In the winter and spring of his second season as Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Grammy-winning conductor Fabio Luisi conducts and records Brahms’s Second Symphony in a just-announced series of three free performances over two days in February (Feb 23–24), and helms a concert version of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin featuring baritone Étienne Dupuis and soprano Nicole Car (April 1–5). The orchestra’s exploration of American music continues with the Dallas premiere of the DSO-co-commissioned Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This Kiss to the Whole World!) by Bruce AdolpheAdolphus Hailstork’s Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute, Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed; and William Grant Still’s Poem for Orchestra. Other highlights include DSO Principal Clarinet Gregory Raden and Principal Bassoon Ted Soluri performing the Duett-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon with String Orchestra and Harp by Richard Strauss, of whose music Luisi is a world-renowned interpreter (April 8–10); the Dallas Symphony Chorus joining the orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (May 12–15); and the Symphony No. 4 of Franz Schmidt, a composer whose works Luisi has long championed and extensively recorded (Jan 20–23). Luisi’s performances with the Dallas Symphony are available again this season—generally within a week of the original performance—through the Next Stage Digital Concert Series. Recorded performances can be accessed via the DSO’s website for $10/concert or $125 season pass. 
Following fall performances of Brahms’s First Symphony, which was recorded for the future release of a complete set of Brahms Symphonies, in February Luisi and the orchestra give three newly announced free performances of the composer’s Second Symphony, which will again be recorded for the collection. Two other newly announced performances also take place in the coming months: Luisi exchanges his baton for a piano to play Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne for violin and piano with DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr, in a chamber music program that features 21 more of the orchestra’s musicians in various configurations (Feb 28); and a free community concert of popular favorites by Johann StraussRossini and others will be performed by Luisi and the orchestra at Fair Park Music Hall, the DSO’s home prior to their move to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in 1989 (March 2).
One of the world’s most distinguished opera conductors, Luisi has pledged to make opera-in-concert performances a centerpiece of every season. This spring he and the orchestra will present a semi-staged full performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, with baritone Étienne Dupuis and soprano Nicole Car making their DSO debuts as the title character and his never-to-be lover. After the orchestra’s performance of Salome in February 2020, Classical Voice North America raved: “The Dallas Symphony Orchestra played magnificently under Luisi’s experienced hands. … The power and presence of the orchestra and the excellence of the singers kept this listener riveted from beginning to end.”
Exploring American music in all of its diversity has been a significant part of Luisi’s intention since the beginning of his tenure, something particularly evident in this season’s programming. The conductor’s first performances of the new year will feature Adolphus Hailstork’s Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed, written in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and performed on the weekend before the holiday commemorating the civil rights leader’s life and work. Luisi’s February performances feature an encore performance of a piece he conducted in Dallas’s 2019 SOLUNA Festival: William Grant Still’s Poem for Orchestra, written in 1944 to imagine the world’s spiritual rebirth after a time of severe darkness and desolation. Finally, the conductor’s last concerts of the DSO season open with the Dallas premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt! (This Kiss to the Whole World!), co-commissioned by the DSO and Colorado’s Bravo! Vail summer festival, and given its world premiere by Luisi and the DSO at the festival last July. Adolphe was specifically commissioned to write a companion piece for the other work on the program, Beethoven’s stirring Ninth Symphony, for which the orchestra is joined by soprano Angel Blue, mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, tenor Issachah Savage, and bass Soloman Howard, all making their DSO debuts, and the Dallas Symphony Chorus under the direction of Joshua Habermann, bringing Luisi’s DSO season to a rousing conclusion.
A trio of celebrated soloists will also join the DSO for concerts this winter under Luisi’s baton. Brahms’s First Piano Concerto features Grammy-winning Russian piano virtuoso Daniil Trifonov – “without question the most astounding pianist of our age” (The Times of London) (Jan 20–23). Violinist James Ehnes, a former DSO Artist-in-Residence called by The Times “a violinist in a class of his own,” performs Elgar’s Violin Concerto (Jan 13–14); and violinist Daishin Kashimoto, first concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2009, makes his DSO debut with Bruch’s G-minor Violin Concerto (Feb 17–19).
This past fall saw two television broadcasts featuring Luisi and the DSO. The first, seen on PBS stations, documented an event in spring of 2021 in which members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra went to Dallas for a week to combine forces with the DSO under Luisi’s direction and perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. This unprecedented collaboration benefitted the MET Orchestra Musicians Fund and the Dallas-Fort Worth Musicians COVID-19 Relief Fund and marked the first time many of the non-DSO musicians had the opportunity to perform for a live audience since the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020. The Dallas Morning News hailed the performance as a “sonic extravaganza” and full of “dazzling excitement.” Also broadcast last fall, on Bloomberg TV, was the “Concert of Remembrance,” a performance by Luisi and the DSO of Mozart’s Requiem, dedicated to the memory of all the lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic.