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South Dakota Symphony Orchestra
From Delta David Gier

Welcome to the SDSO!

This season wonderfully demonstrates what our orchestra is now famous for: great music, of course, programmed with innovation and intention towards serving our unique community.

It's all in the  mix.  Take our opening night: Beethoven Symphony No. 5, a giant of the symphonic repertoire, paired with two living African-American composers.  Next is Rimsky-Korsakov's kaleidoscopic Scheherazade with Lou Harrison's piano concerto, inspired by his lifelong study of Javanese gamelan music.  Each program is carefully crafted with music which fits together in interesting and relevant ways.

We of course have wonderful soloists such as Joyce Yang and Emanuele Arciuli.  Guest conductor John Nelson will be working with our Orchestra and chorus to present Brahms A German Requiem, his interpretation of which is known around the world.

Our pops programming is also chosen to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America, "Celebrate America!" for Veterans Day, and the popular 'Tis the Season concert.

The virtuosity of our own SDSO players will be on full display throughout the season.  Ending with Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 3 is very special for me personally, as I have devoted much of my life's work to this composer.  After 20 years with our musicians, it is a point of pride for me, for the musicians of the orchestra, our staff, indeed our whole community, to be able to celebrate in this way how far we have come - and the possibilities for where we can go.


Delta David Gier
Music Director

From the SDSO Board President

David HeadshotWelcome to the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's 2023-24 season! I am delighted you are here to share in the magic of this orchestra.

This year marks the 20-year anniversary of our music director Delta David Gier, whose "community first" approach to building the SDSO has resonated across our nation.  When our maestro first arrived in Sioux Falls, he brought with him a vision that our orchestra should serve its community by using music to build bridges between cultures and to nurture relationships between people.  Since then, David has earned a reputation, touted by New Yorker magazine as "the model of an engaged conductor."  His community-centric initiatives like the Lakota Music Project and the Bridging Cultures program focus on music bridging cultural differences.  It's a model that lies at the foundation of the SDSO's new mission statement: to inspire the best in all of us through music.

Bold artistic impact like David's does not go unnoticed by our audiences and donors.  We are incredibly grateful for two visionary patrons who have made the largest donations ever in SDSO history.  I am honored to thank Rosemarie and Dean Buntrock for their gift of $2 million last year.  Their donation is an investment in the growth of the SDSO's marketing and fundraising capacity and also funds the production of Douglas Moore's opera Giants in the Earth, which we will see next season.  I am also excited to thank our community's most transformational philanthropist, T. Denny Sanford and honor him for this incredible gift of $2 million to support the SDSO's music education programs for children.  The SDSO is on an upward trajectory, and we have these extraordinary patrons to thank for the tremendous momentum we are experiencing through their visionary investments.

The SDSO is here because of you - the audiences who cherish the music and the artistic vibrancy the orchestra brings to our region and our state.  I listen to the concerts with you, enthralled by the great masterworks and getting introduced to unfamiliar pieces of music.  Last year, we all experienced the new digital program book together, too.  Congratulations to each of you for making the transition to this new platform and for supporting the innovation at the SDSO.

Our orchestra is successful because of all of you who support it - through your tickets, volunteering, and philanthropy.  Many of you know that ticket sales are only 25% of the symphony's total annual revenue, which makes your support a critical part of the SDSO's financial stability.  Thank you all for giving generously to South Dakota's premier arts organization!

Thank you all and enjoy the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra season!

David Flicek
President, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer, Avera

From the Executive Director

Jennifer HeadshotMy favorite quote about the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra is by music critic Alex Ross who wrote in the New Yorker that he had witnessed " a community in love with its orchestra."  It's a feeling we all have when experiencing our orchestra together in this glorious concert hall, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this season.  The SDSO is grateful for the privilege to perform here, in the Mary W. Sommervold concert hall, made possible by visionary, dedicated patrons who shared a deep passion to ensure a vibrant Sioux Falls arts community.

This season, the SDSO commemorates the 20th season of our inspirational music director Delta David Gier.  David's award-winning programming has raised the national visibility of the SDSO, in particular because of his championship of living American composers.  To open this season, he programmed the music of Jessie Montgomery and Adolphus Hailstork, and in April, the "American Masters" concert features a premiere by South Dakota's favorite composer, Stephen Yarbrough and our very own Christopher Hill as soloist in a new work by Daniel Dorff, to commemorate his 37th and final season with the SDSO.

The SDSO adopted a new mission statement last year, "to inspire the best in all of us through music."  We realize this mission both on and off the main stage with performances throughout the region and our state.  This season, the Dakota Wind Quintet and Dakota String Quartet travel to Sisseton, Rapid City, and Pine Ridge to perform 23 new works written by Music Composition Academy students.  Here at home, the musicians continue to spread the healing power of music with performances at hospitals, schools, and partner organizations like DakotAbilities, Lifescape, and Children's Home Society.

You are the foundation of the SDSO.  The SDSO exists because of your support - the audience, donors, volunteers, and the fabulous talent on stage.  Thank you all for your investment in this great orchestra.  We wouldn't be her without you!

Enjoy the music this season!

Jennifer Teisinger