Next season, the Des Moines Symphony joins the musical world in celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

Our season begins in October with Beethoven’s joyful anthem for humanity, his Ninth Symphony, and finishes in May with the most famous four notes in music – his powerful, gripping Fifth Symphony. In between, Joseph Giunta and the Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, his only Violin Concerto and his First and Third Piano Concertos.

"Beethoven’s influence continues to this day, affecting how we write, interpret, listen to, and perform music. His creative genius composed some of the most thrilling, dazzling and groundbreaking music ever; it cast a magic spell over his audiences and generated unprecedented emotional responses. Simply put, his music is timeless.”

Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor

Maestro Joseph Giunta will conduct music from composers who were influenced by Beethoven, including Shostakovich, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Mahler and Sibelius. Additionally, our 83rd Season features the Des Moines premieres of American composers George Walker, John Harbison, and Anna Clyne.

The Symphony’s three-concert Pops series is back for another year of exciting performances. This season’s unforgettable experiences include Revolution: The Music of the Beatles – a Symphonic Celebration on October 17; a stunning multimedia celebration of the band that changed pop music forever, New Year’s Eve Pops: The Music of Elton John Starring Michael Cavanaugh on December 31, and Broadway legend Chita Rivera in concert with the Symphony May 8.

We've also announced 2020-2021 performances of Spotlight at the Temple, our musician-curated concert series performed in the Grand Hall of the Temple for Performing Arts. Next season’s performances will take place October 27, 2020 and April 20, 2021.

Finally, we've announced two concert dates in our series of Sensory-Friendly Concerts. These concerts, designed for audiences of all ages and abilities, will take place October 25, 2020 and April 25, 2021.  

“In these times of uncertainty, I truly believe that great music provides hope and comfort to all who listen. It is in this spirit that I share with you the details of our 83rd Season, and invite you to join us at the Civic Center.”

Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor


  • SEASON DEBUT: BEETHOVEN’S NINTH Joseph Giunta and the Orchestra are joined by a soaring choir in Beethoven’s joyful anthem for humanity (Oct 3 & 4, 2020)
  • TCHAIKOVSKY’S FOURTH Andrew Tyson plays Beethoven’s boldly melodic First Piano Concerto, plus Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Tchiakovsky’s dramatic Fourth Symphony (Nov 14 & 15, 2020)
  • BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH Jahja Ling leads the Orchestra in Shostakovich’s dramatic Fifth Symphony, plus rising star Janice Carissa plays Beethoven’s turbulent, tender Third Piano Concerto (Jan 23 & 24, 2021)
  • IMMORTAL BELOVED Natasha Paremski plays Rachmaninoff’s thrilling, grand Third Piano Concerto in a passionate concert inspired by Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved” letters (Feb 13 & 14, 2021)
  • BEETHOVEN’S VIOLIN CONCERTO The noble grandeur of Sibelius 7, plus – Paul Huang joins the Symphony for Beethoven’s transcendent Violin Concerto in D Major (Mar 20 & 21, 2021)
  • THE “TRIPLE” & MAHLER 5 The transformative, turbulent Mahler 5 – plus, Symphony Principals Jonathan and Julie Sturm are featured in Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto. (Apr 17 & 18, 2021)
  • SEASON FINALE: THE FIFTH & THE PLANETS The most famous four notes in music, side by side with one of the greatest symphonic blockbusters ever written (May 15 & 16, 2021)

2020-2021 POPS SEASON

  • REVOLUTION: THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES – A SYMPHONIC EXPERIENCEAccompanied by hundreds of rare and unseen photos along with stunning video and animation, Revolution will take you on a magical journey featuring more than 25 top hits like “Ticket to Ride,” “Penny Lane,” “All You Need is Love,” “Get Back,” “Hey, Jude,” and much more. (Oct 17, 2020)
  • NEW YEAR’S EVE POPS: THE MUSIC OF ELTON JOHN STARRING MICHAEL CAVANAUGH Grammy and Tony-nominated Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh and his band join the Des Moines Symphony for a high-energy celebration that will have you singing along to classic hits and rock favorites. Ring in the New Year with the Des Moines Symphony and the music of Elton John! (Dec 31, 2010)
  • CHITA & FRIENDS WITH THE DES MOINES SYMPHONY Be up close and personal with the indomitable Broadway icon Chita Rivera as she recreates signature moments from her legendary career live with the Des Moines Symphony.  The two-time Tony Award winner will take the stage along with special guests from Broadway and beyond to perform numbers from West Side Story; Sweet Charity; Chicago; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Bye, Bye, Birdie; The Rink; The Visit and more. (May 8, 2021 – in Collaboration with Des Moines Performing Arts)


Spotlight at the Temple is an exciting new concert experience curated by Des Moines Symphony musicians and performed in a unique, intimate atmosphere. Grab a cocktail and experience our musical artistry up close and personal as our musicians take center stage – with a few surprises along the way.


Sensory-Friendly Concerts are designed for audiences of all ages and abilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities.


Subscriptions may be purchased at, or by calling the Civic Center Ticket Office at 515.246.2300 beginning at 10am Tuesday, April 7. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.