Like orchestras and ensembles around the country and the world, the San Juan Symphony has been working overtime to navigate the challenges of the global pandemic. While some organizations have had to cancel entire seasons, fortunately the San Juan Symphony has endured and embraced a new format that relies heavily on technology. With a beautiful first production successfully streamed on October 3rd, the music is set to continue on Saturday, November 14th at 7:30pm MST with a Live Concert Broadcast—exclusively for website members—featuring a fantastic string orchestra program called “Lyrical Threads.”
Available now, audiences can purchase a Digital Season Pass to the Symphony for $99, which offers exclusive, year-long access to www.sanjuansymphony.org for the entire household. Weekly access is also available for $25 for the entire household. “Lyrical Threads” is one of four subscription concerts planned during this Essential 35th Season of the San Juan Symphony. The concert was conducted by Music Director Thomas Heuser on October 17th at the Reising Stage Event Center in Durango, with masks and physical distancing required for all involved.
The concert was professionally recorded by IlluminArts and Lightning Communications, thanks to generous sponsorship by the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation of Farmington and our Durango friends Norman Broad and Carol Solomon. Heuser will be hosting the concert on November 14th as a live stream from the R-Space at the Rochester Hotel in downtown Durango. Restaurant Partner Yellow Carrot in Durango will be offering a Virtual Take & Bake Menu for concert night, and Heuser will also release another free Musically Speaking Pre-Concert Lecture on Wednesday, November 11th for historical context in advance of the live broadcast.
“Lyrical Threads” features a chamber orchestra of San Juan Symphony string players. With strings in mind, Heuser created a program of intense emotion and lyricism, and selected a venue with reverberant acoustics to let the threads of the different melodies weave through the space. The concert includes George Walker’s heartfelt “Lyric for Strings,” the energetic Holberg Suite of Edvard Grieg, and as a cherry on top, the perennial audience favorite, Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. As a moving tribute to the more than 200,000 American lives lost to COVID-19, the silhouetted SJS principal string quartet recorded Eleanor Alberga’s Remember at The Rim Studio in Durango, courtesy of Jonas and Moni Grushkin. Complete concert details and program notes can be downloaded at www.sanjuansymphony.org.
While the virtual season may seem like an unfortunate alternative to live music, it offers a unique opportunity to reach new audiences—particularly first-time listeners, families with young children, audiences in other parts of the country, and those who might have physical limitations to attending concerts. Aspects of the digital concert experience are likely to become lasting features of the Symphony even after concert halls reopen. However, the organization has made plans to continue with online concert productions through the spring of 2021.
The San Juan Symphony is actively seeking feedback and support from its Durango and Farmington communities. With some businesses unable to predict the depth of the downturn, individual donors are being asked to keep up their giving while our non-profit applies for state and federal funding. Purchasing a Digital Season Pass is the single best way to support the orchestra at this time. For complete information please visit www.sanjuansymphony.org.