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Springfield Symphony Orchestra Announces Concerts for 2023-24 Season; Celebrating 80 Years of SSO

SPRINGFIELD —The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has announced its 2023-24 Season, which will open in October and will feature at least six symphonic and two pops performances. The 2023-24 season will celebrate 80 years of the SSO.

Season subscriptions and individual concert tickets will be available soon on the SSO website, Tickets will start at $25.

The season will begin on Saturday, October 14, 2023 with “A Festive 80th Anniversary Year,” featuring guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen, a Taiwanese-American female conductor, and guest soloist, violinist Amaryn Olmeda. Olmeda is a rising star and first prize winner of the audience choice award at the 24th Annual Sphinx Competition, sought after for her bold and expressive performances as a soloist and collaborator. She will perform Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, op.26, G minor.

The second classical concert of the season will be held on Saturday, November 4 with “Heavenly!” – named for performances of Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony No. 41 and Holst’s The Planets – featuring Nicholas Hersh as guest conductor, associate conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Springfield Symphony Chorus.

The first pops concert of the season will be the return of Holiday Pops on Saturday, December 9, titled “Jolly Holiday,” featuring William Waldrop as guest conductor, who conducted the 2022 Holiday Pops; guest vocalist Michael Lynche, an American R&B singer and songwriter who was the fourth place finalist on the ninth season of American Idol; the Springfield Symphony Chorus; and Cantor Elise Barber.

On Saturday, January 13, 2024, the SSO will present “Classics ‘n’ Jazz – A Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration,” featuring Damien Sneed as guest conductor, who is a pianist, vocalist, composer, conductor, producer and arts educator. In recent years, Sneed embarked on a 40-city North American tour, “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”  The concert will feature a mix of classical as well as jazz pieces, including  the world premiere of A Symphonic Homage to The Duke (Duke Ellington Tribute), composed by Sneed.

The second pops concert of the season will be “Havana Nights” on Saturday, February 10, 2024, featuring Cuban and Spanish-infused music with Nick Palmer as guest conductor. The concert will be highlighted by performances by the Mambo Kings and soloist Camille Zamora, who performed during the SSO’s 2022 Holiday Pops.


On Saturday, March 9 will be “Fantasias,” a classical concert that will be highlighted by the Springfield Symphony Chorus’ performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. The concert will also feature Adam Kerry Boyles as guest conductor and Quynh Nguyen as guest pianist, who will perform Chihara’s Piano Concerto Fantasy. Boyles is currently Director of Orchestras at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Assistant Conductor of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

The SSO will present “An American Celebration” on Saturday, April 6, with Peter Boyer as guest conductor and Jeffrey Biegel as guest pianist. Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation whose works have received public performances by more than 200 orchestras. He has conducted performances with orchestras including the Pasadena Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Rhode Island Philharmonic.

The SSO’s final concert of the season will be “Magic and Glory” on Saturday, May 18, 2024, featuring Tania Miller as guest conductor, who also served as guest conductor during the 2022-23 season, and Rachel Barton Pine as violin soloist, who will perform Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor. Pine tours worldwide as a soloist with prestigious orchestras, has an active recording career, and has run the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation since 2001, which provides services and funding to promote classical music education and performances.

In addition to the scheduled six classical and two pops concerts, the SSO will plan to host its second annual Juneteenth celebration in 2024. The inaugural Juneteenth concert was free to the community and featured the Avery Sharpe quartet, the Springfield Symphony Chorus and the Extended Family Choir.

The SSO will also bring back the hosting of educational performances for public school students in the coming season, which have not been held since the COVID pandemic. The SSO received funding from the City of Springfield to expand its educational programming for the community.

According to Paul Lambert, President and CEO of the SSO, “Following our first full season of concerts in 2022-23 since the pandemic, we enter our next season with a diversity of music, guest conductors and featured soloists that rival our just completed season. With our recent labor agreement now in place with our great musicians, we can work collaboratively in attracting new audiences while engaging our long-time subscribers with great Classical and Pops performances.”


The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is the largest Massachusetts symphony outside of Boston. It consists of over 65 musicians from the NE region of the United States and Canada, and holds many performances in a given season – as either the full orchestra or in ensemble formats.