MAY 6 – MAY 28, 2018





Dallas, TX (November 15, 2017) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces programming for the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival. The 2018 festival will be held in venues throughout the Dallas Arts District and beyond from May 6 through May 28, 2018. Select tickets for SOLUNA go on sale on Wednesday, November 22 at www.mydso.com/SOLUNA .

Now in its fourth year, SOLUNA continues to work closely with its neighbors in the Dallas Arts District and within the Dallas arts community to present a curated three-week experience, staging a series of performances and mixed media installations by some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today. Central to SOLUNA are performances by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, whose founding of SOLUNA shows the impact an American orchestra can have in the 21st century.

Over the past three years, highlights of SOLUNA have included St. Vincent’s orchestral debut in 2015 and the world premiere of Rules Of The Game, a collaborative performance piece with choreography by Jonah Bokaer, set design by Daniel Arsham and an original score by Pharrell Williams with David Campbell in 2016. 2017 included the Texas premiere of Jessica Mitrani’s Traveling Lady starring Rossy de Palma and the world premiere of the SOLUNA commission “We Know You’ve Got Soul” by Henri Scars Struck. In addition, previous years’ festivals have presented powerful performances of rarely-heard classical works chosen and led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

“SOLUNA celebrates the tremendous diversity of expression here in Dallas and in the contemporary art world,” said Michelle Miller Burns, Interim President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “The festival provides new artistic opportunities and blurs the boundaries between genres, resulting in performances and projects that are greater than the sum of their parts.”

"Dallas Arts District organizations have looked for a cohesive vision of what integrated programs could do for our community," said Jill Magnuson, Director of External Affairs at the Nasher Sculpture Center, a regular partner of the festival. "SOLUNA is just the kind of thing we all imagined — the visual and performing arts coming together, bringing original, new works under one festival umbrella. It has given us an opportunity to have enlivened conversations about programming."

“Classical music has always had connections to art, to history and to the period into which it was born,” said Music Director Jaap van Zweden. “SOLUNA lets us perform this fantastic music and look at it in new ways, keeping classical music vital and exciting for everyone.”


As with past editions, the 2018 festival will be preceded by SOLUNA prelude events, in which collaborations will be showcased as a preview to SOLUNA.

In partnership with Dallas Art Fair, SOLUNA has commissioned “Eyes as Bright as Diamonds” and will present its world premiere. Artist Jen Ray will bring together a female singer and various squads of women to explore the dark glamour of American life. This diverse group will unite to create a sense of pageantry, celebration and tension. The event is free and will be presented on Wednesday, April 11 at 5:45 PM in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center lobby.

One of Mozart’s most popular scores, Don Giovanni has been seducing opera audiences for years. Conducted by Emmanuel Villaume with the dashing Mariusz Kwiecień in the title role, this “must see” SOLUNA preview production opens on Friday, April 13 at 7:30 PM in the Winspear Opera House.

“Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s SOLUNA Festival brings together music, performing, and visual art to create an immersive, holistic experience.” —Patron

SOLUNA Week One Events

SOLUNA’s first week of programming will bring unique perspectives on music and sound.

NorthPark Center and SOLUNA will present the world premiere of “The Diffracted Symphony” by L.A.-based artist Sebastien Leon. A classical music performance will be manipulated into a soundscape that envelops a free-standing sculpture in the Dallas shopping center. The work will be open to the public during NorthPark hours for the duration of the festival.

A Musician’s View, a pillar of SOLUNA’s programming, will kick off the musical performances of the festival on Monday, May 7 at 7:00 PM. DSO musicians and audience members will take the stage in the Meyerson Symphony Center for an evening of chamber music. Following the performance, patrons will be able to meet the musicians and toast the start of SOLUNA at a celebratory reception.

Music Director Jaap van Zweden will lead DSO soloists in ReMix at Moody Performance Hall on Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11 at 7:30 PM. ReMix: Mozart – Tchaikovsky – Berg will spotlight the talents of DSO players and allow Dallas audiences to enjoy van Zweden and the DSO in a relaxed and more casual setting.

Smashed electric guitars will become unique works of art and one-of-a-kind instruments in the world premiere of “Melodies of Certain Damage,” a SOLUNA commission. On May 11 at 9:00 PM, Israeli artist Naama Tsabar will lead a group of musicians who will play on shattered guitars restrung in new configurations and then amplified. This musical experience will demonstrate the spectrum of musical expression and push the boundaries of what a musical instrument can be. 

Another pillar of the SOLUNA Festival, Music and the Brain, presented in partnership with UT Southwestern’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, will return on Saturday, May 12 at 1:00 PM at Moody Performance Hall.  This seminar will feature world-renowned clinicians and scientists discussing the ability of music and the arts to heal the brain and body.

On Sunday, May 13 at 3:00 PM, SOLUNA will partner with the Dallas Museum of Art on a work combining visual and musical elements. Argentinian artist Lihuel Gonzalez’s “Las personas no van juntas (They Just Don’t Match)” will feature DSO cellist Jeff Hood as soloist with videos displayed around him.  The work is a philosophical inquiry into the concept of translation, inspired by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and will take place at the DMA.

AT&T Performing Arts Center will present the interactive artistry of Kid Koala in Annette Strauss Square on Sunday, May 13 at 7:30 PM. The Canadian DJ, whose work has been heard alongside Radiohead, Arcade Fire and the Beastie Boys as well as in films Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Baby Driver, will bring his Vinyl Vaudeville to Dallas. This program will feature singing robots, giant paper airplane fights, oversized penguins and brass playing ants. Tickets will go on sale later this season at www.attpac.org/kidkoala.

“… there is the truth of the mission [of SOLUNA] itself: that collaboration creates more, better, and ultimately more interesting art.” — Arts + Culture Texas

SOLUNA Week Two Events

The cornerstone of SOLUNA’s second week is Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre. As a highlight of his final season as Music Director, this epic work will feature Jaap van Zweden conducting the DSO and world-renowned soloists Heidi Melton, Michelle DeYoung, Christa Mayer, Simon O’Neill, Matthias Goerne and Jongmin Park. The complete opera in concert will be performed on Friday, May 18 and Sunday, May 20. Performances of Wagner by van Zweden have been called “vivid” and “outstanding” by The Guardian, and Dallas audiences will have the rare chance to hear this legendary work in the Meyerson.

“This is the centerpiece, what I am most looking forward to this season,” said van Zweden. “I love to return to Wagner.”

Mexican artist Gonzalo Lebrija will mash mariachi with Wagner at Moody Performance Hall on Tuesday, May 15 at 7:30 PM. Lebrija’s visual art will provide the setting for “Mariachi Wagner” with a performance by Mariachi Rosas Divinas, Dallas’s only professional all-female mariachi. Mexican composer Jesús Echevarría has created original music using Wagner as an inspiration in this world premiere of the SOLUNA-commissioned work.

Wagner continues to permeate the second week with the composer’s great-great grandson appearing at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars. On Wednesday, May 16 beginning at 6:30 PM, SOLUNA will screen “Wagner: A Genius in Exile,” a film about the composer’s time spent in Switzerland. The filmmaker and artist Antoine Wagner will be on hand for a discussion after the film.

Also in the second week are two contemporary art events by Dallas-based artists. The first of these will feature Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe—two of Dallas’s most respected creators—in a world premiere. They will bring the Nasher Sculpture Center garden to life in “Grubnik + Suzanne.” This immersive installation, with a performative element by vocal artist Liz Tonne, gives voice to a tree as the sculptures fade to dust. The performance utilizes sound technology invented by the artists to present a psychologically charged experience. The performance will begin at 9:00 PM on Thursday, May 17. 

SOLUNA’s inaugural partnership with The Cedars Union will present “Breaking Shadows,” a world premiere, SOLUNA-commissioned work by Dallas artist Jennifer Wester on Saturday, May 19 at 8:00 PM. Wester, a former professional figure skater, will transform a downtown parking lot into a whimsical skating rink. Newly designed lighting will project the skater’s shadow onto a wall while the skating will be set to new music harvested from sounds of the ice.

“If the goal of the SOLUNA Festival is to foster creative collaborations that cut across disciplines, then it succeeded wildly…” — D Magazine (on 2016’s Rules Of The Game)

SOLUNA Week Three Events

The final week of SOLUNA 2018 will be a celebration. This week will feature the highly anticipated final concerts with Jaap van Zweden as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the beloved Beethoven Symphony No. 9, the performances will include the world premiere, DSO commissioned Violin Concerto No. 2 by American composer Jonathan Leshnoff with DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr as soloist. Performances will be Thursday through Saturday, May 24-26 at 7:30 PM.

Passport to the Park, in partnership with Klyde Warren Park, will return for its second year. This day-long free event on Sunday, May 27 celebrates the diverse artistic cultures of Dallas with performances by the Booker T. Washington High School Gospel Choir, Helping Hand Drums, UNT Latin Jazz Lab and W. E. Greiner Middle School Folklorico Dance Company. “Community partnership is central to SOLUNA,” said Gillian Friedman, Director of SOLUNA Projects. “This event is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Dallas’s rich culture and enjoy an afternoon together in this favorite public space.”

SOLUNA will close with a bang on Memorial Day with the annual free Parks Concert and fireworks display at Flag Pole Hill, sponsored by ExxonMobil and the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. DSO Assistant Conductor Ruth Reinhardt will lead the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in music celebrating and honoring our armed service members and first responders on Monday, May 28 at 8:15 PM.

SOLUNA Postlude Events

Two of Dallas’s signature performing arts groups will be part of SOLUNA’s post-festival events. Dallas Theater Center will stage White Rabbit Red Rabbit at the Wyly Theater from Wednesday, May 30 to Sunday, July 1. This “theater entertainment meets social experiment” will change every evening. Neither the actors nor the audience knows what will be performed.

One of the most beloved ballets will come to the Winspear Opera House with Texas Ballet Theater’s performances of Swan Lake on Friday through Sunday, June 1-3.

“SOLUNA is the platform that we are using to create and innovate here in Dallas and reach a world-wide community,” said Burns. “We look forward to welcoming audiences to SOLUNA in 2018 and planning for our five year anniversary in 2019.”

2018 Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival Sponsors

  • O’Donnell Foundation
  • Texas Instruments – DSO Classical Series Sponsor
  • League of American Orchestras
  • PaperCity Dallas – Official Print & Digital Media Sponsor
  • WFAA – Official Broadcast Sponsor
  • NorthPark Center
  • Joule
  • ExxonMobil – 2018 Parks Concert Sponsor
  • Office of Cultural Affairs – 2018 Parks Concert Sponsor

About the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival

Anchored by DSO performances led by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival showcases internationally-acclaimed guest soloists, visual artists and performing artists alongside leading Dallas-based companies and ensembles. An annual, three-week multidisciplinary event, SOLUNA stages performances and exhibitions at venues, prominent galleries and performance spaces throughout the Dallas Arts District and beyond. SOLUNA aims to steward authentic collaborations within the Dallas Arts District and serve as a magnet for artists and performers around the world. By incorporating strong educational and science components, audiences are invited to experience music and art and interact with their Dallas community in new and exciting ways.

About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world's premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 230,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900, and it is a cornerstone of the unique, 68 acre Arts District in downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas.

Media Contacts:

Denise McGovern | Vice President of Communications, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
d.mcgovern@dalsym.com | 214.871.4024

Emily Alli | SUTTON PR, National Media Representation
emily@suttonpr.com | 212.202.3402