Recession strikes at Mahler Festival in Texas

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, rather than continuing the planned three-season cycle of Mahler symphonies, is postponing performance Mahler's Third, Fourth and Eighth symphonies. After performing three Mahler symphonies in each of two previous preseason festivals, the orchestra is postponing what would have been a grand finale in August. Instead of the planned performances of Mahler the Fort Worth Symphony will offer the more popular pieces by Beethoven.

The "Great Performances Festival," Aug. 28-30, will include Beethoven's Third, Fifth and Sixth symphonies, the first two piano concertos and the Violin Concerto. The soloists will be violinist James Ehnes and pianist Adam Golka.

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony will be performed during the FWSO's 2009-10 symphonic series of 10 programs, each to be presented three times at Bass Performance Hall. Most other programs include at least one work chosen by patrons in an audience survey. Music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct seven of the programs, including one continuing his "Caminos del Inka" series featuring music influenced by the cultures and landscapes of the Incas.

That program will include the world premiere of a work by Peruvian composer Jimmy López. Jennifer Higdon, the orchestra's 2009-10 composer-in-residence, will be represented by four works on two different programs.

Guest conductors will be baroque-music specialist Nicholas McGegan, for music of Vivaldi, Haydn and Mozart; Giancarlo Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony; and Mei-Ann Chen, assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony.

Soloists will include pianist Horacio Gutiérrez and violinists Midori, Sarah Chang and Jennifer Koh.

The FWSO's pops series will include appearances by Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh and Pink Martini. Subscriber specials include Handel's Messiah, a New Year's Eve concert and a gala featuring composer-conductor John Williams.

For details and ticket information, call 817-665-6000 or go to www.fwsymphony.org.

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