“It’s a few weeks before the opening of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s classical season,” writes María Cortés González in Saturday’s (8/15) El Paso Times (Texas). The orchestra is marking its 85th season in 2015-16, and “will celebrate its anniversary with a gala Friday at the Camino Real hotel…. In planning the season, conductor Bohuslav ‘Bo’ Rattay said he wanted to select pieces that would be fitting for such a milestone…. The opening concert Sept. 18 will include Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring.’ … The season also will bring some familiar faces on stage with the orchestra. Conductor emeritus Gürer Aykal, who led the orchestra from 1992 to 2004, will return for the Oct. 23-24 concerts. The El Paso Brass and soprano Kellie Rumba Rattay will perform with him…. Cellist Zuill Bailey, artistic director of El Paso Pro-Musica, will perform a new piece written for him: ‘Tales of Hemingway,’ a concerto for cello and orchestra [by Michael Daugherty]. The orchestra also will perform the world premiere of Osvaldo Mendoza’s ‘Overture to Victory.’ ” Also planned are symphonies by Dvořák, Beethoven, Mahler, and Saint-Saëns. Rattay also discusses the orchestra’s El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras and after-school Tocando Music Project. (Tocando and similar programs are profiled in the current issue of Symphony magazine.)

Posted August 18, 2015