2024-2025 Season Announced

Date: Mar 06, 2024

Release Date: 2/14/2024
Contact: Lori Beneyton 610-674-4382 lbeneyton@allentownsymphony.org

2024-2025 Season Announced

Season Highlights

The season opens with Beethoven’s iconic 5th Symphony, who’s memorable 4-note motif recurs throughout the piece.
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue debuted in 1924 and will be no less thrilling as performed by the ASO one hundred years later!
The Classical season finale is Tchaikovsky’s 5th symphony, a cello performance by the 2024 winner of the Schadt String Competition, and the world premiere of a new piece by ASO Composer-in-Residence Clarice Assad.
The acclaimed Pops series opens in October with An Innocent Man – The Music of Billy Joel, featuring greatest hits from his long and storied career.
Night at the Movies – John Williams and More takes a journey through some of the best compositions for the cinema, including music from films such as Star Wars, Schindler’s List, Magnificent 7, Titanic, Avatar, and more.
This year marks the celebration of Miller Symphony Hall’s 125th anniversary, and Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry’s 30th season with the ASO.

Allentown, PA – The Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is thrilled to announce its 2024-2025 season of concerts, the 74th season of the Lehigh Valley’s only professional symphony orchestra. Audiences are invited to Miller Symphony Hall to take in the varied sounds of Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, William Grant Still, film music of John Williams, and the rock and roll of Billy Joel and Chicago. Subscriptions are now available for these exciting productions.

“As we look forward to the Allentown Symphony’s 2024-2025 season, I am excited about the variety of repertoire and guest artists and that we are able to perform this fantastic and exciting music for the Lehigh Valley. Every concert features something special and I hope you will join us for all of them,” said Diane Wittry, Music Director/Conductor of the ASO since 1995. This will be Wittry’s 30th season as Music Director/Conductor, a milestone few conductors achieve with professional orchestras and a testament to her enduring ability to captivate audiences and bring joy to the community.

Allentown Symphony Executive Director Al Jacobsen adds, “We are celebrating milestones this season. Diane’s 30th season also marks the 125th anniversary of Miller Symphony Hall, the last remaining historic theater in downtown Allentown and one of only two in the city. I dare say that there is no other 19th century building that remains downtown.   Its continued vibrancy demonstrates the lasting impact arts and culture have on the region.” Miller Symphony Hall, originally named the Lyric Theatre, opened its doors in 1899 following an extensive renovation that transformed the building from an indoor market to the theatre enjoyed by thousands every year today.

More information and subscription packages are available at MillerSymphonyHall.org, or call the Box Office at 610-432-6715.


Classical Series

Saturday Concerts at 7:30 PM
Sunday Concerts at 2:00 PM

BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH (September 21 & 22, 2024) is the dramatic and unforgettable Season Opener, who’s ominous four-note motif recurs throughout the piece.   The concert also includes an energetic Trumpet Concerto, written in 1950 by Armenian Alexander Artunian with internationally acclaimed Tine Thing Helseth on trumpet; and Overture No. 2 by Emilie Mayer, a prolific German composer of the romantic period. Finally, Argentinian tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger Astor Piazzola is especially known for his nuevo tango compositions.   Libertango is one of his best.

RHAPSODY IN BLUE @ 100 (November 9 & 10, 2024) celebrates George Gershwin’s beloved 1924 concert piece for solo piano and orchestra, which combines elements of both classical music and jazz.  Gershwin’s recognizable rhapsody ushered in the jazz age and continues to thrill audiences 100 years later.  Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer of Ballade, was a British composer of mixed-race who was influence by the music of Mahler and Elgar.   William Grant Still wrote Symphony No. 1 “Afro-American” and was the first African American to conduct a major symphony orchestra, have a symphony performed by a leading orchestra, and have an opera performed on national television.  The concert also includes a Saxophone Concerto is by Billy Childs, a living African American composer, arranger and jazz pianist.  Plus, perennial favorite Simon Mulligan is featured on piano and rising star Steven Banks on saxophone.

MAHLER & WAGNER (February 8 & 9, 2025) takes us deep into the Romantic Period.  Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, compared to his other symphonies, has a smaller orchestra and is shorter in length.  It features a beautiful aria about a child’s view of heaven, which will be sung by soprano Sherezade Panthaki.   Equally compelling is Wagner’s well-known Overture to his opera Tannhauser, which dramatizes the struggle between sacred and profane love.  Rounding out the program is a Concerto for String Orchestra composed by Polish violinist and composer Grazyna Bacevicz.  Most of her works emphasize the violin and this is no exception.

COPLAND’S FANFARE + BRAHMS (March 8 & 9, 2025) brings the rousing, recognizable tones of Fanfare for the Common Man.  The familiar work has been heard in films (Superman, The Patriot), on television, as the introduction for sporting events, dedications, speeches, and has been adapted by many other musicians, including Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Styx, and Manheim Steamroller.  Brahms’ 4th Symphony was also his last.  For all its warmth and beauty, Brahms’ Fourth has an undeniably tragic but captivating character. Although many critics consider it his finest work, with its organic evolution from one melody to the next, Brahms feared it would not be well-received. Happily, he was quite mistaken.  Also on the program is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ dramatic and moving Donna Nobis Pacem featuring the Allentown Symphony Chorus with the orchestra.

TCHAIKOVSKY’S 5th! (April 26 & 27, 2025) is standard repertoire for many orchestras.  It is a cyclical symphony, with a recurring theme heard in all of its four movements and has become one of his most popular works.  With more than 70 works to her credit, Composer-in-Residence Clarice Assad’s compositions are inspired by classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres. The Grammy Award–nominated composer, celebrated pianist, inventive vocalist, and educator is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range.  The World Premiere of her new work is the culmination of her time spent with the ASO.   The concert will be topped off by a performance of a Cello Concerto by the 2024 winner of the Schadt String Competition.

Upcoming Previously Announced Classical Concerts

FROM THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS (March 9 & 10, 2024) In a musical tour of the banks and braes of bonnie Scotland, violinist and 2018 Schadt String Competition Winner Timothy Chooi performs Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy based on traditional folk melodies. The first full scale symphony by a female American Composer was the “Gaelic” Symphony by Amy Beach, who was influenced by Anton Dvořák to incorporate folk music elements in her works.  Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was among the best known of Afro-British composers in London. His Bamboula is a Rhapsodic Dance drawn from African traditions and is sure to inspire you to move.

BEETHOVEN’S NINTH – 2023-24 Season Finale (April 13 & 14, 2024) The “Ode to Joy” speaks to our wish to all get along with our fellow humans. The tune turns up everywhere, but it is best heard the way genius Beethoven imagined but never heard himself due to his tragic deafness. Beethoven’s greatest work has inspired countless others including our own Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry to compose her own “Ode to Joy” Fanfare and for the Allentown Symphony to commission a world premiere by rising star composer Joe Jaxson. Plus hear Florence Price’s tender Andante Cantabile for string orchestra, and Adolphus Hailstork’s Fanfare on “Amazing Grace.”

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Pops Series

Saturday, October 19, 2024, at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

The songs of Billy Joel come to Miller Symphony Hall from Jeans ‘n Classics in Canada, backed up by the ASO and a rock band.  You’ll hear his greatest hits, such as Piano Man, My Life, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Only the Good Die Young, and maybe even…. Allentown!

John Devlin, Conductor
John Meilleur, Lead Vocals
John Regan, Piano

Saturday, December 21, 2024 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

A sell-out every year and now an Allentown holiday music tradition!  Classics, carols, sing-a-longs and plenty of surprises (including a visit from a certain North Pole resident!). Perfect for family, friends, and co-workers. 

Diane Wittry, Conductor

Saturday, January 18, 2025, at 7:30 PM

Nothin’ But the Blues pays tribute to musical legends who sang their way into history including Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey, Louis Armstrong and more. Songs include St. Louis Blues, House of The Rising Sun, and Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home as performed by vocalist Shayna Steele and the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

Chelsea Tipton, Conductor
Shayna Steel, Vocalist
Eric Metzgar, Drummer

Saturday, May 17, 2025, at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

Enjoy some of the best music ever written for the cinema, including Star Wars, Schindler's List and other pieces by John Williams, as well as cinematic music by Elmer Bernstein (Magnificent 7), James Horner (Titanic, Avatar), Enrico Morricone, Marvin Hamlish, and more!

Diane Wittry, Conductor

Saturday, July 12, 2025, at 7:30 PM

Brass Transit is the Premier Chicago Tribute Band. Formed in 2008, Brass Transit tours North America steadily dazzling audiences with flawless performances and spectacular attention to detail in their covers. Get ready to sing along!

Michael Avagliano, Conductor


Upcoming Previously Announced Pops Concerts

Ronald Demkee has served the ASO for 45 years, with 42 years as associate conductor, 45 years playing principal tuba, and 30 years as personnel manager of the orchestra.  He announced his intention to retire at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season, making the July 2024 Elton John concert his last. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024, at 7:30pm

Frank Sinatra gave his swingin' style to song. Ella Fitzgerald brought her beauty and power to every note. Tony DeSare and Capathia Jenkins celebrate the legacy of these legends.

Ronald Demkee, conductor
Capathia Jenkins, vocals
Tony DeSare, vocals


Saturday, July 13, 2024, at 7:30 pm

The songs of Elton John. The soundtrack of five decades. All your favorite memories: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" "Tiny Dancer," "Candle in the Wind, "Your Song," and more. Nearly two dozen Sir Elton standards as conducted by Ronald Demkee in his final Pops performance!

Ronald Demkee, conductor
Craig A. Meyer, vocals

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Jazz Upstairs Series

Spend a splendid evening in the grandeur of Miller Symphony Hall’s intimate Rodale Room.  The perfect spot to take in an evening of jazz, drink in hand, with the sparkling city lights beyond the arched windows. Cash bar and concessions are available on the third floor. Starting in April 2024, patrons will be able to choose their seats when purchasing Jazz Upstairs tickets.  Patrons choose their favorite table and seat in the room, and it will be ready when they arrive.   Advanced ticket purchases for the Jazz Series start at $33 and $38 at the door. 

Note:  These performances do not include the ASO.

Friday, June 21, 2024, at 7:30pm

VIK & Meant2B
Friday, July 19, 2024, at 7:30pm

Friday, August 16, 2024, at 7:30pm

Friday, September 13, 2024, at 7:30pm

Friday, October 25, 2024, at 7:30pm

Friday, November 15, 2024, at 7:30pm

Friday, December 13, 2024, at 7:30pm

Jazz Series continues monthly in 2025. Programs and artists TBD.


Upcoming Previously Announced Jazz Upstairs

Friday, March 15, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Friday, April 19, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Friday, May 17, 2024, at 7:30 PM

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Special Concert Events


Saturday, November 23, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Jim Brickman, the multiple Grammy nominated songwriter and piano sensation is back with his annual holiday tour, a magical evening celebrating music, love, and family.  Join Brickman for this LIVE and joyous concert experience that blends yuletide memories and holiday favorites with his own hit songs such as, “The Gift,” “Sending You a Little Christmas,” “Angel Eyes,” and “If You Believe”.

Note:  This performance does not include the ASO.


Saturday, December 7, 2024, at 2:00 pm
Sunday, December 8, 2024, at 2:00 PM The magic of RDT's Nutcracker brings enchantment to your holidays! Professional guest artists are joined by a cast of 100 dancers with Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed live by the Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
Diane Wittry, conductor

*Note: These performances are not included in the free student tickets offer.

Saturday, February 22, 2025, at 2:00 pm

Based on the principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), this family concert illustrates many parallels between music and the living parts of an ecosystem.  Balance and diversity are just two of the concepts presented through music composed by Mozart, Bach, Copland and others. 

Diane Wittry, Conductor



Upcoming Previously Announced Special Events

ASO 2023-24 Family Concert:   MUSIC IN MOTION – LET’S DANCE
Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 2:00 pm

Led by dancer Sarah Carlson, this sensory-friendly family concert features dance music from many different countries.  Concertgoers of all ages will learn first-hand how the beat of music makes you want to move your body.  From Dvořák to Bizet to Strauss and then a little Benny Goodman, Louis Prima and more, you’ll be moving to the different rhythms just like the dancers on stage.

Diane Wittry, Conductor
Sarah Carlson, Narrator

ASO 2023-24 Chamber Music Series:  NEW CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT
Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 7:00 PM

MOSAIC VARIATIONS for string quartet and guitar is a re-imagining of a work ASO Composer in Residence co-created with more than 50 students in 2021.  Also on the program is Jesse Montgomery’s STRUM, along with a juried selection of submissions written for instrumental combinations of the traditional string quartet and classical guitar. Finalists include Larry Lipkis (Moravian University faculty), Tom Maher (LV Charter HS for the Arts faculty), area composers Keith Donaghue (Pennsauken, NJ),

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Education & Community Engagement
We are excited for the emergence of many of our flagship educational and community engagement programs from their pandemic enforced hibernation. Our program designs have evolved in response to the changing needs of our educational partners. The successful launch of our Orchestra Lab is ready to engage musical sound explorers in schools and community events. We are eager to bring more students to live orchestral music in the acoustic gem that is the historic Miller Symphony Hall through programs such as our Youth and Family Concerts and Young Musicians String Festival. El Sistema Lehigh Valley enrollment continues to grow, and we are very proud of the students who represent this program in multiple performances throughout the year. Our composer community has also expanded, welcoming new works from musicians throughout the Lehigh Valley and surrounding communities. In March 2024 we celebrate the 25th edition of the Schadt String Competition.

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Meet the Artist
On the Friday before each classical symphony concert weekend, Allentown Symphony Orchestra Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry leads a talk about the music and plays recorded excerpts for the weekend's concerts from noon to 1:00 PM. Guest soloists are often on hand and perform selections during this free gathering at Miller Symphony Hall.

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Last fall we welcomed our new Composer-in-Residence Clarice Assad. A powerful communicator renowned for her musical scope and versatility, Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a significant artistic voice in the classical, world music, pop, and jazz genres. The Grammy Award–nominated composer, celebrated pianist, inventive vocalist, and educator is acclaimed for her evocative colors, rich textures, and diverse stylistic range. With her talent sought-after by artists and organizations worldwide, the multilingual musician continues to attract new audiences both onstage and off. Clarice Assad’s residency with the Allentown Symphony will last for two seasons and include performances and commissions of her works, educational community engagement through talks, lessons, teaching and school visits and curatorship of the New Music Chamber concerts. In April 2024, Miller Symphony Hall will host the World Premiere of a new work composed specifically for the residency program.

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Musician-in-Residence - Violin
The ASO is accepting applications for this new position until February 16, 2024, with a planned start date of August 19, 2024.  The 2– or 3-year appointment will be filled through an audition and interview process.  The selected candidate will perform as a tenure track member of the ASO in the second violin section and will serve as a teaching artist with El Sistema Lehigh Valley.  The position will also support school engagement through classroom and assembly presentations, workshops, demonstrations, and string clinics, and community engagement through recitals, speech presentations, and collaborations with area arts & social agencies. Compensation includes salary, a furnished apartment, and a full benefits package.  All qualified candidates must be fluent in both English and Spanish and be a U.S Citizen or possess a work visa.  More information about this exciting opportunity can be found on our website, at Musician-in-Residence: Violin - Miller Symphony Hall - Downtown Allentown.

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Biennial Schadt String Competition
The Schadt String Competition is the biennial national solo string competition of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Begun in 1997 following a bequest to the Allentown Symphony Association from Edwin H. and Leigh W. Schadt, the competition alternates every other year between violin and cello. The First Prize includes a cash award of $12,000 and a solo concerto engagement with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra during the season following each competition. This season includes a cello concerto performed by the 2024 Schadt String Competition winner at the April 26 and 27 concerts.


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ASO Symphony Society
The ASO Symphony Society is a leadership group of supporters who contribute $1,500 or more each year.  In return for their generosity, they receive exclusive access to pre-concert and intermission receptions, unique events, and more.  There are many opportunities to donate and to also serve on board committees.  For more information, contact Geoff Harrington, Director of Development at gharrington@allentownsymphony.org.

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SYPC – Symphony Young Professionals Circle
SYPC is a new membership program for young professionals aged 22-45, with a love for music and an interest in exploring arts and culture in the Lehigh Valley.  SYPC offers a way to have fun, network and listen to great music while supporting the Allentown Symphony.  Benefits include discounted tickets to shows, free beer/wine and hors d’oeuvres as well as networking opportunities with other SYPC members, guest artists, Symphony Board Members, Maestro Diane Wittry, orchestra members and staff.   All of this is FREE to qualified members.

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Allentown Symphony Orchestra Lyric Society
The Lyric Society is the extremely important volunteer arm of the ASO.  Volunteers serve by taking tickets, handing out programs, seating patrons, and answering questions.  In return, members get to enjoy the shows when they are working and receive discounts for other shows, as well as be part of a fun group of music lovers.  Applicants must be at least 16.  Training is provided.   Contact Carter Reichard at creichard@allentownsymphony.org for more information.

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MET Opera Series
Returning this season is our increasingly popular The Met: Live in HD performances.  The Met’s 2023–24 season of live broadcast transmissions continues through May with an extraordinary lineup, including Romeo et Juliette, La Forza del Destino, La Rondine, and Madama Butterfly.  The new season lineup will be announced by the Met later in the summer and is sure to include exciting company premieres, new productions, and classic repertory favorites. More information on The Met Opera Series will be available when it is released by the Met.

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74th Annual Symphony Ball – Celebrating 125 Years of Miller Symphony Hall
Save the Date: Saturday, September 28, 2024 --Lehigh Country Club, Allentown

You are invited! Please join us as we celebrate 125 years of Miller Symphony Hall at the 74th annual Ball. Enjoy cocktails, dinner, dancing, music, and entertainment while networking with the community to support the Allentown Symphony Association. Each year proceeds from our annual Ball go to support the education and community engagement programs, like El Sistema Lehigh Valley, Youth & Family Concerts, and more.  We count on YOU to help us make a difference. More information about the Ball will be forthcoming.


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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, jazz, educational, and family concerts.  With passion and finesse, the ASO, led by Music Director & Conductor Diane Wittry for thirty year, plays time-honored masterworks, newly commissioned world premieres, and intriguing repertoire, including works by prominent new composers.

Exciting world-class artists who 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.

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 74 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.


23 N. 6th St., Allentown, PA 18101
BOX OFFICE: 610-432-6715

Allentown Symphony Association, owner/operator of Miller Symphony Hall, is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


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