Tuesday, 29 August 2017 17:09

Classical Music & Jazz 2017-2018 Season Preview

Written by  Emily Claus
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Battle Creek Symphony
The Music Center
450 North Ave., Battle Creek
yourmusiccenter.org, (269) 963-1911

As the oldest symphony in Michigan, the Battle Creek Symphony is known for its artistic collaboration and an ever-expanding variety of shows and concerts. This year’s lineup, bringing in a great selection of classics, includes Arabian Nights and West Side Story.

Arabian Nights, Sept. 30

Downton Abbey, Nov. 18

Messiah, Dec. 9

West Side Story, March 3

Gilmore, May 5


Fontana Chamber Arts
359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo
fontanachamberarts.org, (269) 382-7774

Fontana aims for unique but accessible musical experiences hosted all around Kalamazoo, and this year’s showcase is no different. The 2017-2018 season has some real showstoppers, featuring a number of renowned acts from all over the world, including Grammy-nominated artist Wu Man with the Shanghai Quartet and the legendary pianist Stephen Hough.

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Octet, Oct. 7

Stephen Hough, Nov. 10

New York Polyphony, Dec. 8

Nathan Gunn & Julie Jordan Gunn, Jan. 20

Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet, Feb. 17

Artemis Quartet, April 7


Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts
425 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon
frauenthal.org, (231) 722-9750

A great hub in Muskegon for all things art and culture, the Frauenthal Center is the place to go to see a renowned play or listen to a concerto. Their new season, which was recently announced, promises a fantastic lineup of events. Come out for a classic play like A Raisin in the Sun or for a family fun night with A Disney Christmas — there’s no shortage of options.

My Way, Sept. 15-30

Ravel and Gershwin Piano Concertos, Sept. 29

An Interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Oct. 5

Buster Keaton Film Festival, Oct. 7

The Accidentals, Oct. 27

Fall Into Jazz II Featuring Dave Bennett, Oct. 29

Sweet Dreams & Honky Tonks, Nov. 4

Enigma Variations, Nov. 10

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Nov. 17 - Dec. 3

The Power of Destiny, Nov. 18

A Disney Christmas, Dec. 8

A Celtic Christmas, Dec. 15

German Classics, Jan. 12

Guys on Ice, Jan. 19-27

Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies, Feb. 9

A Raisin in the Sun, Feb. 16-March 3

Winners and Winds, Feb. 18

Classical Music for Everyone: Romantic Nationalism, March 2

What Dreams May Come, March 18

Tango Caliente!, April 27

Spamalot, May 3-6

Masterpieces, May 18

Bewitched!, June 7


The Gilmore
359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 101, Kalamazoo
thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166

If you’re wondering why the following is just a list of names, The Gilmore’s whole deal is showcasing incredibly talented up-and-coming pianists, spanning from the east coast of the United States all the way to Russia. And with performances from award-winning artists like sister duo Christina and Michelle Naughton, this lineup has enough talent to last the whole season.    

Drew Petersen, Sept. 17

Zlata Chochieva, Oct. 15

Christina & Michelle Naughton, Nov. 5

Andrew Tyson, Dec. 3


Grand Rapids Symphony
300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids
grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9541

With no shortage of wonderful events to attend, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s season brings back modern fan-favorites such as the Harry Potter concert series and the music of Star Wars (and Pokémon of course), along with classic symphonies — Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Dvorak, etc. — and timeless shows. Whether you bring the whole family in for a musical trip to Hogwarts or simply have a night out with An American in Paris, there is something here for all.

Bolero, Sept. 15-16

Landslide: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Sept. 22-24

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Sept. 29-30

Sibelius Symphony No. 2, Oct. 6-7

The Baroque Coffee Concert, Oct. 20

Charlie’s Angels, Oct. 20

An American in Paris, Nov. 10-12

The Snowman, Nov. 11

BRAVO!, Nov. 14

Verdi Requiem, Nov. 17-18

Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops, Dec. 14-17

Wolverine Worldwide Holiday Pops Spectacular, Dec. 16

Old National Bank Cirque De Noël, Dec. 21-22

The Romantic Concert: Dvorak & Tchaikovsky, Jan. 5

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions, Jan. 6

All-Tchaikovsky, Jan. 12-13

Blockbuster Broadway, Jan. 26-28

The Planets, Feb. 2-3

Little Red Riding Hood, Feb. 3

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Feb. 9-10

The Classical Coffee Concert, Feb. 16

Classical Concert: Beethoven, Haydn, & Mozart, Feb. 16

Celebration of Soul, Feb. 24

Symphony with Soul, Feb. 24

Prokofiev Violin Concerto, March 2-3

Green Eggs and Ham, March 3

Second City: A Guide to the Symphony, March 16-18

Peter and the Wolf, March 17

A Hero’s Life, March 23-24

The 20th Century Concert, March 30

Nights in the Gardens of Spain, April 13-14

Grand Rapids Symphony featuring Nelson Freire, April 20

Chopin & Dvořák, April 27-28

Gilmore Festival Concert, May 9

Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams, May 11-13

Beethoven’s Ninth, May 18-19


Holland Symphony Orchestra 
96 W. 15th St. #201, Holland
hollandsymphony.org, (616) 796-6780

Since its creation, the Holland Symphony Orchestra has gained a reputation of bringing showstopping performances and lively shows to the community. Under Music Director Johannes Müller-Stosch, the symphony returns for a well anticipated 2017-2018 season, including fan favorites such as Peter and the Wolf, and classics like Beethoven’s World.

Classics Up-Close, Sept. 8

Piano Fest, Sept. 30

Beethoven’s World, Oct. 28

Holiday Concert, Dec. 9

Peter and the Wolf, March 25

A Star Returns, April 27-28


Hope College Great Performance Series
141 E. 12th St., Holland
hope.edu/gps, (616) 395-7860

Prepare to be amazed by lively marionettes, beautiful string quartets and visceral dancing as the Great Performance Series kicks off another fantastic season. The series, which brings groups of all genres and styles to Hope College, is a great opportunity to get out there and experience a variety of acts, all of whom will be performing with everything they’ve got.

Visceral Dance Chicago, Sept. 29

Sphinx Virtuosi, Oct. 20

Mucca Pazza, Nov. 17

Cashore Marionettes, Jan. 19

Parker Quartet, Feb. 16

Dr. Lonnie Smith, March 9


Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo
kalamazoosymphony.com,(269) 349-7759

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra continues its tradition of beloved classics and featured guest performers in this season’s showcase. Enjoy the harmonious sounds of Beethoven and Prokofiev or try something a little less traditional as the R&B group All-4-One joins the lineup. You can even sip on wine or a cocktail as part of the Classics Uncorked and Classics On Tap series that the symphony offers to make the experience that much sweeter.

Sibelius & Tchaikovsky, Sept. 16

Gershwin’s Magic Key, Oct. 8

Bruckner & Williams, Oct. 28

All-4-One, Nov. 4

Brahms & Rachmaninoff, Nov. 11

Music from the Movies with Sara Andon, Dec. 16

Classics Uncorked: Winter Evening, Jan. 26

Classics On Tap: Winter Evening, Jan. 27

Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Feb. 11

Haydn & Beethoven, Feb. 24

Arrival From Sweden - The Music of ABBA, March 3

Leonard Bernstein’s 100th, March 24

Classics Uncorked: Spring Evening, April 20

Classics On Tap: Spring Evening, April 21

Beethoven & Prokofiev, May 19

Disney in Concert: The Jungle Book, May 26


St. Cecilia Music Center
24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
scmc-online.org, (616) 459-2224

This intimate, historic venue in the heart of Grand Rapids is known for its various ongoing series, such as the Acoustic Cafe Series (e.g. Leo Kottke), the Spectacular Jazz Series (e.g. Christian McBride) and the collaborative Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series (e.g. Essential String Trios). Keep your eye on some of these, because the music center only expects the schedule to grow as the year goes on.

Leo Kottke, Oct. 26

Essential String Trios, Nov. 2

Christian McBride, Nov. 16

Brad Mehldau Trio, Nov. 30

Dvorak and Brahms, Jan. 18

Judy Collins, Feb. 1

Gregory Porter, Feb. 22

Kurt Elling, March 22


West Michigan Symphony 
425 W. Western Ave. Ste. 409, Muskegon
westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231

The West Michigan Symphony is known for its intensely involved staff, from music director Scott Speak to every musician in the orchestra. This year, the symphony is bringing another collection of classical performances, including piano concertos performed by Aldo López-Gavilán, as well as hits from Hollywood and a new Christmas show, making for an unforgettable musical season.

Ravel & Gershwin Piano Concertos, Sept. 29

Enigma Variations, Nov. 10

A Celtic Christmas, Dec. 15

Germanic Classics, Jan. 12

Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies, Feb. 9

Classical Music for Everyone: Romantic Nationalism, March 2

Tango Caliente!, April 27

Masterpieces, May 18

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