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A2SO Presents: Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”)

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A2SO Presents: Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”)

Friday, January 26, 2024—8:00pm

Friday, January 26, 2024—8:00pm
Orchestra Hall
2 hours
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Mozart’s Symphony No. 41—a work of emotional profundity, staggering technical mastery, and titanic influence. The aftershocks of this mesmerizing work continue to be felt among performers, composers, and listeners alike, with Sir George Grove crowning the symphony “the greatest orchestral work of the world which preceded the French Revolution.”

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Earl Lee present this special Mozart-themed concert timed to coincide with the composer’s birthday. Sphinx Medal of Excellence Award winner Jessie Montgomery’s impassioned response to recent social and political unrest is showcased in performance by fellow Sphinx Award winner Tommy Mesa, with Haydn’s lyrical and uplifting Cello Concerto rounding out the program.

Please note: this performance is presented by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra in support of SphinxConnect 2024, and is not affiliated with the DSO.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Cello Concerto No. 1
Jessie Montgomery
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”


Tommy Mesa


Tommy Mesa, Cuban-American cellist, has established himself as one of the most charismatic, innovative, and engaging performers of his generation. He is the recipient of the 2023 Sphinx Medal of Excellence Award, First Prize in the 2016 Sphinx Competition, and Winner of the Astral Artists 2017 National Auditions. He has appeared as soloist with major orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The Cleveland Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights in the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 seasons include premiering and touring Jessie Montgomery’s Divided for solo cello and orchestra, around thirty recitals, a residency at Colburn Conservatory, curating and performing chamber music programs with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and duo recording projects with Olga Kern, JP Jofre, and Michelle Cann. Next season’s venues will include Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, The Supreme Court of the United States, Colburn School of Music, Kohler Foundation and numerous others.

Mesa performs on a cello made by Guilio Gigli, c.1789. Performance clothing sponsor is Coregami.

Earl Lee

conductor and music director

Winner of the 2022 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Earl Lee is a renowned Korean-Canadian conductor who has captivated audiences worldwide. Currently Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra his appearances in the 21/22 season include leading the San Francisco Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and Ann Arbor Symphony in subscription; the New York Philharmonic in its annual Lunar New Year Gala; and debuts with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam as a participant in the Ammodo masterclasses led by Fabio Luisi. Next season includes a return to the San Francisco Symphony and his Boston Symphony subscription debut.

Beginning with the 22-23 season, Earl joins the Ann Arbor Symphony as Music Director.

Earl recently concluded his position as the Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony where he led various concerts and its programming. He also served as the Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony from 2015 to 2018.

In all of his professional activities, Earl seeks ways to connect with fellow musicians and audiences on a personal level. His concerts to date in Canada, the U.S., China and South Korea have often been accompanied by outreach events beyond the concert hall in the community at large. He has taken great pleasure in mentoring young musicians as former Artistic Director and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and is a regular guest conductor with the orchestras of North America’s top music schools such as Manhattan School of Music and the New England, San Francisco, and Royal Conservatories.

As a cellist, Earl has performed at festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Caramoor Rising Stars, and Ravinia’s Steans Institute and has toured as a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), with Musicians from Marlboro, with and Gary Burton & Chick Corea as a guest member of the Harlem String Quartet.

Earl has degrees in cello from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School and in conducting from Manhattan School of Music and the New England Conservatory. He was the recipient of the 50th Anniversary Heinz Unger Award from the Ontario Arts Council in 2018, of a Solti Career assistance Award in 2021 and has been awarded a Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Scholarship by Kurt Masur and the Ansbacher Fellowship by the American Austrian Foundation and members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He lives in New York City with his wife and their daughter.

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) is a versatile professional orchestra, performing the gamut of musical styles – from Mozart to Montgomery, Shostakovich to Simon. Equally at home giving shining performances of the revered classical symphonic masterpieces as it is with platforming newly minted commissions, the A2SO performs to 70,000 listeners every year in the Ann Arbor area.

Founded in 1928, the A2SO (then known as the Ann Arbor Community Orchestra, and later the Ann Arbor Civic Orchestra) offered its first major program in November 1931. In 1941, distinguished music educator Joseph Maddy, who had founded what would later become the Interlochen Center for the Arts, became the fourth conductor of the Symphony, which at this time was still made up of amateur players. By 1986, the A2SO had become a fully professional orchestra under conductor Carl St.Clair, and has continued to grow in artistic quality ever since. On June 9, 2022, the orchestra announced the appointment of the 2022 Sir Georg Solti Award winner Earl Lee as the orchestra’s 14th Music Director, ushering in a new chapter in the A2SO’s mission and vision.

One of the Midwest’s leading symphony orchestras, the A2SO is critically acclaimed for innovative programming and a deep commitment to artistic excellence. Its musicians are the finest professional performers in the region and around the globe and present concerts in all venues – from area farmers markets to school classrooms, and from libraries to day care and senior centers. Recent innovations include the launch of the A2SO's My Song program, equipping kids with tools and resources to create their own melodies. The culmination of this process is the opportunity for students to hear their compositions performed by a professional musician, building on their foundations and demonstrating the basics of writing for a variety of instruments. Demonstrating the orchestra’s deep commitment to supporting teachers and learning initiatives across the region, the A2SO has developed resources for its Teacher Resource Hub, presented the Link Up performances in partnership with Carnegie Hall, brought its KinderConcerts series into Ann Arbor, Saline, Ypsilanti, Chelsea and Dexter libraries, and presented special performances at C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

A2SO concerts can be heard in person at the historic Michigan Theater and Hill Auditorium, as well as broadcast on the WRCJ and WKAR radio stations. Whether on your device or radio, in the concert hall or the classroom, the A2SO is passionately committed to enriching the culture of the region. We attract, inspire and educate the most diverse audiences possible, foster a growing appreciation for orchestral music and regional talent, and provide imaginative programming through community involvement.

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