After a twenty-month pandemic-induced hiatus, the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the stage and opens its 73rd season Sunday, November 14, 3:00 p.m. at Swampscott High School when Music Director Robert Lehmann conducts a program that features Beethoven’s heralded Symphony No. 5.
“Little did we know, when we played our last concert on March 1, 2020, that we would be unable to play live music together for almost two years,” said Lehmann, who has led the NSPO since 1998. Lehmann chose the Beethoven 5th Symphony and Sergie Prokofiev’s “Firebird” Orchestral Suite to symbolize the return to live performance.
“These works exemplify rebirth, regeneration, and the celebration of all that we have missed,” said Lehmann. “The Firebird paints colorful musical imagery of the mythical Firebird rising from the ashes to vanquish the forces of evil. Meanwhile, Beethoven’s 5th might be the world’s most recognized piece of classical music. From its famous opening, the Beethoven 5th is a triumphal celebration of light, optimism, and joy.”
The concert will open with Eduard Lalo’s Prelude to the ballet “Namouna” in tribute to longtime NSPO violinist Marcia Jones, who died earlier this year. “Marcia was a passionate and dedicated member of the NSPO for more than 50 years, a charismatic and dear person greatly missed by her NSPO family. ‘Namouna’ was one of her favorite works.”
Tickets will be available at the door for $30, $25 for Seniors and students, and children 12 and under are admitted free. Advance purchase is available through the Orchestra’s website www.nspo.org.
In compliance with local regulations and the practice of similarly-situated organizations, the NSPO requires all patrons attending the concert present proof of a Covid-19 vaccination, or proof of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to the concert. Patrons will be required to wear masks and socially distance in the auditorium.
Lehmann and his musicians are excited about their return. “The pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the performing arts, which depend on in-person collaboration and interaction to do what we do. We can’t wait to be together as an Orchestra and play our music once again,” he said.