Schenectady Symphony announces new name – Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra – and season

FILE - The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra in 2015
FILE - The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra in 2015
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SCHENECTADY – Changes are in store for the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, which recently announced its new season and name.

Board President Robert Bour and Artistic Director Glen Cortese announced earlier this week that the orchestra has been renamed Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra (SSSO). The new title reflects the orchestra’s expanding reach beyond the city in which it was founded in 1934.

“This is the second major initiative the board has approved in less than a year,” Bour said. “The decision to join Proctors Collaborative was about shifting energy from focusing on administrative concerns to more strategic needs. The announcement today is about building an audience, as it has become apparent there is a real opportunity and need in Saratoga.”

The group has been performing at Proctors since 1979 and joined Proctors Collaborative last August.

The upcoming season will feature Saratoga shows, including two at Universal Preservation Hall and two at the Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College. Additionally, four shows are slated for Proctors and another at Music Haven.

SSSO has held several concerts at Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs since reopening after the pandemic. Bour said the response has been “fantastic” and signaled an opening for the orchestra to expand beyond Schenectady.

Cortese, who also serves as SSSO conductor, said “The theme of the 2023-24 SSSO subscription season is ‘Heroes, Legends and Fairy Tales.’ On each program, we’ll explore legendary works, how composers are inspired by historical and fictional heroes and legends, and bring you incredibly talented soloists and guest artists. The repertoire includes traditional works, new works from the classical repertoire, Broadway and film.”

Subscriptions are on sale and single tickets go on sale on Aug. 7. Admission for students age 18 and under is free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Visit for details.

Here’s a look at the 2023-2024 season:
“Legends of Broadway”
7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5
Music Haven Concert Series at Schenectady’s Central Park
Under the baton of Artistic Director Glen Cortese, the SSSO returns with a selection from beloved Broadway musicals with guest artists Amy Decker and Casey Gray.

“American Legends”
7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21
Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College

3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023
MainStage at Proctors
Shows feature guest trumpeter Robert Sullivan in Barber’s “Essay No. 2,” Cortese’s “Concerto for Trumpet Orchestra (Gabriel’s Signal),” music from John William “Lincoln” and the Suite from Copland’s “Billy the Kid.”

Special Concert: “Poinsettia Pops”
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2
Great Hall at Universal Preservation Hall

“Legends from Around the World”
3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21
MainStage at Proctors
The season continues with Bethlehem Central High School senior William Lauricella, who won first place in the 2022 Capital District Council for Young Musicians’ Annual Chopin Piano Competition and SSSO’s Parillo Piano Competition. This concert includes Bartok’s “Dance Suite,” Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite” and the great Rachmaninoff “Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor.”

Special Concert: Animaniacs In Concert
8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24
MainStage at Proctors
The voices of “Animaniacs” join with the SSSO to perform the world-famous songs from the beloved cartoon series.

“A Legend of the Opera”
3 p.m. Sunday, March 17
Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College
SSSO joins with Skidmore College for Johann Straus’ English concert version of “Die Fledermaus.”

“Vestiges, Heroes and Legends”
7 p.m. Saturday, April 27
Great Hall at Universal Preservation Hall

3 p.m. Sunday, April 28
MainStage at Proctors
The shows will include Bernstein’s “Halil,” Mizzoli’s “Opheus Undone” (Proctors), Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” (UPH) and famous “Requiem.” Featuring special guest flutist Linda Chesis, Saratoga Voices and the Albany Chamber Choir.

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts, Life and Arts, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady

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