2023–2024 Symphony Season

Be a part of our 23/24 season celebrating 30 years of John DeMain’s artistic leadership of your Madison Symphony Orchestra. You’ll experience surprises and delights, the thrill of new discoveries, and emotions. Brochures have been mailed and subscriptions are available now! Explore the 23/24 season and subscribe now to get the best seats at the best price before single tickets go on sale Saturday, August 19 at 11:00 a.m.!

Read a letter from Music Director John DeMain

The unveiling of a new season is always a special time for me, and it being my 30th anniversary as music director of our incredible orchestra makes it all the more special. To have a chance to watch and guide the orchestra over these years into the amazing ensemble it has become has brought me great joy.

As an American born musician, educated in the US and whose career has been predominantly in this country, I wanted to begin the season with an all-American program. There are, of course, favorite pieces of mine scattered throughout the season like Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Mahler’s fifth symphony, and the Verdi Requiem, alongside gems including Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, Revueltas’ The Night of the Maya, and Jennifer Higdon’s Loco. I’m also very pleased to present conductor Kyle Knox in his Madison Symphony subscription concert debut. As always, we have a stunning array of guest artists including the return of Naha Greenholtz, Jonathan Biss, Joyce Yang, and Steven Isserlis, as well as debuts by Terrence Wilson and Rachid Bernal. With Cinco de Mayo falling on the same weekend as our final subscription concerts, I was inspired to do a concert featuring Spanish and Mexican composers and artists, including the first time a mariachi group, Mariachi Los Camperos, has appeared with our orchestra. Our soloists for Christmas feature tenor Limmie Pulliam and the gorgeous voice of soprano Evelyn Saavedra from Madison Opera’s Opera in the Park.

As you look through the brochure you will find some innovative approaches to our subscription concerts reaching out to our diverse community, welcoming everyone to experience great music live in the acoustical splendor of Overture Hall. And you even get to choose one of the main pieces we will perform during the season. So please come celebrate this 30-year milestone with me throughout the year, either as a subscriber or a single ticket buyer, and you’ll be part of the excitement one feels with the orchestra that just continues to grow with every concert you attend.

Personally, I want to thank you for your support for me as well as the orchestra over the years. Your energy as an audience absolutely inspires our performances and helps us celebrate together the power and sustenance that great music brings to each and every one of us.

American Rhapsody

September 22, 23 & 24, 2023

Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring
George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue
John Adams, The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra
Howard Hanson, Symphony No. 2, Op. 30 “Romantic”

John DeMain, Music Director
Terrence WilsonPiano

Monumental Moments

October 20, 21 & 22, 2023

Leonard Bernstein, Three Dance Variations from “Fancy Free”
Dmitri Shostakovich, 
Concerto No. 1 in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77(99)
Johannes Brahms (orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg), Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25

Kyle Knox, Associate Conductor
Naha Greenholtz, Violin

Symphony Gems

November 17, 18 & 19, 2023

Wolfgang Amadeus MozartSymphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner”
Robert SchumannPiano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54
William Levi DawsonNegro Folk Symphony

John DeMain, Music Director
Jonathan BissPiano

A Madison Symphony Christmas

December 1, 2 & 3, 2023

John DeMain, Music Director
Evelyn Saavedra, Soprano
Limmie Pulliam, Tenor
Madison Symphony Chorus, Beverly Taylor, Director
Mount Zion Gospel Choir, Tamera and Leotha Stanley, Directors
Madison Youth Choirs, Michael Ross, Artistic Director

​The Perfect Pair: Mozart & Mahler

January 19, 20 & 21, 2024

Wolfgang Amadeus MozartPiano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Gustav MahlerSymphony No. 5

John DeMain, Conducting
Joyce YangPiano

Favorites of Mine & Your Choice!​

March 15, 16 & 17, 2024

Jennifer Higdon, Loco
Dmitri KabalevskyCello Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 77
Audience Choice: Beethoven, Dvořák, Rimsky-Korsakov, or a write-in selection!

John DeMain, Conducting
Steven IsserlisCello

Boundless Beauty

April 12, 13 & 14, 2024

Giuseppe VerdiRequiem

John DeMain, Music Director
Madison Symphony Chorus, Beverly Taylor, Director
Alexandra LoBianco, Soprano
Margaret Gawrysiak, Mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Burton, Tenor
Kyle Ketelsen, Baritone

Fiesta Finale

May 3, 4 & 5, 2024

José Pablo MoncayoHuapango
Manuel de FallaNoches en los jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain)
Silvestre RevueltasSuite from La Noche de los Mayas* (The Night of the Maya), compiled by José Yves Limantour
Selections by Mariachi Los Camperos and the Madison Symphony Orchestra
*Synchronized imagery assembled by Peter Rodgers

John DeMain, Music Director
Rachid Bernal, Piano
Mariachi Los Camperos

MSO at the Movies: Pixar in Concert

One performance only!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

This special concert celebrates 25 years of the music and animation of Disney and Pixar films. 

23/24 symphony season subscribers have an opportunity to add this special presentation before single tickets go on sale Saturday, August 19, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. Tickets for this single performance are $15–$80.

Thank you to our generous season sponsors!

Please take note: We guarantee a refund for tickets to any concert that cannot be performed for any reason. Programs, dates, and artists subject to change.