By Natasha Anderson
On Saturday, September 23, the Asheville Symphony’s Masterworks Series will premiere in its new home for the 2023-2024 season at the First Baptist Church of Asheville. For the first time since 1975, the symphony will perform all shows outside the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. This move was necessary due to the recent failure of the HVAC system that affects the ability to heat or cool the house of the auditorium for the foreseeable future.
The majority of the Asheville Symphony’s Masterworks Series will be held in the First Baptist Church of Asheville in double performances, with Saturday matinee and evening concerts. “First Baptist offers countless enhancements to the patron experience,” says Asheville Symphony executive director Daniel Crupi. “The facility is visually stunning, with a gorgeous acoustic to match.”
Other new venues include Salvage Station, Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville’s ExploreAsheville.com Arena and Brevard Music Center. A previously scheduled performance in the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts will go on as planned.
“Despite having to relocate many of our shows, we are proud to have made only minimal changes to this season’s repertoire and to have kept 100 percent of our musicians employed,” says Crupi. “We remain profoundly grateful to our community partners for enabling us to make these changes so seamlessly.”
Masterworks 1: Out of the Shadows will serve as the Symphony’s season debut. Led by music director Darko Butorac, the program will include Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. “We open our season with one of the best works ever written for symphony orchestra, Brahms’ Fourth,” says Butorac. “It is his last work and the most dramatic he penned on paper.”
The concert will feature cellist Sterling Elliott, acclaimed for his stellar stage presence and joyous musicianship. Elliott is a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition, which highlights young Black and Latinx musicians.
In light of the relocation, there are more ways than ever for the community to enjoy the Asheville Symphony this season. Every Masterworks Series show will have a matinee option, beginning with 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances of Out of the Shadows on September 23.
To view the full season, visit AshevilleSymphony.org. Tickets can be purchased on the website, by phone at 828.254.7046 or in person at the Asheville Symphony office at 27 College Place, Suite 100.