Ode to Joy:
Beethoven & Beyond!

Ode To Joy: Beethoven & Beyond

Update, 6/25/2020: We have reluctantly made the decision to cancel Madison Symphony Orchestra Symphony performances from September 2020 through January 2021. While we consider alternative programming opportunities, we will issue refunds to subscribers for the value of their tickets to these performances. Read our press release for more information.

20/21 season performances in February, March, April and May 2021 are scheduled to take place as planned. New ticket sales for these performances will resume at a later date. Answers to other questions about subscriptions, renewals, seating, and plans for responding to Overture Center and health guidelines for our upcoming season, can be found on our 20/21 FAQ page. You can also read more about how we’re responding to current events by visiting our Summer 2020 Q&A and Current Schedule pages.


Our 20/21 season is your opportunity to celebrate the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven and share the excitement of music that made him one of the most beloved composers ever. Beyond Beethoven’s great violin concerto and treasures of the most popular works from his Heroic Period, you’ll experience masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Haydn, Rachmaninoff, and more! To mark this special occasion, we’ve invited many of your favorite top-tier guest artists to join us. This is a celebration you’ll remember forever. Every concert is an “Ode to Joy” in its own way.

Gil Shaham Plays the Beethoven Violin Concerto

The first piece of this varied program, Rachmaninoff’s evocative and powerful score depicts Arnold Bocklin’s famous painting of an oarsman rowing a white-clad figure across a dark expanse of water to the mysterious Isle of the Dead. The mood lightens when the Háry János Suite from Kodály’s comic Hungarian folk opera radiates exotic exuberance. Then the renowned Gil Shaham gives the crowning performance of the program when he breathes life and love into the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

February 12, 13 & 14, 2021

John DeMain, Conductor
Gil Shaham, Violin

Rachmaninoff, Isle of the Dead
Kodály, Háry János Suite
Beethoven, Violin Concerto in D major

His Greatest Hits

An all-Beethoven concert for the ages, charged with the energy and invention of the master’s Heroic Period and the spectacular pianism of a towering artist of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess.

March 12, 13 & 14, 2021

John DeMain, Conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, Piano

Beethoven, Egmont Overture
Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, “Emperor”
Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C minor

Ehnes Plays Sibelius

A luminary in a star-studded season, James Ehnes will again light up Overture Hall with Sibelius’ shimmering masterpiece. With the lyrical Tchaikovsky Suite, this is a concert not to be missed for sheer melodic bliss.

April 16, 17 & 18, 2021

John DeMain, Conductor
James Ehnes, Violin

Kabalevsky, Overture to “Colas Breugnon”
Sibelius, Violin Concerto in D minor
Tchaikovsky, Suite No. 3

Missa Solemnis

Yes, Mozart was his inspiration, but Haydn was Beethoven’s teacher. Concertmaster Naha Greenholtz performs the Violin Concerto in G major. The season closes with a monumental finale, Missa solemnis. A great work from the height of Beethoven’s composing career, the Missa is one of his supreme achievements and one of the most significant Latin Mass settings ever penned.

May 7, 8 & 9, 2021

John DeMain, Conductor
Naha Greenholtz, Violin
Madison Symphony Chorus, Beverly Taylor, Director
Alexandra LoBianco, Soprano
Briana Hunter, Mezzo-soprano
Rodrick Dixon, Tenor
Kenneth Kellogg, Bass

Haydn, Violin Concerto in G major
Beethoven, Missa solemnis

Canceled Performances

Infinite Joy: Beethoven’s Ninth

September 25, 26 & 27, 2020

Ravishing Rhapsody

October 16, 17 & 18, 2020

Grand Panorama

November 13, 14 & 15, 2020

A Madison Symphony Christmas

December 4, 5 & 6, 2020

Beyond the Score®: Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring

January 24, 2021