Longmont Symphony Orchestra, or LSO, unveiled its 2023/2024 season, aptly themed "Shoot for the Stars" which aims to elevate concertgoers to new artistic heights by performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and emotive works of the romantic composer, Tchaikovsky.
LSO’s Conductor and Music Director Elliot Moore unveiled intentions that it is a pivotal point in the symphony’s history, reflecting the orchestra’s ambition to mirror the growth and enthusiasm of the community.
"The board is really embracing the future of Longmont and the role that arts, culture and music are going to play as Longmont continues to come into its own,” Moore shared with infectious excitement.
This season represents a significant stride towards that vision. For the first time in 57 years, Moore revealed that all the musicians in the symphony are paid, with the orchestra offering the closest thing to a competitive wage it has ever done.
The journey towards this transformation hasn't been solitary. The supportive board and relentless efforts from Executive Director Laurie Brook and Board President Stevan Kukic have been instrumental in this trajectory.
Moore further disclosed, "What I have at my disposal right now is a board that wants this to go to places that people never thought possible, previously."
Their ambition isn't just to put on a good show, they're working tirelessly to put the arts on the map in Longmont. As they embark on this new journey, the LSO isn't just shooting for the stars, they're aiming to become one, shining brightly in the constellation of Longmont's community.
With his finger on the pulse of Longmont, this season's line-up was curated under Moore’s discerning ear, encapsulating his vision for LSO. His goal for the LSO is to generate awe-inspiring music that thrills music lovers and community members alike.
The Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven is an immense part of Moore's artistic vision. The piece, with its choral and solo vocal parts, requires intricate preparation and coordination among different groups: vocal soloists, orchestra and choir. Moore will work with each group separately, ensuring each understands their individual roles before uniting everyone.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, he explained, is about the journey from life's daily struggles to an elevated state of being. The piece, paired with Vaughan Williams' “Serenade to Music,” brings a sense of joy that resonates in today's post-COVID world, a sentiment echoed by the audience's collective longing for shared experiences.
However, the process of bringing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to life is not only about artistic execution; it's also deeply tied to historical understanding. During Moore’s research, he found amusingly similar challenges faced by conductors over a century ago. With these insights, Moore shaped the orchestra's interpretation of Beethoven's Ninth, turning the performance into a journey of shared exploration and discovery.
Tchaikovsky's struggles with his identity as a gay man during a time when it was socially and politically unacceptable deeply impacted his work. This aspect of the composer's life is something that is still relevant today, especially during Pride Month, and it is also an issue that Russia continues to grapple with.
“I will talk at various venues around town, about the composer's life, a little bit about the music, but mostly about the composer's life, and how their music was impacted by what was happening in their life,” Moore said. “Tchaikovsky, there's so much that can be said about him. But I wanted to first listen to at the end of the day, the big thing with Tchaikovsky is that he was gay."
Moore has meticulously curated a program that reflects Tchaikovsky's struggles and triumphs with the fantasy overture to Romeo and Juliet, a piece that Tchaikovsky revised multiple times, signifying his struggle for perfection. Moore sees this work as a reflection of Tchaikovsky's life, as it represents unrequited love and the impossibility of being with the one he desired.
Each performance sets out to offer a unique, immersive experience that resonates long after the final note is played. Tickets for the 2023/2024 Longmont Symphony Orchestra season, "Shoot for the Stars," will be available starting July 1st on their website.