by Stephanie Manning
The opening of a concert season is always a festive occasion, and there’s a lot to celebrate this year for the Akron Symphony. “We’ve actually emerged from the pandemic stronger in a lot of ways than we went into it,” music director Christopher Wilkins said in a recent interview. On Saturday, November 13 at 8:00 pm, the orchestra will return to E.J. Thomas Hall with a program of works by Dvořák, Perry, Ellington, Price, and Beethoven.
Over the past year, the Symphony’s “Interlude Season” kept the ensemble playing while their main concert hall was shuttered. “It was a big success, because we did a lot of things we hadn’t done before,” Wilkins said. “We partnered with a lot of new organizations, we got into the neighborhoods more, and we played in small groups which meant different repertoire, which was a good thing.”
Among the ASO’s cancellations in 2020 was a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in celebration of the composer’s 250th anniversary year. But that’s not the only reason the orchestra will mark its return with this iconic symphony.