Announcing the 2022-2023 ASO Season!

Date: Mar 31, 2022


Media Contact: Jonathan Eifert

Announcing the 2022/2023 Season of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra – ‘Unity Through Music’

Featuring Three Premieres, a Spotlight on Underrepresented Composers, Hallmarks of the Classical Canon, Plus a Celebration of John Williams’ 90th Birthday, and Disney Classics

ALLENTOWN, PA – The Allentown Symphony Orchestra announces its 72nd season, 2022-2023, embracing the theme of “Unity Through Music” featuring favorites of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Bernstein and more, alongside “deserving to be heard” works and three premieres – two by living composers and one, surprisingly, by Vaughan Williams.

Since 1995, the Allentown Symphony, Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry, and audiences from the Lehigh Valley have enjoyed seasons filled with favorites and new discoveries. This season is no exception and continues to deliver outstanding symphonic concerts of classical and pops music to this region.

“I believe concerts should be fun and yet also inspirational,” says Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry, commenting on the 22-23 season. “I feel that the connections made through this music should widen our view of the world and that the music can help bring us all closer together.” 

This theme of unity is expressed through the inclusion of works not often heard, such as music of William Grant Still, Lili Boulanger, Germaine Tailleferre, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, all of whom are equally impressive as composers in the standard classical canon. Also committed to showcasing premieres by living composers, this season integrates both a world premiere by Allentown Symphony Composer-in-Residence Chris Rogerson and a Pennsylvania premiere by Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian. Further, there is a special Lehigh Valley premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5, never having been previously performed live in this region.

Opening Weekend (October 15 & 16) showcases Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with Eric Lu (first prize winner of the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition), and the luxuriant Symphonic Dances of Rachmaninoff that originally premiered in Pennsylvania with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Opening these concerts will be Germaine Tailleferre’s energetic and catchy Overture for Orchestra composed in 1932. Tailleferre was the only female member of the group of French composers known as “The Six” and was a well-respected composer throughout her long life.

Emphasizing the unique place in history held by the “The Greatest Generation”, hear music from the World War II years (November 12 & 13, Veterans Day weekend) including Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 5. Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, most notably heard on Broadway’s Fiddler on the Roof production, joins the Allentown Symphony in Barber’s Violin Concerto. Closing the program and adding further variety to the concert will be Leonard Bernstein’s “Three Dance Episodes” from his hit musical On the Town.

Dvořák’s love letter to America, the “New World” Symphony (February 11 & 12), is coupled with the Pennsylvania premiere of a flute concerto (by Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian) incorporating different types of flute playing from around the world. Celebrated Philadelphia flutist Mimi Stillman takes the stage. The concert features William Grant Still's Ennanga written for African harp, strings, and piano, showing the influence of American spirituals on Dvořák as he wrote his "New World" Symphony that anchors this program.

A weekend of French music (March 11 & 12), Ravel’s sensuous Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 is presented as “one of the most beautiful products of all French music” (according to Stravinsky). A world premiere is featured by ASO’s composer-in-residence Chris Rogerson, plus two exquisite, Ravel-like pieces by the too short-lived Lili Boulanger – the sister of the famed pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, who taught some of the most significant classical artists of the 20th century. The Orchestra will be joined by the Allentown Symphony Chorus on both the world premiere and Daphnis et Chloé.

Concluding the classical season, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony roars (April 15 & 16) with the much anticipated appearance of Leonard Fu, 2022 first prize winner of the Schadt String Competition; and a piece by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, an English composer of African heritage who studied with Edward Elgar and has a similar musical language.

The lively pops series, jointly led by Ms. Wittry and Associate/Pops Conductor Ronald Demkee, displays the best light-hearted symphonic music this season including music of Broadway, Hollywood, Holiday hits, Dave Brubeck, John Williams, and Disney. Opening Night offers “From Broadway to Hollywood” as Richard Glazier (seen on PBS and Turner Classics) plays and presents classic coast-to-coast showstoppers, featuring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (September 24). 

Holiday Pops returns again with a spectacular concert of seasonal music for the whole family with sparkling vocalists, full choir, and Santa Claus (December 17). The Brubeck Brothers swing in the new year. Chris and Dan play the classics of their father Dave Brubeck: “Take 5” and more (January 21). 

Saluting John Williams for his 90th birthday, listen to his magical music that has thrilled for five decades such as Star Wars and more (May 6). Closing out the season, experience the Disney magic that has enchanted generations with the virtuosity of the Allentown Symphony live, in-concert (July 15).

More information and subscription packages are available at, or call the Box Office at 610.432.6715. Single tickets go on sale in August.

Diane Wittry, conductor

Opening Weekend

Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 7:30pm 
Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 2:00pm 
Eric Lu, piano

TAILLEFERRE Overture for Orchestra 
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 
RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances 

Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 7:30pm 
Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 2:00pm 
Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin 

BARBER Violin Concerto
BERNSTEIN On the Town, "Three Dance Episodes"

Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 2:00pm 
Mimi Stillman, flute; Francis Duffy, harp 

ZHOU TIAN Flute Concerto
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 “New World” 

Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 2:00pm 
Allentown Symphony Chorus 

BOULANGER Of a Spring Morning 
BOULANGER Of a Sad Evening 
RAVEL Rapsodie espagnole 
CHRIS ROGERSON world premiere for Orchestra & Chorus 
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2 

Season Finale

Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 2:00pm
Leonard Fu, violin (2022 Schadt Competition Winner) 

COLERIDGE-TAYLOR “The Song of Hiawatha” Overture 
ELGAR Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4


Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 7:30pm 
Ronald Demkee, conductor
Richard Glazier, piano
Michael Andrew & Natalie Cordone, vocalists 

The greatest songs from the greatest musicals from Broadway to Hollywood and stops in-between! Lots of Gershwin and much more in this bi-coastal celebration featuring Richard Glazier, seen on PBS and Turner Classic Movies. Richard performs, as well as shares stories and movie highlights! 

Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 7:30pm 
Diane Wittry, conductor 

It’s Allentown’s newest holiday musical tradition. Share it with family and friends and thrill to the spectacle of the season. It’s a sparkling celebration of carols, classics, sing-alongs and more! (And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus.)

Saturday, January 21, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Diane Wittry, conductor

Ring in the new year with the Brubeck Brothers – Chris and Dan – as they join the Allentown Symphony to play the classics of their father Dave Brubeck. “Take 5” and more.

Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Diane Wittry, conductor

The music of John Williams has transported us beyond our imagination. To new worlds. Through heart-pounding adventures. Be there when the Allentown Symphony performs all your John Williams favorites – Star Wars and more! 

Saturday, July 15, 2023 at 7:30pm 
Ronald Demkee, conductor
Vocalists to be announced 

MAGICAL. This new Disney in Concert presentation will be an unforgettable musical adventure! The ASO will be joined on stage with stellar Broadway vocalists for a magical celebration that includes selections from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tangled, Frozen, Coco, Moana and more!


ASO Family Concert

Saturday February 25, 2023 at 2:00pm 
Diane Wittry, conductor 

A full symphony orchestra - and so many instruments! What is the sound particular to each instrument? How do they make that glorious sound? And what makes it so magical when they all play together? That’s the thrill of the orchestra – for kids of every age – even adults! 

Repertory Dance Theater’s NUTCRACKER
Tchaikovsky with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 2:00pm 
Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 2:00pm 
Ronald Demkee, conductor 

Be a part of RDT’s 35th Nutcracker production! Professional guest artists are joined by a cast of 100 dancers with Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed live by the ASO. 



Operating the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO), El Sistema Lehigh Valley (ESLV) and owner/operator of Miller Symphony Hall, the ASA is one of the region’s premier arts organizations.

Each year, the ASO performs more than 20 classical, pops, educational, and family concerts. In 2014 and again in 2017, the orchestra received the national American Prize for “orchestral excellence.”  With passion and finesse, the ASO, led by Music Director & Conductor Diane Wittry, plays time-honored masterworks, newly commissioned world premieres, and intriguing repertoire, including works by prominent new composers.

Exciting world-class artists that have performed with the ASO include Midori, Emanuel Ax, Angela Meade, and Peter Serkin, as well as jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and Broadway vocalist Christiane Noll. The orchestra’s classically trained musicians include players from the major urban centers of New York, Baltimore-D.C., and Philadelphia.

Music Director Diane Wittry is known for her innovative programming style, using video, dancers, subtitles, and other visuals that give her concerts a sense of occasion. She has been a stellar advocate for music education outreach for all ages and skill levels. 

Lehigh Valley native Ron Demkee serves as the ASO’s Associate/Pops Conductor. The two previous ASO Music Directors were Donald Voorhees, the distinguished conductor of the studio orchestra for NBC’s Emmy-award-winning “The Bell Telephone Hour,” and William Smith, Assistant Conductor to the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy.

The ASO has received music commissioning grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and from the League of American Orchestras in support of its El Sistema-inspired program for at-risk youth. The ASA also annually hosts the National Schadt String Competition, which attracts top young performers from all over the world.

As it has for the last 71 years, the ASO continues its pursuit of excellence with passion, keeping alive the legacy of masterworks while bringing the works of modern masters to the concert stage for the entire community.