Next season, the Omaha Symphony will party like it's 99 with a concert by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

That's 99 years. The symphony is one year from celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Rice will perform in the symphony's Joslyn Series on May 17, 2020, with Music Director Thomas Wilkins conducting. She is an accomplished classical pianist in addition to her government work under President George W. Bush.

The season also will include concerts featuring beloved works: the "New World" symphony by Antonin Dvorak and highlights from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," which will be in the first two programs of the season in the MasterWorks Series. The season's first MasterWorks concert also will include a commissioned piece by Zhou Tian in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Other events in that series include a Piano Power program featuring George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," concerts highlighting the works of Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler and a final concert that's all Ludwig van Beethoven.

"Celtic Journey: Return to the Emerald Isle," the third version of this popular event, is a highlight of the Pops Series. It will take place a couple of weeks before St. Patrick's Day. The Pops Series also will feature "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony: 30th Anniversary," among other concerts. The series will open with "Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration."

The Rocks Series will open with a birthday bash for Abbey Road, the London recording studio where the Beatles recorded. It turns 50 this year. Omaha musician Billy McGuigan, known for his Beatles shows, will once again play in the Rocks Series with the symphony in "The British Invasion Part II."

Continuing a recent tradition in the Movie Series, the symphony will perform the score of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" live to accompany a showing of the film. Tim Burton's "Batman" and "The Empire Strikes Back" will get the same treatment.

For the Family Series, the symphony will partner with the Henry Doorly Zoo to present "Buzzing About Bugs," which will feature an original work by 12-year-old Omaha composer Winston Schneider. 

Symphony President and CEO Jennifer Boomgaarden said the coming season is a testament to the versatility of the symphony.

"We are so fortunate to have incredibly adaptable performers here in Omaha that allow us to serve such a broad base of our community," she said.

Season ticket holders can renew their subscriptions starting Monday at, at 402-345-0606 or by mail. Various packages are available.

2019-20 season


Sept. 20-21: Dvorak’s “New World”

Oct. 18-19: "Chopin & Swan Lake"

Jan. 17-18, 2020: "Piano Power: Rhapsody in Blue & Rachmaninoff"

Feb. 21-22, 2020: Brahms Symphony No. 1

March 27-28, 2020: Brahms Violin Concerto

May 8-9, 2020: "Wilkins Conducts Mahler"

June 5-6, 2020: "All Beethoven"


Oct. 12-13: Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration

Dec. 19-22: Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration

Feb. 1-2, 2020: "Sinatra & Beyond"

March 7-8, 2020: "Celtic Journey: Return to the Emerald Isle"

April 25-26, 2020: "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony: 30th Anniversary"

May 30-31, 2020: "The Soul of Motown" with Matt Catingub


Sept. 29: Transfigured Night

Nov. 17: Brahms Serenade No. 1

Jan 12, 2020: Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella”

March 15, 2020: Schumann Symphony No. 2

April 19, 2020: Haydn & Beethoven

May 17, 2020: Mozart with Condoleezza Rice & Thomas Wilkins


Oct. 4: "Abbey Road @ 50'"

Nov. 23: Windborne's Music of Queen

Jan. 25, 2020: Pet Rock

April 4, 2020: "The British Invasion, Part II" with Billy McGuigan


Nov. 30-Dec. 1: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" in concert

Feb. 15, 2020: "Batman" (1989)

May 1-2, 2020: "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back"


Oct. 20: "Symphony Spooktacular: The Haunted Hall"

Feb. 23, 2020: "Is There a Doctor in the House?"

March 29, 2020: "Buzzing About Bugs"

Special concerts

Nov. 5: Choral Collaborative: Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass

March 21, 2020: Omaha Symphony Gala

This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.