The Journal Gazette
Thursday, July 08, 2021 1:00 am

Local musicians to take spotlight

Philharmonic to feature legendary composers in next season

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Legendary composers and key local musicians will be in the spotlight when Fort Wayne Philharmonic launches its next season in October.

“For the 2021-2022 season, as we emerge from the suspension of our seasons due to the worldwide pandemic, I will be featuring as many Philharmonic musicians as possible as soloists on the Masterworks Series,” music director Andrew Constantine said in a news release.

Featured performers are slated to include principal flute Luke Fitzpatrick; violinists Violetta Todorova, Christine Chon, Yana Bourkova-Morunov, Tim Tan and Betsy Gephart; principal cello Andre Gaskins; principal tuba Chance Trottman-Huiet; and percussionists Alison Chorn and Eric Schweikert.

Highlights of the season, unveiled to The Journal Gazette, include Masterworks Series concerts of work by Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Dmitri Shostakovich.

The season opens Oct. 2 with “Beethoven's Eroica,” previously slated for the 2020-21 season. Pianist Richard Goode will join the Philharmonic for the “All Mozart” program Jan. 29. “Constantine Conducts Shostakovich” is scheduled for March 19.

Also on the Masterworks calendar is “The Rach 2” on Oct. 23, “John Williams and Dvorak” on Feb. 19 and “Tchaikovsky's 5th” on April 9.

The Philharmonic collaborates with Fort Wayne Ballet on May 14 for a Masterworks performance featuring excerpts from Sergei Prokofiev's “Romeo and Juliet.”

The orchestra's Pops Series includes “Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies” on Oct. 9 with four vocalists joining the Philharmonic. On Nov. 6, the Queen of Soul will be honored with “Aretha: A Tribute” featuring guests Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw in a concert originally planned for the 2020-21 season.

“Music of the Beatles: Classical Mystery Tour” will take place Feb. 5, and the 90th birthday of famed movie composer John Williams will be marked March 26 (his birthday is Feb. 8) with a concert of memorable scores from movies such as “Star Wars,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jaws” and “Jurassic Park.”

Holiday Pops returns Dec. 10, 11, 18 and 19. There will also be a number of ensemble performances, youth orchestra concerts and other events yet to be announced.

All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd. Holiday Pops also has 2 p.m. concerts on Dec. 11, 18 and 19.

Subscriptions go on sale July 14, and individual tickets will be available in mid-August at the ArtsTix Community Box Office in Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St., online at and by phone at 260-422-4226. For more information and ticket information, go to

As part of its summer season, Fort Wayne Philharmonic is offering various free ensemble concerts across the region starting today.

A Pop-Up Series will start at the James Cultural Plaza, 208 W. 7th St. in Auburn, with the Freimann Quartet and Wind Quintet today. It continues Friday with the Calhoun Brass Quintet and Harrison String Quintet; Aug. 6 with Wayne Street Strings; and Aug. 7 with Central Winds. All the plaza concerts begin at 8 p.m.

Live at Lunch at Sweetwater Sound, 5501 U.S. 30 W., starts July 23 with the Chamber Orchestra. The Wind Quintet will perform Aug. 4; the Calhoun Brass Quintet on Aug. 11; and Freimann Quartet on Aug. 13. All Live at Lunch concerts begin at noon.

The orchestra is launching a new program with the wind and brass groups, “Coffee with the Phil,” at Crescendo Coffee & More, 1806 Bluffton Road, at 10 a.m. July 21, Aug. 3 and Aug. 11.

The Freimann Quartet will perform at noon Aug. 3 under the rotunda of the Allen County Courthouse, 715 S. Calhoun St. Note that cameras and cellphones are not allowed inside the courthouse.

Ensembles will also perform at care facilities throughout the area this summer through a partnership with Audiences Unlimited.

After more than a year of negotiations and months of player furloughs, the Philharmonic and its musicians reached a contract agreement in May that allows for summer concerts and a 2021-22 season. It began its summer season June 25 with the first of its “Patriotic Pops” concerts.

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