, reminiscences of those loved and lost, and odes to music and dance will fill the evening and delight the senses.

          BRITTEN—Suite on English Folk Tunes, Op. 9
          BRUCH—Romanze for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 85
          PAGANINI—Sonata per la Grand Viola
          PÄRT—Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten

  • Messiah by Candlelight on December 13 and 14, 2018 will feature Handel’s most recognizable and revered masterpiece, performed to the warm glow of candlelight in the most luminous of settings. The Philharmonic’s Messiah is now considered Fort Wayne’s most popular, sold-out holiday tradition.
  • Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony is front and center on Saturday, February 9, 2019, in a concert conducted by Benjamin Rivera. Also programmed is the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, featuring the Freimann Quartet in the midst of the full string orchestra, performing poignant renditions of English Renaissance melodies.

          VAUGHAN WILLIAMS—Five Mystical Songs
          VAUGHAN WILLIAMS—Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
          BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 2

  • Cinderella is a collaboration with Fort Wayne Ballet, on March 22-24, 2019. Led by Music Director Andrew Constantine, Cinderella tells the tale of a beautiful young girl, her domineering stepmother, mean-spirited stepsisters, and a charming prince. Prokofiev’s hauntingly beautiful score, breathtaking sets, and enchanting costumes add exquisite charm to this timeless rags-to-riches story.


Freimann Chamber Music Series
The Brotherhood Mutual Freimann Series offers audiences great chamber music classics, up close and personal. This is highly intimate music making at its best. Wednesday evening performances are performed at the Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab, the black box theatre located in the heart of the vibrant Downtown Arts Campus. Sunday performances occur at Rhinehart Music Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne (formerly known as IPFW.)

  • Beethoven and Mendelssohn on October 17 and 21, 2018 features two of the greatest composers of the 19th century who converge on this program that opens with Beethoven’s homage to Mozart and concludes with his string quartet named for pairs of players whose arpeggios mimic the plucking of a harp.

         BEETHOVEN—Variations on “La ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni
         MENDELSSOHN—Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello No. 2, Op. 66
         BEETHOVEN—String Quartet No. 10, Op. 74, “Harp”

  • Bartók’s String Quartet on January 16 and 20, 2019 highlights the great Hungarian composer’s first quartet, a musical love letter dedicated to a relationship that never was meant to be. The concert opens with Beethoven’s sparkling wind octet adaptation of great themes from
    his only opera.

          BEETHOVEN—Excerpts from Fidelio
          SCHUMANN—Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1, Op. 105
          BARTÓK—String Quartet No. 1, Sz. 40

  • And This is My Beloved on March 6 and 10, 2019 offers Borodin’s string quartet, which boasts one of the most enduringly romantic tunes ever written, immortalized in the 1953 musical Kismet. “And This Is My Beloved” was recorded by musical icons from Sarah Vaughan to
    Sammy Davis, Jr.

         GREIG—Suite for Brass
         REICHA—Wind Quintet Op. 91, No. 1 in C
         BORODIN—String Quartet No. 2

  • Shining River on May 8 and 12, 2019 is named for the work by Shafer Mahoney for flute and harp that opens this varied program curated by musicians of the Philharmonic. Bruckner’s lovely C minor string quartet wasn’t discovered until 55 years after his death and was
    first performed in 1951.

         MAHONEY—Shining River
         WILSON—Woofin’ the Cat Suite
         MILHAUD—Les Rêves de Jacob Op. 294 (1949)
         BRUCKNER—String Quartet in C minor, WAB 111

STAR Family Series
The STAR Family Series offers a variety of fun and educational experiences for audiences of all ages at the Rhinehart Music Center on the campus of Purdue University Fort Wayne (formerly IPFW.) These 60-minute performances are a great introduction to classical music for the entire family. Before each performance, audiences are welcome to enjoy free activities in the lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center, including concert-themed crafts and the Philharmonic Friends Instrument Playground.

  • At Halloween Spooktacular on October 28, 2018 family-friendly ghosts and goblins converge in costume at the Philharmonic’s annual concert of seasonal favorites. The afternoon begins with activities for kids in the lobby and ends with cherished music from John Williams’ score to the movie Harry Potter.

         SAINT-SAËNS—Danse Macabre
—Lyric Suite: March of the Dwarfs
         OFFENBACH—Orpheus in the Underworld: Overture
         WILLIAMS—Harry Potter Excerpts

  • Carnival of the Animals on February 24, 2019 is a musical menagerie of creatures of all shapes and sizes that teaches young audiences about the instruments of the orchestra. Tortoises, hens, elephants, and even kangaroos parade through two colorful and educational pieces for music lovers of all ages.

SAINT-SAËNS —  Carnival of the Animals

POULENC—L’Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant (The Story of Babar, the little elephant)

  • Sports in Music: Faster Higher Stronger! on Sunday, April 28, 2019 is for the athlete in all of us. The Philharmonic will warm up with NFL sports themes and music from the Olympics before hitting a home run with Casey at the Bat, a hysterical romp for orchestra and narrator.

         VARIOUS—Music of the Olympics
         JOHN WILLIAMS—Favorite selections
         SIBELIUS—The Lonely Ski Trail, JS 77a
         VARIOUS—Music of the NFL and familiar sports themes
         PROTO—Casey at the Bat!

An Evening with Leslie Odom, Jr. and Other Special Events
Broadway and Hamilton star, and winner of the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Actor in a Musical, Leslie Odom, Jr. makes his Fort Wayne debut on March 2, 2019 in a concert of old standards, Broadway showstoppers, and jazz hits, proving why his solo albums are topping the charts. Subscribers to any 2018-2019 Season series gain priority access and best seat selection for An Evening with Leslie Odom, Jr. before they go on sale to the public. More Special Concerts will be announced at a later date.