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SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the film music of John Williams on July 21, at 7:30 PM in Springfield Symphony Hall. MOSSO will perform excerpts from Williams’ scores to ET, Schindler’s List, Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and more. Some popular classics, including Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Massenet’s Meditation from Thaïs, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite open the program.

Maestro Kevin Rhodes was music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons before the pandemic. He returned to Springfield to conduct his musicians last October in front of a packed house at Symphony Hall, featuring many musical highlights from his tenure as their music director.

Rhodes was recently appointed Chief Conductor of the Slovak National Opera and Ballet in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. In this role he will have a leading artistic position in a European city noted for its cultural diversity, while he continues to serve as music director for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Michigan, and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra.

Rhodes has been a presence in the major musical capitals of Europe for over 25 years, with credits including The Paris Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Berlin State Opera, La Scala of Milan, The Dutch National Ballet, The Verona Ballet, The Stuttgart Ballet, and many others.

Tickets for the concert, a MOSSO benefit, are priced at $60, $45, $25, and $10, and are on sale at: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors include BusinessWest and Healthcare News, the Republican/MassLive, WWLP-22News & the CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.

MOSSO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which is not a subsidiary of nor affiliated with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Inc.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the music of legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim on June 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall.

The Sondheim Celebration, conducted by Tim Stella, will feature Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Joining the cast are Ron Raines and Florence Lacey, who recently co-starred in the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Follies.

“Stephen Sondheim has been a Broadway legend as both composer and lyricist, and his string of hits include the lyrics to West Side Story (which was recently remade as a film), Company (currently a sell-out on Broadway), A Little Night Music (headed to Barrington Stage this summer), Encore’s Into The Woods transferring to Broadway, and more,” said Stella. “I’m so looking forward to hearing his great melodies performed by a full orchestra, and showcased by some of the best names on Broadway.”

Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella has also served as the resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall.

Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times. He made his Broadway debut as Marius in the original production of Les Misérables, a role he originated in the First National Company. He created the roles of Buddy in Side Show, Julian Caster in The Red Shoes, the title role in the American premiere of Martin Guerre, and the title role in Elton John’s Lestat.

Vroman, who made her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. She also starred as Rosabella in New York City Opera’s The Most Happy Fella. Some of her notable roles are: Charlotte in A Little Night Music with Michigan Opera Theatre; Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with both Glimmerglass Opera and the MUNY Theater of St. Louis; and Marian Paroo in The Music Man at the Bushnell. She was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables. She appeared as Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony’s Emmy Award-winning Sweeney Todd in Concert, with Patti Lupone and George Hearn.

Raines is a Tony and Grammy Award nominee for the acclaimed 2012 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. Ron has also starred on Broadway as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat, and Nick Longworth in Teddy & Alice. He has delighted audiences around the country in A Little Night Music opposite Leslie Uggams. He has appeared on four PBS “Great Performances,” and was a three-time Emmy nominee for his role as the nefarious Alan Spaulding on CBS’s longest running daytime drama Guiding Light.

Lacey was last seen on Broadway in the critically acclaimed Kennedy Center production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. She made her Broadway debut as Irene Malloy in Hello Dolly!  for which she won the Theater World Award. And her biggest role was Eva Peron in Evita, a role she played on Broadway and on tour around the world.  Her other Broadway credits include Les Misérables; The Grand Tour; and An Evening with Jerry Herman (Mac Award). In regional theater, she appeared in Pal Joey at Goodspeed Opera House and A Little Night Music at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. At the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C., she performed Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, and a concert version of My Fair Lady.

MOSSO’s Summer Concerts continue with the return of Maestro Kevin Rhodes on July 21, in a MOSSO Benefit Concert of light classics and music of John Williams. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim, will perform select pieces. Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, are on sale at: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com.

 

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will be the lead sponsor of the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, MOSSO, celebration of the music of legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.

On June 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall, the Sondheim Celebration, conducted by Tim Stella, will feature Broadway stars Hugh Panaro, Lisa Vroman, Ron Raines, and Florence Lacey.

“MOSSO has come a long way since our first concert on the steps of Springfield Symphony Hall last year,” said Beth Welty, MOSSO chair. “We needed to develop an organization that would provide work opportunities for its professional musicians, because the Springfield Symphony Orchestra paused its performances in March, 2020. MOSSO formally received nonprofit status and that enabled us to produce full-scale orchestral and chamber music performances. We appreciate the Richard P. Garmany Fund’s commitment to live, professional, and quality orchestral performances in Springfield. This funding allows MOSSO to present the first of two orchestral summer concerts in downtown Springfield. We haven’t had summer orchestral concerts in Springfield in decades.”

The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has been a major sponsor of arts and cultural programming in the region. Richard P. Garmany died in 2008. He was a frequent audience member at many concerts throughout the region.

MOSSO’s Summer Concerts continue with the return of Maestro Kevin Rhodes on July 21, in a MOSSO Benefit Concert of light classics and music of John Williams. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim, will perform select pieces.

Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, are on sale at: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, have announced details of their upcoming summer concerts at Symphony Hall. MOSSO will celebrate the music of Stephen Sondheim and John Williams. These concerts mark the first time in almost 20 years that the musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra have performed summer concerts in Springfield. 

On June 23, MOSSO celebrates the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. Conductor Tim Stella will lead the program, joined by Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Also appearing are Ray Hardman and Kathleen Callahan-Hardman. 

Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella is former resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall. 

Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times.  

On July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes returns to Springfield to conduct a MOSSO benefit concert, with a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by guest soloist, violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim. 

Rhodes served as music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons, until the SSO paused performances in 2020. 

He continues to serve as music director and conductor of the Traverse Symphony in Michigan, and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In March 2021, Maestro Rhodes made his debut with the Orchestra of the Rome Opera in Italy, recording a live radio broadcast of Maurice Jarre’s score to Roland Petit’s ballet, Notre Dame de Paris. He will conduct productions of Giselle and La Bayadère for their 2022-23 season. 

Kutik, a native of Minsk, Belarus, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five, with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990. In 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert. Kutik’s additional releases on Marquis include his most recent album, The Death of Juliet and Other Tales. 

Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, will go on sale on May 9. For details, visit: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com. 

MOSSO sponsors (to date) include: The Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation. 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, have announced a summer concert series of three programs, two in Springfield Symphony Hall and the third, an outdoor brass quintet program, in Forest Park in Springfield.

According to MOSSO Chair Beth Welty, “our musicians are performing concerts in April and May in Symphony Hall because the Springfield Symphony Orchestra was mandated to produce those concerts by the NLRB. But, although the musicians have been in negotiation with the SSO since late 2019, our community has not yet had a steady series of professional-quality, live orchestra programs. MOSSO is here to provide that music.

She added that “there has not been an ongoing summer pops series since the SSO performed in Westfield’s Stanley Park some 20 years ago.”

On Thursday, June 23, MOSSO will celebrate the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and others. Broadway conductor Tim Stella (of The Phantom of the Opera and Hello, Dolly!) will lead the program, joined by some major Broadway stars. The program will be announced later this month.

On Thursday, July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes will return to Springfield to conduct a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by a guest soloist. This will be a benefit concert for MOSSO, so that the nonprofit organization can continue to deliver professional symphonic music to Greater Springfield and Western Mass. The program will be announced later this month.

Tickets for both Symphony Hall concerts will go on sale on May 9. To get on the mailing list for information on these programs, visit springfieldsymphonymusicians.com.

On Saturday, Aug. 13 (rain date: Sunday, Aug. 14), a MOSSO brass quintet will perform a free concert at Camp Star Angelina on Trafton Road in Forest Park. This concert will be produced for MOSSO by Bing Productions. No tickets are required.

MOSSO thanks the office of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Amanda Spear-Purchase and the staff of Springfield Symphony Hall, and the following sponsors (to date) of the Symphony Hall performances: the Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and the Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & the CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation (which is underwriting tickets for music students). In addition, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra donated funds to their MOSSO colleagues, which will be used for these concerts.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the not-for-profit organization also known as MOSSO, has engaged a management team to assist in producing live classical-music concerts for Greater Springfield and Western Mass.

MOSSO Chair Beth Welty (who will also serve as MOSSO’s interim librarian) announced that Douglas Evans, former CEO at the Bushnell in Hartford, Conn., will serve as management consultant. Mark Auerbach, an area public-relations consultant who was the Marketing director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra from 1982 to 1985, will serve as public-relations and marketing consultant. Northampton- and Hartford-based development specialist Nancy Wheeler of WheelerConnect will work with MOSSO as a major-gifts consultant. And Gregory Jones, who has worked in concert production with artists including Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan, will coordinate productions.

Welty added that Sarah Sutherland, a MOSSO horn player with a mathematics and statistics degree, will be MOSSO’s finance director, and Lauren Winter, MOSSO’s principal horn player, will coordinate box-office operations and personnel. Matthew Anderson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in composition from the Hartt School and an MBA from the University of Hartford, will work in production.

“With a successful concert last fall in Symphony Hall, chamber-music performances in Westfield and Longmeadow, and the upcoming MOSSO’s Virtuosos concert in Symphony Hall on March 26, we are building our performance schedule,” said Welty, adding that MOSSO will return to Symphony Hall in June with a tribute to the late Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. “We are planning to announce a robust season for the summer and 2022-23. With a management team in place, a strategic plan, and development efforts, we are now poised to bring live classical music to our audiences.”

Daily News

 

WESTFIELD — The Westfield Athenaeum continues its three-concert chamber music series on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m., with Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, known as MOSSO, providing the music. A woodwind quintet of MOSSO musicians will be showcased, and Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders.

 

Ann Bobo, principal flute, and Nancy Dimock, principal oboe, will be joined by their colleagues Ian Greitzer, clarinetist, Ron Haroutunian, bassoonist, and horn player Robert Marlatt, in a program that includes: Franz Danzi’s Quintet in B-Flat, Op.56, No. 1; Hedwige Chretien’s Wind Quintet; Darius Milhaud La Cheminée du roi René and Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite.

 

The MOSSO season at The Westfield Athenaeum opens March 10, with the Aryaloka Quartet, Violinists Mark Latham and Beth Welty, violist Noralee Walker, and cellist Sandi-Jo Malmon performing William Grant Still’s Lyric String Quartet; Charles Ives’ String Quartet #1 Op.57 “From The Salvation Army: A Revival Service”; Beethoven’s String Quartet in C major, op. 59 #3; and an additional piece to be announced at the performance. The season will conclude with a concert on May 19, with a program to be announced soon.

 

“We’re thrilled to bring classical music back to downtown Westfield,” said McLain, “and we are glad that the musicians of MOSSO have chosen to partner with us to make this kind of music programming available.”

 

Tickets for the concert, $20, must be purchased in advance at The Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at https://www.westath.org/. Audience members will be required to wear masks.

MOSSO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which is not a subsidiary of nor affiliated with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Inc. MOSSO was organized by the musicians this year to produce and perform concerts in Greater Springfield and Western Massachusetts, and to date, they have presented their musicians in pop-up concerts throughout the area, performances with local ensembles including the Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival; a full orchestral performance with Maestro Kevin Rhodes in Springfield’s Symphony Hall; and the recent series of chamber ensemble concerts in Longmeadow. For further information about MOSSO’s programs, visit MOSSO at SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com, or find MOSSO on Facebook at Facebook.com/mossomusicians.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — The Westfield Athenaeum will present a three-concert chamber music series beginning Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m., with Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO) providing the music. MOSSO violinist Beth Welty is bringing her ensemble, the Aryaloka Quartet, to the Athenaeum to kick off the series. Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders.

Violinists Mark Latham and Beth Welty, violist Noralee Walker, and cellist Sandi-Jo Malmon will perform William Grant Still’s Lyric String Quartet, Charles Ives’ String Quartet #1 Op. 57 “From the Salvation Army: A Revival Service,” Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 #3; and an additional piece to be announced at the performance.

“We’re thrilled to bring classical music back to downtown Westfield, and we look forward to working with MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, to make that happen,” McLain said. Two additional concerts are planned for Thursday, April 14 and Thursday, May 12.

“The members of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra have fond memories of their many summer performances at Stanley Park, and we’re glad to return to Westfield and the Westfield Athenaeum,” Welty said. “We chose an eclectic program to open our Westfield season, including a classic by Beethoven; a work from a major 20th-century New England composer, Charles Ives; a work from an important African-American composer, William Grant Still; and a contemporary selection that most audience members will know.”

Tickets for the concert cost $20 must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at www.westath.org. Audience members will be required to wear masks.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO) are the recipients of a $1,000 Partner-In-Spirit grant from Music for Life International, according to the foundation’s artistic director, George Mathew. The grant, according to MOSSO chair Beth Welty, was used to subsidize a series of three outreach concerts in Longmeadow during the holiday season.

According to Mathew, who was familiar with musical activity in Springfield from his student days at Amherst College and subsequent academic roles at Amherst and Mount Holyoke College, “we hope this initial grant will, in some small way, help with the holiday concerts that you are all so inspiringly presenting to your community in Springfield and Western Massachusetts during this period of difficulty.” Mathew added that Music for Life International is committed to human rights and social impact through music. For details on its innovative programs and initiatives, visit music4lifeinternational.org.

“We are overwhelmed by the public support and generosity of music lovers in Greater Springfield and Western Massachusetts,” Welty said, “and we appreciate Music for Life International’s commitment to delivering professional music to communities who benefit from live performances during these challenging times.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO) received a $10,000 donation pledge from their counterparts at the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

According to Beth Welty, a violinist and MOSSO co-founder, “James Markey, BSO trombonist and chair of the BSO players’ committee, informed us that this gift is being sent ‘with sincere and heartfelt support.’ We are deeply moved and grateful for this wonderful gesture of solidarity from our fellow musicians in Boston.”

Welty added, “the BSO musicians are giving this gift not just to MOSSO, but to all of our audience members here in Western Massachusetts. They know how vital our presence is for the economic and cultural well-being of our community — just as theirs is for the Boston area.”

According to principal trumpeter Thomas Bergeron, another MOSSO co-founder, “in addition to this generous donation from the BSO musicians, MOSSO has received $43,000 from over 130 donors since September, sending a clear message that our audience wishes to see and hear SSO musicians return to Symphony Hall. All of the money we have raised will be used to present live music in Western Massachusetts, including upcoming holiday brass quintet concerts.”

Miho Matsuno, a violinist and another MOSSO co-founder, explained that the musicians founded MOSSO earlier this year in response to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s failure to schedule any concerts for the 2021-22 season.

“The Springfield Symphony Orchestra last performed live in Symphony Hall in March 2020,” Matsuno noted. “With no agreement in place between the SSO board and the musicians, no executive director, no music director, and no concerts planned, the musicians formed MOSSO, a nonprofit organization, to produce live classical music concerts. We’ve received tremendous community support and have been gratified by the enthusiastic response of our audiences. The encouragement of both community leaders and music lovers has bolstered our resolve to continue to program and perform concerts.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO) will continue to produce professional classical-music concerts for the audiences of Western Mass., following the success of their Oct. 15 concert with Maestro Kevin Rhodes in Springfield Symphony Hall.

“Coming Home: A Symphonic Reunion” filled the COVID-adjusted capacity of Symphony Hall with 1,300 audience members and reached thousands of additional people nationwide through a livestream, made possible with the support of the city of Springfield, the Music Performance Trust Fund, the American Federation of Musicians, the office of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Amanda Spear-Purchase and the staff of Symphony Hall, benefactor Lyman Wood, and lovers of classical music from throughout the Pioneer Valley, Connecticut, and beyond. Their financial and in-kind support allowed all audience members to attend or livestream the performance for free. The audience also included scores of students and families invited from the Community Music School of Springfield.

“I have to say something about our incredible patrons who filled Symphony Hall,” Rhodes said. “While incredible enthusiasm from the audience was a constant feature of every performance I’ve had the pleasure to conduct in Springfield in 20 years, the unbridled passion and love shown to the musicians and the music were completely unprecedented.

“This concert was entirely produced by MOSSO,” he added. “In order to accomplish this amazing feat, the musicians had to learn an incredible number of new tasks and skills in concert production. They collaborated with numerous city departments and businesses; managed finances; solicited grants, sponsorships, and donations; marketed and promoted the concert … all within six weeks time.”

Rhodes emphasized that the reason they did this “was not to save their own jobs in Springfield, but rather, because of the love and passion they feel for classical music and our audiences. This is — in addition to the most committed belief in the mission, value, and power of live music, and the importance of being a positive force in a community standing for excellence and joy — what our musicians demonstrate every time they walk on stage.”

According to longtime Assistant Concertmistress Marsha Harbison, donations to MOSSO continue to arrive. “As of October 25, MOSSO has received over $40,000 in contributions from over 120 individual donors in the area. This money will be used to produce additional MOSSO events, ensuring that professional classical and symphonic music continues to be a part of Springfield’s cultural identity.” Harbison added that MOSSO recently received its nonprofit 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS.

Martin Kluger, principal timpanist, added that “MOSSO does not wish to be a rival or competitor to the Springfield Symphony Orchestra,” and said the musicians are hopeful that the SSO will schedule concerts for a 2021-22 season while working toward an agreement with the musicians and Rhodes.

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