Fort Worth Symphony drops Mahler for Beethoven

Posted on: August 24, 2009

In Sunday’s (8/23) Dallas Morning News, Scott Cantrell writes, “This was to be the week the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra finished a three-year cycle of the nine symphonies of Gustav Mahler. But that was before the economy went south. So the FWSO is putting Mahler on hold. Instead, it’s going back to Beethoven, the composer whose music inaugurated its annual preseason festival in 2001. But whereas the last FWSO Beethoven festival focused entirely on the symphonies, this year’s will be more varied, including the composer’s Violin Concerto, two piano concertos, songs and chamber music in addition to just three symphonies. … Music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct all three orchestral concerts, with violinist James Ehnes and pianist Adam Golka as soloists. … Considering the extra musicians and rehearsals required for the lavishly scored Mahler symphonies, [President Ann] Koonsman figures switching to Beethoven is saving the orchestra about $235,000. … The FWSO is facing a deficit—about $175,000—for the 2008-09 season. That’s after cutting half a million dollars out of a budget originally set at $12.7 million. … For all the sobering financial news right now, the FWSO’s artistic growth since Harth-Bedoya arrived in 2000 continues to amaze.”

Posted August 24, 2009