Welcome Letter from Michael Butterman

Dear friends,

Your Shreveport Symphony is Coming Home this season to the RiverView Theater, now beautifully refurbished and full of enhancements that will make your patron experience more comfortable and the concert experience more vivid and dynamic. From new seating and expanded restrooms to video capabilities that will help bring the concerts to life in new ways, a fresh, yet familiar, experience awaits you this season.  

While the finishing touches are completed at the RiverView, we start off in the acoustically gorgeous First Baptist Church and welcome home native son John-Henry Crawford, fresh off a first prize win in the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition this summer. We’ll also be joined by violinist Francisco Fullana, recipient of the 2018 Avery Fischer Career Grant, and Wideman Piano Competition Gold Medalist Dominic Muzzi

I’m especially excited to share the stage with distinguished collaborators from allied arts, including Grambling’s Orchesis Dance Company, video artists Aleksi Moriarty and Stephen Lias, and actors from the Shreveport Little Theatre.  

Well-loved masterpieces like Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth, Beethoven’s Seventh and Dvořák’s New World symphonies, will share the stage with pieces I know you will enjoy discovering, like Cindy McTee’s high-energy Circuits, the wonderfully imaginative score for There Will be Blood by Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead fame), and Milhaud’s jaunty and jazzy ballets on ‘leap day.’ 

Speaking of blending classical and jazz idioms, no one did it better than George Gershwin, and we celebrate his legacy with a blockbuster concert in October featuring a concert version of Porgy and Bess, along with his Rhapsody in Blue, with renowned Gershwin expert, Richard Glazier.

We’re delighted to welcome ‘home’ Broadway superstar Craig Schulman in March, and to ring in the holidays with the fantastic Sarah Jane McMahon and Hugh Panaro in December. With The Music of Queen in January, a Symphonic Superheroes family concert in May and lots of outstanding (and free!) chamber music through the season, we truly have something for everyone. 

The essence of ‘home’ is central to our season finale concert, in which we present the Grammy-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America by Peter Boyer. Paired with Dvořák’s poignant Ninth Symphony (with its “Goin’ Home” melody in the slow movement), Boyer’s multimedia work explores the immigrant experience through the words of seven new arrivals at Ellis Island. It’s a work that illuminates the universal experience of searching for one’s place in the world, both literally and figuratively. 

We want you to feel at home with us at the Shreveport Symphony. Whether you’re a long-time patron or first-time attendee, we know that great music has the power to enrich your life in profound ways. We hope that you’ll make ‘symphony night’ a regular part of your life this season as we experience our ‘fresh and familiar’ adventure together.