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Announcing 2023-24 Season, “Celebrating Joy”

Subscription Discounts [Updated!] Now, until September 15th

Opening Concert ‘Starburst’, September 17th, 2023

WSO's Music Director & Conductor Leif Bjaland

The Waterbury Symphony Orchestra (WSO) presents its 85th season, 'Celebrating Joy!'. Music Director and Conductor Leif Bjaland leads the WSO in a celebration of music old and new. The season kicks off on Sunday, September 17th performing joyous favorites of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven and featuring ‘cello’ phenom Thomas Mesa and the works of young black composer Jesse Montgomery.

The season, for which subscription discounts are available [Updated: Now, through September 15th], also includes key artistic collaborations with the Yale School of Music, Young Concert Artists, The Sphinx Organization, the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the Palace Theater and the Waterbury Chorale.

“The theme of joy runs through our 2023-24 Season. We’re celebrating our 85th anniversary, four score and five years of concerts, teaching, learning and sharing with our community” reflects Music Director, Leif Bjaland. “One of the greatest joys of music is that it has the power to bring us together. We enter a concert as a collection of individuals and leave changed, the many becoming one. Our 85th season is about seeing our community and world as a whole and what brings our whole world together is the joy of music.”

As always, the WSO season comprises three different types of concerts:

  • MasterWorks Concerts performed in its 800-seat orchestral home of the Fine Arts Center, Naugatuck Valley Community College,

  • Music in Great Spaces Concerts at inspiring locations throughout Northwest Connecticut and finally, it’s beloved annual

  • Cinema & Symphony Concert at the Palace Theater.

Both season MasterWorks and Great Spaces concerts are available with subscription discounts until September 10th with single concert tickets for all dates available.

WSO wishes to acknowledge Thermo Conductor Services, Inc of Prospect, Connecticut who has provided a generous Season Title Sponsorship for the 2023-2024 Season. WSO Executive Director, Doug Donato shared “I am very excited by the lineup we have planned for this year. It is with immense pride that we uphold the 85-year legacy of this cherished cultural institution, and we are proud that a company of their stature continues to honor the value we bring to the community.”

The 2023-2024 Season includes the following programs:

Starburst!, Sunday, Sep. 17th, 2023 3pm MasterWorks Concert, Fine Arts Center, NVCC, Waterbury

Much like Beethoven’s meteoric 7th Symphony burst onto the scene in early 19th century Vienna, young black composer Jessie Montgomery created a sensation with ‘Starburst’ for String Orchestra and ‘Divided’ for cello and orchestra, the latter of which was written by Montgomery for ‘cello phenom’ Thomas Mesa, who will be performing with the WSO for this concert.

Montgomery Starburst Montgomery Divided *, Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Op.33 * Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 * Featuring Thomas Mesa, cello

Eight Seasons, Sunday, Nov. 5th, 2023 4pm Music in Great Spaces Concert, Edmond Town Hall, Newtown Antonio Vivaldi’s beloved ‘The Four Seasons’, which has brought joy to audiences for nearly three centuries, is paired with a more contemporary take on changeable weather, this time based in the southern hemisphere: Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Four Seasons of Buenos Aires’. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons* Piazzolla - Four Seasons of Buenos Aires* * Featuring Julian Rhee, Violin

Home Alone With Live Orchestra, Sat, Dec 2nd, 2023 2 pm WSO’s Annual Cinema & Symphony Concert, The Palace Theater, Waterbury All eyes will be on the giant screen in the Palace Theater as we dive into the holiday fun with this classic family film. The WSO will be joined by the Waterbury Chorale for a performance of John Williams festive score LIVE with this timeless yuletide film.

Annual Cinema & Symphony Concert Award winning John Williams score © 1990 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Classic Silent Film w/ Organ & Violin, Sat, Feb 10th, 4 pm Music in Great Spaces Concert, Thomaston Opera House, Thomaston, CT Join organist Juan Cardona Jr. and WSO's Concertmaster Alyce Cognetta Bertz on violin at the stunning Thomaston Opera House, performing an original score along with a showing of Buster Keaton’s iconic movie ‘The General’.

Concert of the Century, Sunday, March 17th, 2024 3pm MasterWorks Concert, Fine Arts Center, NVCC, Waterbury Step into the time machine and travel back exactly 100 years. 1924 was bursting at the seams with world premieres of beloved classics like Rhapsody in Blue and The Pines of Rome. Experience Honegger’s sonic steam engine, Pacific 231 and the majesty of American composer Carl Ruggles’ Men and Mountains.

Honegger - Pacific 231 Tailleferre - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue, Featuring Albert Cano Smit, Piano Ruggles - Men and Mountains Respighi - Pines of Rome

Heavenly Journey, Sunday, May 19 th, 2024 3pm MasterWorks Concert, Fine Arts Center, NVCC, Waterbury Composer Gustav Mahler once said “A Symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” With his 4th Symphony, Mahler goes even further – beyond the earth to a heavenly realm where angels dwell. WSO’s Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Competition winner will perform what is often called a “Mozartian miracle”, and the final concerto in a life that was too short:

Mozart’s celestial ‘Clarinet Concerto in A’. Mozart - Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A major, K. 622* * Featuring Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Competition Winner

Mahler - Symphony No. 4 in G major, with Laquita Mitchell, Soprano

Tickets & Subscriptions

Patrons are recommended to secure best available seating with earliest ticket purchases. Single tickets are now on sale. Subscription options are also available until Sunday, September 10th, beginning at $66, which include 15% ticket discounts and exclusive benefits all season long.

To purchase online

  • MasterWorks & Great Spaces concert tickets

  • Annual Cinema & Symphony concert tickets

To purchase by telephone:

  • To purchase tickets or subscriptions over the phone, call WSO’s box office partner,

  • The Palace Theatre Box Office [Mon - Fri 10 am - 4 pm] at 203-346-2000.

To purchase Season Subscriptions By Mail

About Waterbury Symphony Orchestra:

Creating music since 1938, the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s core belief is that music, music education and shared cultural experiences are essential for humanity. Three primary strands of the WSO include its MasterWorks Classical Concerts including its annual Symphony & Cinema Concert, its prodigious satellite performances including its Music in Great Spaces series of smaller ensembles, and finally their celebrated educational programs for libraries, schools, and underserved communities. Led by Leif Bjaland for the past twenty-eight seasons, WSO draws over one hundred talented musicians from across New England.

As orchestra in residence of the Fine Arts Center, Naugatuck Valley Community College, the Waterbury Symphony wishes to acknowledge the partnership of NVCC and the enduring legacy of the generosity and vision of Ruth Ann Leever.

For more information by telephone, call 203-574-4283 For Tickets Online, visit: For ticketing by Phone: [Via Box Office Partner, Palace Theater Ticketing Office]: 203-346-2000. Waterbury Symphony Orchestra Telephone: 203-574-4283


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