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World-renowned actor Keir Dullea will narrate  Love Like Water  on November 2.

World-renowned actor Keir Dullea will narrate Love Like Water on November 2.

BRAHMS SYMPHONY #4, plus a new arrangement of DVORAK MORAVIAN DUETS, “LOVE LIKE WATER,” a modern fairy tale reading, with JAZIMINA MacNEIL, Mezzo-Soprano and SARAH SHAFER, Soprano, narrated by special guest KEIR DULLEA.

A modern folk tale, “Love Like Water,” will highlight GBS’ November 2 concert at The Klein, blending Dvořák’s Moravian Duets – sung in Czech by mezzo-soprano Jazimina MacNeil and soprano Sarah Shafer – with the telling of MacNeil’s new tale, in this world-premiere of Lembit Beecher’s arrangement.  “We are always finding ways of making the great music of the past relevant to today’s world,” says GBS Conductor Eric Jacobsen.  “Jazimina’s tale of love and tolerance, set to the incredible music of Dvořák, composed 140 years ago, is a great message for the world in which we’re living.”

MacNeil has performed with GBS before, having sung the words of Walt Whitman to Mason Bates’ Passage last November.  She and Shafer have performed the Duets previously, but never before with the infusion of the folk tale in Beecher’s arrangement.

GBS is thrilled to present the renowned actor Keir Dullea as narrator for the premiere.  Dullea is known worldwide for his seminal performance as astronaut Dave Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1968 film 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  Dullea is excited about the Eastern European feel of this concert; his next film will be shot in Budapest later in November.  Dullea also appeared with GBS last season, reading Kipling’s poem The Moon to the music of GBS last March.

The second half of the concert will be dedicated to Dvořák’s influence and mentor, Johannes Brahms, with the playing of his great Fourth Symphony.  “The concert comes full circle,” says GBS Executive Director Mark Halstead, “starting with Dvořák’s music blending into today with ‘Love Like Water,’ then going back to the roots of Dvorak himself with Brahms.  It’s a saga of time travel.”  Upon its premiere in 1885, Brahms Fourth was described as being “like a dark well; the longer we look into it, the more brightly the stars shine back.”  The piece continues to be performed regularly today, a milestone in music that builds a bridge from Beethoven, through Brahms, to Dvořák, and now, to “Love Like Water.” TICKETS $15 to $59. Family Pack discounts available by calling (203)576-0263.

News from our 74th season premiere, September 21, 2019:


— the most frequent response from concertgoers at our season premiere.

season premiere astounds

Amazing artists of the silkroad ensemble bring east and west together,
and rising star matthew hill stuns with tchaikovsky

 GBS opened its 2019-20 season on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at The Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, as Eric Jacobsen welcomed members of the Silkroad Ensemble for “Look to the East” – a concert combining an iconic Russian masterpiece (Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto) with Persian music from a modern master (Kayhan Kahlor’s Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur).  “In times like these,” says conductor Jacobsen, “when political tensions are running high, Kayhan’s music is a bridge to one of the most ancient cultures on the planet.  Through music, we can discover that differences between people are not monolithic.”  Indeed, Kalhor’s piece brings together the exotic sounds of the East with sumptuous orchestration.
Eric brought to The Klein four of the stars of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble:  Sandeep Das on Tabla, Kayhan Kalhor on Kamancheh (or spiked fiddle), Karen Ouzounian on Western cello, and Mathias Kunzli on percussion, joined by fellow Silkroaders, violist Mario Gotoh and bassist Shawn Conley.  The entire second half of the concert merged Eastern and Western music traditions, with composer Colin Jacobsen’s Atashgah leading into Kahlor’s Blue, leading to a glorious crescendo of sound.  Said one young first-time Symphony-goer, “It was like the whole orchestra became one giant being, creating music!” Seasoned lovers of Classical and newcomers were similarly awed by the fusion of sound. WATCH FOR DETAILS: This music has been recorded, will be available for sale in a few months! Would you like to help bring GBS’ music out into the world? Click here to be a sponsor of this milestone album!
GBS’ premiere concert is also notable for the appearance of 17-year-old violinist Matthew Hill, one of the winners of GBS’ Youth Instrumentalist Competition earlier this year.  Hill gave a bravura performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, one of the greatest and most recognizable works of the Russian genius, interrupted three times for standing ovations after each movement.

maestro jacobsen chose not one, but three winners
of the Young Instrumentalists’ competition last season.

For those thrilled by Matthew Hill at the premiere: There’s more! On December 21, come and be astounded by the talents of Cameron Chase, violin solo on Vivaldi’s Winter and Summer. Come again on March 14 to hear Sofia Gilchenok on the Bartok Viola Concerto.

next concert november 2

BECOME A SUBSCRIBER! If you loved what you heard and saw at the premiere, we’ll credit your September 21 ticket to a 5-concert Gold Subscription! (20% off regular price, plus a voucher for a free seat.) Call Mark at GBS for details: (203)576-0263.
3-concert Silver Subscriptions also available — 15% off regular price.

our video is here!

Take 14 minutes out of your day and just relax.

Click here to see GBS with the Jacobsen Brothers
performing the Lark Ascending
at Bridgeport’s Palace Theater

Click here to read the backstory on this video.

2019-2020 season announced

for his sixth season with GBS!

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This fall, we invite you to look at music from a new perspective, as we begin 20/20 VISIONS: THE EVOLUTION OF MUSIC. Each concert will be a trip through time, exploring the origins of music, from folk music and the great masters, to Broadway, to the orchestral music of today. Click here to read more!

click here to see dan Kepl’s interview with eric and our executive director —
an inside look at gbs.

Forget the Philharmonic.  The GBS plays just as well and is so much more fun!  -4/28/18 concertgoer

"I noticed at the beginning when we were all singing the National Anthem, and Eric was smiling and facing us; he looked at all of us, from the first row all the way back up into the balcony.  We were there with him, and he was there with us.  It was extraordinary!"       - 4/28/18 concertgoer

"Weren't the kids fabulous?  Amazing voices and talent!  I loved the feeling of community, as if we were one huge musical family."  -4/28/18 concertgoer

"Isn't it amazing how Eric shares the applause?  He is so generous.  Remember those eight kids standing?  They will never forget that, will they?  And he gets those players in the back to stand, the ones we never see.  He is so inclusive!  -4/28 concertgoer

A little fun:  THINK THE TRIANGLE IS AN EASY INSTRUMENT TO PLAY?   GBS' Principal Percussionist Anthony DeQuattro sets the record straight in this interview with Anna and Raven on Star 99.9!

Eric Jacobsen performing the Ravel String Quartet on CT STYLE with members of (GBYO) in 2016.

Want to hear a sample?  Click above!