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KSO to open 2019-20 season with musical journey through ‘The Planets’

September 11, 2019

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra opens the 2019-2020 season Sept. 19-20 with the Moxley Carmichael Masterworks Series concert, “The Planets.” Music Director Aram Demirjian will lead the orchestra at two performances  at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at the Tennessee Theatre. The performances are sponsored by Twin City Dealerships.

Musical selections include Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” and Missy Mazzoli’s “These Worlds in Us,” inspired by James Tate’s poem The Lost Pilot, read by U.S. Air Force Capt. Sean Purio. The Women of the Knoxville Choral Society join the KSO to perform Johann Strauss Jr.’s “On the Beautiful Blue Danube.”

The Symphony will perform “The Planets,” featuring projected celestial images.

This program celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing through a musical journey of exploration, culminating with Gustav Holst’s celestially evocative “The Planets.” The evening’s performance is accompanied by NASA footage and original animations by Seattle-based artist Adrian Wyard to illustrate the live musical experience.

“I am excited to begin our season with a program that encompasses so much of what the Knoxville Symphony is about — collaboration, history and multi-genre storytelling featuring both timeless and new music,” Demirjian said. “Holst’s The Planets, written in 1915, was the original soundtrack for space, and its sound-world echoes in cinematic scores to this day.”

Tickets may be purchased by calling 865-291-3310 or visiting the KSO website. Single tickets range from $15-$85. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets at a discounted rate by calling 865-521-2337.

About the Knoxville Choral Society

Since 1951, the Knoxville Choral Society has brought some of the world’s greatest choral music to East Tennessee and is dedicated to maintaining a rich tradition of choral excellence. Begun as the Knoxville Choral Club, the KCS is an auditioned chorus, hosting over 140 members, that performs choral masterworks and chamber pieces in a yearly concert series. The original group of 35-40 volunteer singers performed under its founder and first conductor, Edward H. Hamilton. Several decades and conductors later, and now under the director of conductor and artistic director John R. Orr, the membership of the KCS has grown to more than 125 singers from all walks of life. The KCS regular concert season typically includes major choral works and other concerts featuring varied styles of choral literature. The KCS sings regularly with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in the Clayton Holiday Concerts and performs major choral works in the KSO Masterworks series. For more information about the Knoxville Choral Society and its current season, please visit

About Aram Demirijian

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra is flourishing under the transformative leadership of music director Aram Demirjian. Aram has appeared with the nation’s top orchestras and maintains a close relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra, with which he appears three times in the 2019-20 season. He also makes subscription debuts with the Tucson Symphony, Portland Symphony and the Orlando Philharmonic. Other recent engagements include the Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Omaha, San Antonio and St. Louis symphonies, the Minnesota and Sarasota orchestras, and the Louisiana Philharmonic. A gifted public speaker, he is a passionate and vocal advocate for the arts, and he regularly addresses to community and business organizations advocating for arts non-profits and arts education in our society. Aram is the winner of the 2019 Career Assistance Award from the Solti Foundation U.S. and the 2011 Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, and he has appeared in masterclasses with renowned conductors Bernard Haitink and Kurt Masur. Aram holds a joint Bachelor of Arts in Music and Government from Harvard University and a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from New England Conservatory.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and Civic Auditorium, as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks, and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.