New Bedford Symphony Orchestra (NBSO) logo

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra

The 2016-2017 Season

New Bedford Symphony Orchestra 2016-2017 Season -- Change is in the Air
2016-2017 season subscription brochure available now. View and download your copy.

Powerful Beauty: October 15, 2016, 7:30pm
Villains & Heroes: November 12, 2016, 7:30pm
Family Holiday Pops: December 17, 2016, 3:30pm & 7:00pm
An American in Russia: January 21, 2017, 7:30pm
Strings Attached: February 18, 2017, 7:30pm
The Music of John Williams: April 29, 2017, 7:30pm

Subscriptions now available by calling the NBSO at 508-999-6276.

Change is definitely in the air! After ten wonderful years under the artistic leadership of David MacKenzie, the NBSO is now charting a new course. When we announced the search for a new music director in January 2015, we were thrilled to receive over 100 applications from around the world. It was very exciting – and challenging – to evaluate such a talented pool of candidates and select four finalists who we believe have what it takes to lead the NBSO into its second century of making music in the South Coast.

The four conductors you will meet this season have very impressive backgrounds and a strong vision of symphonic music and the role an orchestra can have in its community. As our season progresses, you will have the opportunity to hear them give a pre-concert talk, see and hear them on stage, and speak with them at our after-concert receptions. Following each concert, you will be invited to give us your impressions. We want you to be a part of this process!

But wait, there’s more! This is not only “the year of the search,” but also “the year of the piano.” We have four magnificent piano concertos, performed by four extraordinary guest artists who we guarantee will dazzle and amaze you. And because of the music director search, we have restructured our concert schedule. The season finale will be in April, and it is something different and very special: an evening of the music of John Williams. No composer has done more to bring the full scope and beauty of symphonic music to film. You will not want to miss it!

While there is a lot of change in the air, we wouldn’t dare change a thing about what has become a treasure of the South Coast holiday season, our annual Family Holiday Pops. That is why we have invited back our dear friend David MacKenzie to conduct the orchestra at this special time of year.

Concerts to Note in July

Music from Land's End

Festival Concerts 2016

July 23–31 | In Marion, Wareham and New Bedford

An international team of critically acclaimed musicians offers exciting chamber music concerts for audiences of all ages. Special guests will include cellist Xenia Jankovic, pianist Nina Tichman and singer/songwriter/guitarist Putnam Murdock.

For complete information, visit

Summer Concert on July 27

St. Aidan’s Chapel | 185 Smith Neck Rd, Dartmouth

All are invited to St. Aidan's Chapel on Wednesday, July 27, for a summer concert and reception in the beautiful chapel setting. Wine and cheese will be served at 7pm, and the concert starts promptly at 7:30pm. Suggested donation of $15 at the door. New Bedford Symphony Orchestra musicians Peter Zay, cello, and EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, violin, will perform a number of cello and violin duos by the likes of Beethoven and Boccherini, and will be joined by percussionist Piero Guimaraes for a new piece by Kirsten Volness featuring violin, cello, vibraphone and voices, as well as several fiddle arrangements with cello, violin and percussion. The concert will last approximately one hour.

Boccherini: Sonata for Violin and Cello in D Major
Bohuslav Martinu: Duo No. 2, H. 371
G. Albrechsberger: Duetto No. 1 in C Major
Beethoven: Duo No. 1 in C Major
Kirsten Volness (text by Jim Hicks): Sea Berth at Night
Josefin's Waltz arr. by Alasdair Fraser
High Reel Set arr. by Alasdair Fraser

Your donations make this possible!

New for Learning in Concert 2016-2017: Gravity in Space and Sound

In September, students will participate in an in-school program with NBSO musicians where they will hear music that exemplifies gravitational forces between each planet and the sun. During follow-up classroom visits, students will join the "Gravity Force" with a mission to explore the forces of gravity. Engaging in hands-on work with a gravity well, students will analyze gravitational forces and investigate the effects of gravity on the motion of moving objects. They will also compose musical cycles that revolve like the planetary orbit of various planets. Students' work will become part of the final phase of the program at the annual Young People's Concerts, where thousands of students will come to the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center to hear a live concert with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. The NBSO will perform exciting classical music that demonstrates various degrees of gravitational force through harmonic cycles and melody as well as perform student compositions of orbital progressions while video of the "Gravity Force" students at work is displayed.

This year's gravity exploration will feature an exciting collaboration with MIT Planetary Scientist Amanda Bosh as she visits and works with students from several schools participating in the Learning in Concert program.

Learning in Concert 2015-2016: Local Students Compose Adaptations in Motion

Phase 1 of the 2015-2016 Learning in Concert program—Adaptations in Motion: Animal and Musical—is now complete! Students attended an assembly with NBSO musicians and learned various compositional techniques to skillfully create musical adaptations that replicate through music the gradual progression of ancient species who moved from swimming and gliding in water to crawling, climbing, jumping, flying and running on land. In Phase 2, Education Director Terry Wolkowicz will make 140 classroom visits to complete in-depth student analysis of graphing and composing animal locomotion. The NBSO's 2016 Young People's Concert will feature the students' completed compositions in the World Premiere performance of Adaptations in Motion.

Watch the short video presentation below to see our 2015-2016 Learning in Concert program in action! Thank you to New Bedford Cable Network for producing this video and to NBSO Education Director Terry Wolkowicz, Buttonwood Park Zoo, Lt. Scott Carola of the New Bedford Police Department, and everyone at the Gomes School in New Bedford for taking part in this production. View the full-length version of this video on the City of New Bedford’s YouTube channel.

Learn more about Learning in Concert!
Inspired? Show your support:

2015-16 Centennial Season Highlights

Become a Sponsor

You can support the NBSO by advertising in the Season Concert Program Book or by sponsoring a concert. Learn more about becoming a sponsor here.

Wish List

The NBSO would be most grateful for the donation of the following:

  • file cabinets
  • television with DVD player
  • gift cards (to Office Max, BJs, etc., for office supplies purchases)
  • items that would be useful in our fundraising efforts for raffles or auctions (vacation rentals and timeshares, antiques and artwork, gift cards)

Call for Volunteers

The NBSO needs people to drop off flyers at local businesses willing to promote community events as well as people willing to donate time to help in the office or with events.

For more information or to volunteer, call Conee at the NBSO office at 508-999-6276.