Massive Beethoven’s 9th Finally Returns to Launch the QC Orchestra’s 108th Season

Three days before its last Masterworks program for this season, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra announced its 108th season on Wednesday evening – The Triumphant Spirit – featuring six dynamic masterpieces, the 40and anniversary of Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops, two QCSO at the Movies presentations, five Up Close intimate chamber concerts and several special events.

Mark Russell Smith is delighted to start the QCSO’s 108th season with the immortal ‘Ode to Joy’.

“Our concerts this season showcase the extraordinary talent of our orchestra, including concertmaster Naha Greenholtz, principal cellist Hannah Holman, principal bassoonist Benjamin Coelho, principal flautist Jessica Warren and principal percussionist Aaron Williams,” said QCSO music director Mark Russell Smith in a statement.

“We are also delighted to welcome back beloved guest artists pianist Wei Luo and violinist Bella Hristova, as well as the premiere of the Guitar Concerto co-commissioned by Michael Abels with virtuoso guitarist Mak Grgić,” said he declared.

Brian Baxter is executive director of the Quad City Symphony.

“It’s a real ‘Ode to Joy’ to open our season with Beethoven’s 9and Symphony, where our incredible orchestra will be joined by a massive choir and four incredible vocal soloists,” said QCSO Executive Director Brian Baxter, noting that the choral masterpiece “Ode to Joy” was originally scheduled to be performed in October. 2020, before COVID interferes.

This summer, Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops in Davenport’s LeClaire Park will be celebrating 40 years of this popular event. To mark the occasion, the QCSO will be joined by a choir to present a symphonic celebration of the music of Elton John. Attendees will delight in Elton’s greatest hits including “Rocket Man”, “Madman Across the Water”, “Tiny Dancer” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”.

QCSO Masterworks performances are Saturday evenings at the Adler Theater, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport, and Sunday afternoons at Centennial Hall, Augustana College, 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island, unless otherwise noted. The following works are scheduled for the 2022-23 season:

  • Masterpiece I: Ode to Joy (Oct 1-2, 2022)

Karen Slack, soprano

Catherine Pracht, mezzo-soprano

Richard Trey Smagur, tenor

Alexei Bogdanov, baritone

Augustana Oratorio Society & Choral Artists, Jon Hurty, director


LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

  • Masterpieces II: Fit for a King (Nov 5-6, 2022)

Hannah Holman, cello

Benjamin Coelho, bassoon

DUKE ELLINGTON The Three Black Kings

ERNEST BLOCH Schelomo: Hebrew Rhapsody


JOHANN STRAUSS, JR. Emperor’s Waltz, Op. 437

WILLIAM VALTON Henry V: Continued

Presented as part of Out of the Darkness: Messages on the Holocaust for Today

Local 4 News presenter Jim Niedelman will narrate Telemann’s piece during the QC Symphony Orchestra‘s December 2022 Masterworks concerts.
  • Masterpieces III: Ode to the Guitar (December 3-4, 2022)

Mak Grgic, guitar

Jim Niedelman, narrator

GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN Quixote Burlesque Overture

MICHAEL ABEL Co-commission Concerto for guitar

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Divertimento No. 1, K. 113

ALBERTO GINASTERA Variations concertantes, op. 23

  • Masterpieces IV: Bella and Brahms (February 4-5, 2023)

Bella Christova, violin

RICHARD WAGNER Rienzi Overture, WWV 49

JOHANNES BRAHMS Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77

  • Masterpieces V: Fierce Women (March 4-5, 2023)

Wei Luo, piano

Chinese pianist Wei Luo will perform Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the QCSO in March 2023.

JOAN TOWER Marching Band for the Outstanding Woman

Louise Farrenc Symphony No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 36

FLORENCE PRICES Excerpt from The Mississippi River

SERGEI PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 16

  • Masterpieces VI: Mahler One (April 1-2, 2023)

Naha Greenholtz, violin

SERGEI PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 19

GUSTAV MAHLER Symphony No. 1 in D major, “Titan”


Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops

A symphonic celebration of the music of Elton John

Saturday, August 20, 2022, 7:30 p.m., Parc LeClaire

Ernesto Estigarribia, driver

John Best, voice

John Regan, vocals and piano

The summer party celebrates its 40th anniversary! Celebrate with us along the banks of the Mississippi with a symphonic celebration enhanced by a choir of the music of Elton John. Dance to Elton’s greatest hits including “Rocket Man”, “Madman Across the Water”, “Tiny Dancer” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me!” This spectacular event concludes with our traditional renditions of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” accompanied by brilliant fireworks.

The QCSO Riverfront Pops at LeClaire Park will celebrate its 40th anniversary in August with an Elton John tribute show.

QCSO In Cinema:

Harry Potter and the Order of PhoeniX in concert

Saturday, November 19, 2022, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Adler Theater

Ernesto Estigarribia, driver

Relive the magic with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix broadcast on a giant screen in high definition and accompanied by the QCSO. See Harry and his friends race through the Department of Mysteries, practice Defense Against the Dark Arts in secret, and endure Professor Umbridge, all with Nicholas Hooper’s iconic score.

QCSO at the cinema:

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in concert

Saturday May 13, 2023, 2 p.m., Adler Theater

Ernesto Estigarribia, driver

Nathan Windt, conductor

“Be our guest” and experience Disney’s Beauty and the Beast like never before! In a “tale as old as time,” Belle’s love must save the cursed prince and his entire castle from eternal enchantment. Watch this timeless animated classic in its entirety as the QCSO and Chorus perform every note of Alan Menken’s Oscar-winning score, including favorite songs ‘Belle’, ‘Something There’, ‘Gaston’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ “.

CLOSE Chamber music series

Up close with Mak Grgic

Sunday, September 11, 2022, 2 p.m., Redstone Room, River Music Experience

Mak Grgic, guitar & Emily Nash and Sabrina Tabby, violins, Bruno vaz da Silva, viola, Hannah Holman, cello

Enjoy an afternoon with guitarist Mak Grgić before he joins the QCSO as a guest soloist on Masterworks III: Ode to Guitar. The program begins with selections from his album Cinema Verismoa, which features originals and adaptations of beloved music featured in famous movies from the past decades. The QCSO String Quartet joins for the second half to perform Luigi Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet No. 4, ‘Fandango’ and Mak Grgić’s own Balkan Suite which is inspired by tunes from the Balkan Peninsula.

Up close with Naha and Aaron

Saturday, January 28, 2023, 7:30 p.m., Butterworth Center

Naha Greenholtz, violin & Aaron Williams, p.percussion

works by Wynton Marsalis, Sergei Prokofiev, Chen Yi, Paul Lansky and William Campbell

Up close with ATLYS

Saturday, February 11, 2023, 7:30 p.m., Raccoon Motel

Jinty McTavish, violin, Sabrina Tabby, violinRita Andrade, alto, & Genevieve Tabby, cello

Go wild with this talented crossover string quartet who are hailed for their passionate and dynamic performances, signature sound, and compelling, interactive concert experiences.

Up close with the Figge, women in music

Saturday March 25, 2023, 7:30 p.m., Figge Art Museum

Hannah Holman, celloMarianne Lee, piano& QCSO String Quartet

In honor of Figge’s Major exhibition Sports Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960, join us for an evening at the museum celebrating women in music. The first half of the program will feature QCSO Principal Cellist Hannah Holman presenting and performing works inspired by influential female cellists. In the second half, Hannah will be joined by pianist Marian Lee and the QCSO String Quartet to perform Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet.

Up close with Jessica Warren

Sunday April 16, 2023, 2 p.m., Figge Art Museum

Jessica Warren, flute, & Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

works by Valerie Coleman, William Grant Still, Gabriela Lena Frank, Cécile Chaminade and Andrés Sas


QCSO Evening: The Roaring 20s

Saturday October 15, 2022, 5:30 p.m., Figge Art Museum

Let the roaring 2020s begin with an elegant evening at Figge. Tickets to this ‘Great Gatsby’ inspired event include a dinner and performance, plus a paddle lift and live auction with maestro Mark Russell Smith as auctioneer to benefit QCSO programs.

Two remain (Out of darkness)

Saturday, October 22, 2022, 7:30 p.m., Brunner Theater, Augustana College

Ernesto Estigarribia, conductor

Shelley Cooper, director

This moving and moving two-act chamber opera by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer is based on the true stories of two Holocaust survivors: in Act I, Krystyna Żywulska, assisted by ghosts of Auschwitz, shares his story of survival with a journalist. In Act II, Gad Beck is haunted by his first love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who perished in Auschwitz.

Presented as part of Out of the Darkness: Messages on the Holocaust for Today

holiday brass

Saturday, December 10, 2022, 7:30 p.m. Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center

Sunday, December 11, 2022, 3 p.m., Saint Paul Lutheran Church

Chris Nelson, organ

But wait, this season ain’t over yet

Concerts on April 2 and 3 this weekend feature Johann Strauss Jr.’s charming ‘Voice of Spring’ waltz. Roberto Díaz returns to QC to perform Jennifer Higdon’s Grammy-winning Viola Concerto; this relentless centerpiece was written specifically for Díaz. Experience the lyricism and power of Samuel Barber’s First Symphony before the season ends with Ottorino Respighi’s beloved ‘Pines of Rome’, illustrating four events witnessed by the century-old trees in full orchestral color.

Ticket sales for the concerts of the 2022-23 season will first open to subscribers on March 30, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets open to the general public on May 17, 2022 at 9 a.m. QCSO tickets are available at the box office of the QCSO at 327 Brady St., Davenport. You can also call the QCSO at 563-322-7276 or visit

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