Music News & Reviews

Philharmonic releases dates but little else about next season

As season announcements go, this is about as spare as it gets, but that is because the Lexington Philharmonic still has to choose a music director.

According to the orchestra's season-ticket solicitation letter, the Phil's 2009-10 season will open with percussion soloist Evelyn Glennie, the world's only full-time percussion soloist. Glennie is noted for that and her circumstances: She is profoundly deaf. Glennie has been profiled on 60 Minutes and many other shows, been the subject of a documentary film, released more than 25 recordings and been named "Dame Commander" in her native England.

The Philharmonic's search for a new music director reaches its final chapter Friday night with an audition concert by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Mei-Ann Chen. The Philharmonic's search committee expects to name the new director sometime in the next several weeks.

Because the new conductor has not been named, the Phil has released only concert dates for next season, noting Glennie as the season-opening soloist on Sept. 25 and the annual performance of Handel's Messiah on Dec. 11. The season includes seven concerts, down from the Philharmonic's usual eight MasterClassics performances. The season-ticket solicitation letter says the orchestra will collaborate with UK Healthcare on an April 2010 concert.

Philharmonic executive director Peter Kucirko said the Philharmonic decided to go with a seven concert season so as to not schedule two concerts in April, thereby "competing with ourselves." Kucirko said eliminating an April concert was not part of any cost-cutting measures, and he did not know the date or program for the UK Healthcare concert.

These are the Philharmonic's dates:

■ Sept. 25, with percussionist Evelyn Glennie

■ Oct. 16

■ Nov. 13

■ Dec. 11: Handel's Messiah, with the Lexington Singers

■ Jan. 22

■ Feb. 12

■ March 5

The Philharmonic is renewing season tickets for current subscribers. They have until April 10 to renew. Visit the Phil's Web site or call (859) 233-4226 for more information.