The Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra’s second season of concerts for 2018, running June 7 through July 15, features the music of some of the world’s greatest composers, including two full symphonies by Gustav Mahler.
All but two of the ten concerts in the six-program series will be held in the elegant surroundings of the city center’s Teatro Degollado. The evening concerts on June 29 and July 12 are scheduled for the Sala Plácido Domingo in the Conjunto de Artes Escénicas, the recently opened venue operated by the Universidad de Guadalajara, located on the northern periferico (city beltway).
The season kicks off with an intriguing program from Eastern Europe titled “Orientalismo Fantastico.” The orchestra will interpret works by Russian composers Mily Balakirev and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as Armenia’s Aram Khachaturian. João Vilão, the JPO’s principal trumpet, will be the soloist in Alexander Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto, composed in 1950.
Teatro Degollado, Thursday, June 7, 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 10, 12:30 p.m.
Program two sees JPO Musical Director Marco Parisotto conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor (“Tragic”). According to Steven Coburn of Allmusic.com, this piece – in four movements lasting around 80 minutes – is the Austrian composer’s most “classical” symphony in its form and layout. “Much has been written about the ‘tragic’ aspects of the work that gave rise to its subtitle, which, by the way, was withdrawn by Mahler before publication,” he continues. “The prevailingly dark mood is not unusual for Mahler, but there is no transformation into a glorious ending or peaceful resignation.”
Teatro Degollado, Thursday, June 14, 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 17, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 24 sees the JPO put on show specially for children. Guest conductor Enrique Radillo leads the musicians in a program featuring pieces by Khachaturian, Balakirev, Maurice Ravel and Leo Delibes. The performance concludes with a rendering of Pepe Guizar’s famous tribute to his home town, “Guadalajara.” Two hosts will help explain the music to the young audience (and their parents), while making sure their attentions do not wane.
Teatro Degollado, Sunday, June 24, 12:30 p.m.
A single performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony comprises the third program of the series. This work premiered in 1912 and was the final piece composed by Mahler before his death. Wrote fellow Austrian composer Alban Berg of the symphony: ”[It] is the most heavenly thing Mahler has written ... an expression of an exceptional fondness for this earth, the longing to live in peace on it, to enjoy nature to its depths – before death comes … In the midst of the utmost intensity of almost painful joy in life.”
Conjunto de Artes Escénicas, Thursday, June 29, 8:30 p.m.
The first half of the fourth program will feature two Mozart piano concertos, with invited pianists Christine Gerwig, Efraín González and Alejandro González Gerwig. The orchestra interprets Franz Liszt’s Hunnenschlacht (The Battle of the Huns) and Wellington’s Victory, composed by Beethoven to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s triumph over Joseph Bonaparte at the Battle of Vitoria in Spain in June 1813, in the latter section of the performance.
Teatro Degollado, Thursday, July 5, 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 8, 12:30 p.m.
The final program of the series – before the musicians take their summer break – sees the return to Guadalajara of virtuoso U.S. violinist Esther Yoo. The first ever artist-in-residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yoo is acclaimed for her “dark, aristocratic tone” (Gramophone Magazine) and “impeccable artistry” (South Florida Classical Review). She first came to international attention in 2010 when at aged 16 she became the youngest prizewinner of the 10th International Sibelius Violin Competition. She will be the soloist in Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77. The performance will end with Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, Sz.116.
Conjunto de Artes Escénicas, Thursday, July 12, 8:30 p.m. Teatro Degollado, Sunday, July 15, 12:30 p.m.
Remarkably, ticket prices for the JPO concerts at the Degollado will remain the same as they have been for the past five years: 110-200 pesos. The Conjunto de Artes shows may cost more (prices not available at press time).
A music appreciation talk – in Spanish and free of charge to concert goers – is held at 11 a.m. prior to all the Sunday concerts at the Degollado. Speakers will elaborate on the compositions to be played that day. The talks take place in the theater’s Sala de Cámara José Pablo Moncayo (rehearsal room).
Tickets are available at the Teatro Degollado box office (taquilla), daily between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., telephone (33) 3614-4773. Also at all Ticketmaster outlets in the metro area (Liverpool, Fabricas de Francia, Mixup, Office Depot, etc.), ticketmaster.com.mx and (33) 3818-3800.
For more information about the season, call the JPO administration office at (33) 3030-9772, 3030-9774 or 3030-9773, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. English usually spoken.