With Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra’s new season comes its first operating budget topping $1 million and a new mission statement -- its first in more than 15 years.
And thanks to the larger budget -- a result in part from five major gifts -- LSO will bring in two big-name performers, violinist Joshua Bell and actress/vocalist Jane Lynch, to perform during the 2017-18 season as well as increase the orchestra size for such pieces as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.
LSO’s budget for 2017-18 will be $1.063 million, a $188,000 increase from last season.
“(The budget) affords us an opportunity to do the repertoire we couldn’t normally do,” said music director Edward Polochick, who will celebrate his 20th year with LSO in 2018. … And the larger names … we could only do that once every 10 or 20 years.”
The new mission statement reads: “Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra will present inspiring experiences that welcome all members of our community to discover and cultivate a profound, personal connection with live orchestral music.” It comes on the heels of LSO receiving a $10,000 Challenge America grant in December from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a free music outreach program serving immigrant and refugee communities.
“There’s nothing about this organization I want to feel exclusive,” LSO Executive Director Barbara Zach said.
The season begins Sept. 26 with Bell joining the orchestra for Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor. Lynch, a three-time Emmy Award winner, will perform hits from the Great American Songbook during an LSO pops concert on March 2.
Other national guest artists include pianist Simon Dinnerstein on Nov. 10 performing the newly composed Piano Concerto No. 3 by Philip Glass, written especially for Dinnerstein and pianist Mark Markham performing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto on May 6.
Concertmaster Anton Miller will celebrate his 30th season with LSO, performing Chausson’s Poeme, Op. 25, and Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. The pieces will be paired with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony on Jan. 19.
“The highlight of a music season is working with Anton,” Polochick said. “We’re incredibly lucky to have him.”
The orchestra will present six classical, two pops and two family concerts. LSO increased its classical concerts from five to six last season. Polochick will conduct all concerts except for the holiday pops, which resident conductor Tyler G. White will handle. Family concerts will be at O’Donnell Auditorium on the Nebraska Wesleyan University campus, while the classical and pops concerts are scheduled for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the orchestra’s home since 2011.
“When we went into the Lied Center, the orchestra started playing like they had never played before,” Polochick said.
LSO has increased section one seating from $30 to $35 for classical and pops concerts -- its first increase since moving into the Lied. Section two seating remains $15 per ticket. Tickets for youth ages 17 and younger also stay the same at $5 per concert. LSO also offers discounts for families, high school or college music students and young professionals (ages 18 to 39).
Season tickets are available April 28. Single tickets will be available Aug. 1 to subscribers and Aug. 15 to the public. The following is a rundown of the 2017-18 season:
“Joshua Bell & Bruch,” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26.
“If It Ain’t Baroque …,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27
“Philip Glass & Elgar,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10
“Anton & Tchaik 5,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19
“Beethoven 8 & 6,” 7:30 p.m. April 6
“Rach ‘n’ Bartok,” 7:30 p.m. May 6
“Deck the Halls,” 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 3
“Jane Lynch Sings,” 7:30 p.m. March 2
“A Family for Treble,” 2 p.m. Oct. 22
“Carnival of the Animals,” 2 p.m. March 4