When Kevin Day was growing up, he wasn’t sure if he would become a composer, let alone have a professional orchestra perform his works.
After growing up in Arlington and graduating from Texas Christian University’s School of Music, he is writing an original piece that will debut during the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s 2023-2024 season.
“I never could have imagined that’s where life would have gone,” he said. “I’m very, very honored to get to work with this group.”
His composition is one element in a blockbuster season that includes pops concerts featuring songs from box office hits to classical works by Rachmaninoff and Brahms.
The new season will include 12 concerts in its symphonic series, six weekends of pops concerts and three chamber music performances in addition to six special one-night-only performances. The symphony will also host its “Meet the Artist” series and a round of concerts catering to families with young children.
“We’re midway through our first official season and having a great time and we’re certainly looking forward to the season to come,” Maestro Robert Spano, music director for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, said.
In addition to announcing the new season, the FWSO also announced that Spano, who made his debut as the orchestra’s music director in September 2022, extended his contract with the orchestra through the 2027-2028 season.
When he was hired, Spano previewed the way he intended to program future seasons by acknowledging that the orchestra serves multiple audiences.
“I think what we’re looking for is a combination of being a museum and a gallery,” Spano said. “So the museum side of what we do, there’s the classics and the core of the repertoire and the symphonic tradition that we want to preserve and that people want to hear. And then there’s also the new, the different, the unusual.”
The upcoming season delivers on that promise with a performance with FLY Dance Company, which describes its style as “theatrical hip-hop.” A separate concert will include large-scale puppetry from Canadian tour group The Old Trout Puppet Workshop set to a performance of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”
“This year we will continue to elevate the concert-going experience by incorporating stirring visual images and projections into our concert series to add new artistic dimensions and heighten the audience’s experience,” FWSO CEO Keith Cerny said.
Gamers will have the chance to hear music from World of Warcraft, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and others performed live at Will Rogers Auditorium. Andy Brick will direct the performance, which will have accompanying HD video.
The visuals will also take center stage as the orchestra performs Stravinsky’s “Petrushka” with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
“The Dallas Black Dance Theatre has a long history of collaboration that began 40 years ago with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra,” Zenetta Drew, DBDT’s executive director, said. “Over the decades, our company has had numerous collaborations with Dallas opera, museum and theater companies. It is a pleasure to partner with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as our first major collaboration with a Fort Worth arts entity.”
On the opening night of the orchestra’s symphonic series, piano lovers will recognize Yunchan Lim, the youngest and most recent winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
A family-focused series makes room for “all children’s wiggles and giggles” at concerts featuring music ranging from Cinderella to Harry Potter.
Though Day lives now in Canada, where he is an associate professor in composition at Wilfrid Laurier University, he remembers going to Fort Symphony Orchestra concerts as a child.
“This feels like a homecoming,” he said. “I’m excited to get to work with this magnificent orchestra and Robert Spano and see this come to life.”
Marcheta Fornoff covers the arts for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.