El Paso Symphony Orchestra - Photo courtesy of EPSO
El Paso Symphony Orchestra - Photo courtesy of EPSO

El Paso Symphony Orchestra to open historic 90th Anniversary Season with tour of the city

On Friday, El Paso Symphony Orchestra (EPSO) officials rolled out their plans as they celebrate a momentous occasion: their  90th anniversary.

The longest continuously running symphony in the Lone Star State, which has been part of downtown El Paso’s art scene since 1930, is not able to perform this fall in the Plaza Theatre. But that is not stopping EPSO, as they plan to go on tour this fall.

Sponsored by TFCU and Bill and Becky Holmes, EPSO’s 90th Anniversary Fall Tour of El Paso consists of eight biweekly concerts, featuring small groups of our musicians, from mid-September through December at outdoor locations throughout the city.

The tour opens on Saturday, September 12 at the Casitas Neighborhood Association at the corner of Mira Hermosa and Mira Grande drives.

The 45-minute, all-Mozart program highlights Assistant Concertmaster Brigid McCarthy (violin); violist Monica Arredondo, Assistant Principal cellist Michael Way; Second Flute Joy Zalkind and Principal Bassoonist Cara Luffey. Future dates and locations to be announced.

Symphony officials ask that all attendees social distance by wearing masks and sitting or standing six-feet apart.

“We hope to bring our community some joy and inspiration in a challenging time,” said Ruth Ellen Jacobson, El Paso Symphony Orchestra Executive Director.

While the coronavirus pandemic have led to the cancellation of EPSO’s September, October and December 2020 at the Plaza Theatr, officials share that they plan to resume their 90th anniversary season in 2021.

The concert programming has been adjusted slightly to provide our community with a meaningful concert season. Further changes may be required.

Our opening concerts on January 22-23 will feature pianist and Gershwin master Kevin Cole performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Second Rhapsody for Piano & Orchestra.  The program will conclude with Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2 and Bolero.

On February 19-20, EPSO plans to collaborate with the UTEP Chorale Union to present Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy.”  The season will conclude on April 23-24 with Rachmaninoff’s Concerto for Piano No. 3, performed by pianist Natasha Paremski, and will culminate with Respighi’s Pines of Rome, highlighting our orchestra.

In addition, officials say that EPSO is planning a gala celebration on Friday, April 9, 2021 at Grace Gardens – located at 6701 Westside Drive.  The evening will trace the 90-year history of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and include dinner and entertainment.

Over 30 violins, painted by El Paso and surrounding area artists including EPSO’s music director, Bohuslav Rattay, will be auctioned throughout the night.

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra is presented with the support of the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For further information, contact EPSO at (915) 532-3376 or email [email protected].