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Grammy-winning pianist to open Miller Symphony Hall's 73rd season lineup

Miller Symphony Hall
Jay Bradley
Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A Soviet-born Israeli-American classical pianist whose works have won a Grammy Award and also appeared in Disney films will open the 73rd season of Allentown’s Miller Symphony Hall, officials announced.

  • Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown has announced details of its 73rd season
  • They include opening with Grammy Award-winning classical star pianist Yefim Bronfman on Oct. 14-15
  • Tickets are available at the Miller Symphony Hall website or at 610-432-6715

A finale performance of Beethoven's epic Ninth Symphony will close the season.
In between, anniversaries will be celebrated: George Gershwin and Duke Ellington's 125th, Henry Mancini's 100th and the 25th anniversary of the Schadt String Competition, an annual solo string event for the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

There will also be a night celebrating “The Empire Strikes Back” in concert, with a film showing and live orchestra at Allentown’s PPL Center.

“I believe concerts should be fun and yet also inspirational. I feel that the connections made through this music should widen our view of the world and that the music can help bring us all closer together.”
Allentown Symphony Music Director and Conductor Diane Wittry

The season will open the weekend of Oct. 14-15 with star pianist Yefim Bronfman, who made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1989 and in 1997 won a Grammy Award for his recording of the three Bartók piano concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In 1999, he appeared in Disney’s “Fantasia 2000.”

At Miller Symphony Hall, he will perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2.

“I believe concerts should be fun and yet also inspirational,” symphony Music Director and Conductor Diane Wittry said. “I feel that the connections made through this music should widen our view of the world and that the music can help bring us all closer together.”

Classical and pop

On Oct. 6, the symphony will be at Allentown’s PPL Center for “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert,” with Allentown Symphony performing the live score. Tickets are available now here.

Other classical highlights of the season include Mozart & More on Nov. 11-12 and guitarist Petrit Çeku's return to Allentown as a previous winner 2011 of the Schadt Competition to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.

The Passion of Carmen will be on Feb. 10-11, and From the Scottish Highlands on March 9-10.

The season will conclude with Beethoven’s Ninth – Season Finale on April 13-14.

Highlights for the Symphony’s Pop Series include salutes to the favorites of Associate/Pops Conductor Ronald Demkee, who announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2023-24 season.

The shows include Gershwin, Berlin & Friends on Sept. 23; Holiday Pops on Dec. 16; Lush Life: The Music of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn, on Jan. 20; A salute to Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra on May 11, 2024; and a Tribute to Elton John on July 13, 2024.

Jazz, The Met and more

The Jazz Upstairs Series will include Jim Meyer Group on June 16, Spencer Reed and Nancy Reed on July 21, August in August — a Gene Perla Retrospective on Aug. 18, and guitarist Frank DiBussolo with a Bucky Pizzarelli Tribute on Sept. 8.

Also, The Anderson Brothers Play Gershwin on Oct. 20, Joshua Espin Trio on Nov. 17, Craig Thatcher and Nyke Van Wyk Holiday Show on Dec. 8, and more to be announced for 2024.

Special concert events for the season include Golden Silents: Safety Last with The Allentown Band for a Halloween weekend on Oct. 28, with the classic silent film “Safety Last.”

Repertory Dance Theatre will present The Nutcracker with Allentown Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 2-3, and A Family Concert: Music in Motion will be on Feb. 24.

Miller Symphony Hall’s The Met: Live in HD performances series will return, with live broadcast transmissions through June with a lineup that includes Lohengrin, Falstaff and The Magic Flute. The new season lineup will be announced by the Met in summer.

A complete listing for the 2023-24 season can be found on the Miller Symphony Hall website.

Tickets are on sale on the Miller Symphony Hall websiteor at 610-432-6715.