Since 1964 the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has been performing concerts with both contemporary and symphonic repertoire and the majority of its 85 musicians don’t get paid a dime—they volunteer.
“We’re just continuing our wonderful journey of great music with another season,” conductor Fyodor Cherniavsky said.
Cherniavsky said he is very proud that the DSO has no debt and has not had to make any cuts to programming this year. Additionally, he said the orchestra has a subscriber renewal rate of more than 95 percent.
The orchestra’s next concert is Nov. 13 with violin soloist Danijela Zezlj-Gualdi. Cherniavsky said the concert with Zezlj-Gualdi is of particular significance because she is featured in a scene in the new movie Parental Guidance, where she is playing with the orchestra.
The film, which comes out Christmas Day, stars Billy Crystal, Marisa Tomei and Bette Midler. Cherniavsky also makes an appearance playing his normal role—the conductor.
“What we’re going to do is pay homage to some film music. We’re going to play some of the music we’re going to play in the film,” Cherniavsky said of the coming concert.
Next year, DSO will be celebrating its 50th anniversary and one of the things Cherniavsky said has helped the orchestra flourish has been its partnership with Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). The orchestra rehearses and performs in the college’s Marvin Cole Auditorium in Clarkston.
“Together, we’re providing the community with these uplifting performances,” Cherniavsky said. “It can open this door to a lifelong appreciation of classical music and that also connects with the educational mission of the college.”
Cherniavsky, who has been conductor and musical director for six years, said that he has seen the orchestra grow during his tenure as he introduced music more technically difficult and obscure.
“If you’re an orchestra builder you’re seeking pieces which enable the orchestra to grow both artistically and technically. With a community orchestra it’s a real challenge because it has to be music within their means technically but you also have to think of the audience,” Cherniavsky said.
A fan of modern and contemporary music, Cherniavsky said that when creating a program he balances the more cutting edge music with familiar classics.
“I have to really think about the audience that is supporting us,” he said.
Other highlights of DSO’s upcoming season includes a concert featuring cello soloist Benjamin Karp, an all-orchestral concert featuring music from Czech composer Antonín Dvořák and Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In January, the DSO’s annual children’s concert will be a performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, which will be narrated by WSB-TV anchorwoman Jovita Moore.
For season subscriptions or to reserve individual tickets call the DSO Box Office at (678) 891-3565 or visit www.dekalbsymphony.com.