Princeton Symphony Orchestra announces 2020-21 season

Cellist Pablo Ferrández

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2020-2021 season, which will feature works by composers Sarah Kirkland Snider and Andreia Pinto Correia, and a piece by George Walker, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Additional highlights include performances of Berlioz’ “Symphonie fantastique,” Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite,” symphonies by Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, and multiple works by Tchaikovsky, including his symphony “Manfred” and “Variations on a Rococo Theme.”  

Concertos by Sibelius, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, and Glière will showcase guest artists. Appearing for the first time with the orchestra are violinists Elina Vähälä and Simone Porter, pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, and harpist Alexander Boldachev. Two audience favorites, pianist Inon Barnatan and cellist Pablo Ferrández, will also return for the upcoming season.

The PSO is led by Rossen Milanov. All concerts are performed at Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University. Attendees can choose performances either Saturdays at 8 p.m. or Sundays at 4 p.m.

Inon Barnatan Photo: Marco Borggreve

The PSO’s season-opener September 12-13 features pianist Inon Barnatan performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” The orchestra will also perform “Something for the Dark” by Princeton-based composer Sarah Kirkland Snider. Hector Berlioz’ “Symphonie fantastique” completes the program.

Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández will play Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme” as part of a program conducted by Rossen Milanov October 17-18. The program includes performances of Igor Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella Suite” and W.A. Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40.”

Violinist Elina Vähälä

The November 14-15 concerts feature U.S.-born, Finnish violinist Elina Vähälä, who will perform Jean Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto.” Also on the program is “Ciprés,” a recent work by Portuguese-born composer Andreia Pinto Correia. Modest Mussorgsky’s “Prelude to Khovanshchina,” as completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Igor Stravinsky’s 1919 “Firebird Suite” complete the program.

Ukranian-born, Australian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” January 9-10. The program will also feature George Walker’s “Lyric for Strings,” written while he was a graduate student at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2.”

Harpist Alexander Boldachev

On March 6-7, harp lovers can look forward to hearing Reinhold Glière’s “Harp Concerto” as performed by Russian soloist Alexander Boldachev. Also on the program is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Manfred Symphony in Four Scenes.”

The Beethoven’s Seventh Edward T. Cone concert on May 8-9 completes the season with emerging star violinist Simone Porter performing Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto.” The program includes Jean Sibelius’ “Valse Tristeand” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7.” 

Violinist Simone Porter

Each Sunday classical series concert is preceded by a pre-concert talk hosted by the conductor. Single tickets go on sale this summer, but subscriptions to the six-concert 2020-2021 PSO Classical Series with Saturday and Sunday options are available now. All concerts will take place at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the campus of Princeton University. Single-seat subscriptions are available at $504, $462, $360, $270, $180, and $100 for youth subscriptions (children ages 7-17).

For more information or to order tickets, call (609) 497-0020
or visit

Alexander Gavrylyuk Photo: Marco Borggreve