Grand Rapids Symphony broadcasting past shows

Listeners can tune in to Blue Lake Public Radio on Sunday afternoons to hear the Grand Rapids Symphony in a concert performed earlier this season. Courtesy Grand Rapids Symphony

Though the Grand Rapids Symphony has ceased live performances during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will broadcast past shows on Blue Lake Public Radio starting Sunday.

Listeners can tune in to Blue Lake Public Radio on Sunday afternoons to hear the Grand Rapids Symphony in a concert performed earlier this season. The recording was made live and airs unedited, so it’s “almost the same” as attending shows in person DeVos Performance Hall, according to the symphony.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, Blue Lake Public Radio will air the Grand Rapids Symphony’s concert “Prokofiev Triumphant,” part of the 2019-20 Richard and Helen DeVos Classical series, originally performed Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, 2019.

Blue Lake Public Radio is available for listeners at WBLU-FM 88.9 in Grand Rapids and WBLV-FM 90.3 in Muskegon, as well as online.

For Sunday’s broadcast, guest violinist Tai Murray joined the orchestra as soloist for Eduardo Lalo’s “Symphonie espagnole.” Guest conductor JoAnn Falletta also led the orchestra in two short pieces by French composer Lili Boulanger, who composed “D’un soir triste” and “D’un matin de printemps” before her death at age 24 in 1918.

Falletta will lead the Grand Rapids Symphony in Sergei Prokofiev’s “Symphony No. 5” during the broadcast. Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony celebrates the Russian people’s spirit and perseverance through the darkest hours of World War II.

Here’s the rest of the season’s lineup:

April 5 — Shostakovich & Mozart, performed Jan. 10-11, 2020, in DeVos Performance Hall. Pianist Jeffrey Kahane is soloist for Mozart’s magical “Piano Concerto No. 22” with guest conductor Peter Oundjian leading the Grand Rapids Symphony in a Dmitri Shostakovich showpiece, the rebellious “Symphony No. 11: The Year 1905,” and Richard Strauss’ “Serenade for Winds.”

April 12 — “The Glory of the Baroque,” performed Jan. 31 at St. Cecilia Music Center. Julian Wachner, artistic director of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, leads the Grand Rapids Symphony in two well-known works from the Baroque, J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3” and George Frideric Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks,” plus music by French Baroque composers Marin Marais and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

April 19 — “Schubert’s Great,” performed Feb. 14-15 at DeVos Performance Hall. Pianist Inon Barnatan joins the Grand Rapids Symphony to perform “Suspend for Piano and Orchestra” by contemporary composer Andrew Norman, who was born in Grand Rapids. Music Director Marcelo Lehninger also leads the orchestra in Brahms’ “Tragic Overture” and Schubert’s “Symphony No. 9: The Great.”

April 26 — “Beethoven’s Pastoral,” performed March 6-7 at DeVos Performance Hall. Soprano Larisa Martinez joined the orchestra to sing selections from Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “The Amazon Forest,” and Lehninger also leads the Grand Rapids Symphony in Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony No. 6.”

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