Robert Franz

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Robert Franz at the Windsor Symphony Orchestra
Robert Franz at the The Art Gallery of Windsor
Robert Franz at the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and The Art Gallery of Windsor.
Photos: Colin Sharpe
In his fifth season as Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Robert Franz continues to adhere to the philosophy of building partnerships between musical entities.
This season, the orchestra will celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with a chorus of more than 150 voices and the world premiere of Canadian composer Jordan Pal’s Fallen. The orchestra also will celebrate the city of Windsor’s 125th anniversary with a joint presentation of Brahm’s Haydn Variations with the poet laureate of Windsor, Marty Gervais and friends celebrating the rich history of the city. Additional highlights include their third concert opera with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, and acclaimed Canadian pianist Alain LeFevre will join the orchestra for Andre Mathieu’s Rhapsodie Romantique. In keeping with the celebration of milestones, the orchestra will play a program of nature-inspired works at the new visitor’s center of the Point Pelee National Park to mark its 100th anniversary. The WSO will complete its Bach Brandenburg cycle with Concerti No. 5 and No. 6, along with works by three of Bach’s sons.
The pops season opens with a Star Wars “Name That Tune” contest and ends with the Canadian Brass joining the orchestra for the first time in many years. As always, Franz and the orchestra plan some surprises for patrons this year.
The WSO continues to expand its educational opportunities with high school offerings that include side-by-side experiences for ensembles attending its concerts. The entire core of the WSO will reach out to its youngest audience members with appearances at their elementary schools. These two initiatives allow Franz and the WSO to cater programs to the specific needs of each student population. In addition, adults again will have the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal on stage and then move into the hall to hear a performance of the same work. This “inside out” view of the orchestra offers an enhanced experience for both the performers and audience members.