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Greater Bridgeport Symphony Hits The Stage For Its 71st Season

The Greater Bridgeport Symphony.
The Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Photo Credit: Facebook/Greater Bridgeport Symphony

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The Greater Bridgeport Symphony is back for its 71st season at The Klein Memorial Auditorium – the premiere acoustic space in the region.

The first concert will be Saturday, Sept. 24 with Dvořák and maestro Eric Jacobsen as he returns for his third season with an amazing variety of compositions, soloists, and contributing artists from the community.

Alexander Beyer, a 22 year-old Fairfield native and piano virtuoso, will join GBS on Sept. 24 to perform Beethoven’s joyous Second Piano Concerto. Beyer has achieved world acclaim and most recently won the bronze medal in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, beating out over 300 pianists from around the globe.

He is also a senior mathematics major at Harvard, with his eyes on the stars – he’d like to become an astronaut.

The concert, which comes on the eve of the 70th birthday of GBS (founded in 1946), features the lively sounds of Shostakovich’s Waltz from Jazz Suite #2, a mid-20th century work, and concludes with Dvořák’s celebratory 8th Symphony.

“It’s a very full evening of music, and it just radiates joy,” says Jacobsen.

Beyer last performed in Bridgeport during the last full season of the late Gustav Meier’s 41-year career as Music Director for GBS, in 2012.

The GBS 71st season continues with four more shows that span four centuries of symphonic music.

“There’s something for everyone here,” says Executive Director Mark R. Halstead, “from true aficionados to those who are brand-new to Classical music.”

On Saturday, Nov. 12, guest conductor Ted Sperling leads GBS on a musical tour of Hollywood with “GBS Goes to the Movies.”

A week before actual Christmas Eve – Saturday, Dec. 17, – GBS spends Christmas Eve in Paris with Rodolfo, Mimi, Marcello and Musetta, performing the concert version of La Boheme. The full GBS orchestra will be joined by the best-of-the-best of local youth musicians – members of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras (GBYO), who will play side-by-side with GBS professionals. Over 100 musicians will take the stage, playing Puccini’s familiar musical tale of starving artists in a garret, finding love on the streets of Paris on Christmas Eve.

Leonard Bernstein would have been 99 years old in 2017, and GBS celebrates his music with Bernstein at 99! on Saturday, March 18. The Connecticut Chamber Choir and the Fairfield County Children’s Choir will join GBS in presenting the Dance Suite from "West Side Story" and "Chichester Psalms."

The season closes on April 22 with GBS Celebrates Spring, with guest conductor Jonathan Yates of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, who will solo on Bach’s Keyboard Concerto. The concert also includes Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks – evoking scenes of gardens blooming in spring – and the quintessential spring composition, Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, the Pastorale.

All five concerts take place on Saturdays at 8 p.m. at The Klein Memorial Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport.

Concerts will be preceded at 7 p.m. with a Pre-Concert Talk, which helps guide listeners through the music.

Single tickets range from $15 to $59 through www.gbso.org .

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