The season begins on March 11 with a gala performance at Tulane University featuring saxophonist Branford Marsalis, a New Orleans native, and conducted by former music director Klauspeter Seibel. The program includes Ibert's Concerto de Camera and and John Williams' Escapades for Saxophone and Orchestra.
The orchestra has 12 additional programs scheduled through May 19, including a free outdoor concert on April 26 at New Orleans' City Park. Some of the performances will take place at Tulane; the Pontchartrain Center, a convention center near Armstrong International Airport; and Loyola University. The sites of other concerts have yet to be determined; according to Mollere, the Orpheum and the Mahalia Jackson Theatre, the Philharmonic's usual venues, are not usable.
Conductors for the spring series include music director designate Carlos Miguel Prieto, Scott Yoo, Peter Jaffe, Chelsea Tipton, and Timothy Muffitt. Among other events, the LPO plans an all-Mozart program, an all Ravel-program with pianist Benedetto Lupo, and a season-ending performance of Beethoven's First and Ninth Symphonies.
Subscribers who have returned to New Orleans may exchange their previously purchased tickets for the newly scheduled concerts; some of those still based elsewhere have the opportunity to exchange them for tickets to a local group.
The LPO is among several arts groups returning to New Orleans this spring, Mollere said. New Orleans Opera, New Orleans Ballet, the Friends of Music series at Tulane, and the Musical Arts Society at Loyola all plan seasons; a series of outdoor events is also in the works. "We will be making music night and day for New Orleans and the region," she said.
The LPO is still working to raise money for the spring season and the 2006-07 season, Mollere added. A benefit concert is planned in San Luis Obispo, California, on February 18, following previous events in Nashville and New York.
"You can't keep a great New Orleans orchestra down," she said.
For more information or to apply for a ticket exchange, visit www.lpomusic.com.