Announcing our 2019-2020 Season

March 26, 2019

The Des Moines Symphony is pleased to announce its 82nd Season!

For the Orchestra’s 82nd Season, Maestro Joseph Giunta has drawn inspiration from both far-flung and familiar locales. The season begins in September with an exhilarating all-Tchaikovsky program, replete with scenes from Shakespearean and Russian literature. In October, we’ll celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park with a suite from Symphony in Sculpture, while the colorful escapades of Scheherazade will take your imagination on a thrilling journey through exotic lands. Our April program takes a springtime jaunt to Paris; and finally, in May, we’ll play a whirling, all-Russian program showcasing Stravinsky’s colorful Firebird. Throughout the season, you’ll hear stirring Romantic masterpieces from Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Grieg, Dvorák, and many more.

The Symphony’s three-concert Pops series is back for another year of exciting performances! This season’s unforgettable experiences include the thrilling Afro Cuban rhythms of Camille Zamora and the Mambo Kings in Havana Nights October 26, New Year’s Eve Pops: Cirque at the Symphony with Troupe Vertigo on December 31, and Broadway icon Bernadette Peters in concert with the Symphony April 4.

The Symphony has also announced a special holiday event, Home Alone in Concert, on November 30 & December 1. Tickets for Home Alone in Concert will be available exclusively to new and renewing subscribers beginning March 26, and to the general public at a later date.

“This season’s music includes some of the greatest Romantic repertoire in the orchestral canon,” said Music Director and Conductor Joseph Giunta. “We can’t wait to play this wonderful, beloved music and we invite you to join us on this season’s thrilling journey.”


  • Season Debut: Gil Shaham Plays Tchaikovsky Grammy award-winner and Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” Gil Shaham joins the Symphony for a thrilling all-Tchaikovsky Season Debut.(Sep 21 & 22, 2019)
  • Symphony in Sculpture The Des Moines Symphony celebrates the tenth anniversary of a cultural landmark with Symphony in Sculpture – plus, the thrilling adventure of (Oct 12 & 13, 2019)
  • Grieg & Dvorak Experience Dvorak’s sublime Eighth Symphony, plus the brilliance and lyricism of Grieg’s Piano Concerto played to perfection by Jon Kimura Parker. (Nov 9 & 10, 2019)
  • Mendelssohn & Brahms Rising star Grace Park plays Mendelssohn’s dazzling Violin Concerto, plus Peter Oundjian conducts Brahms’s lush Second Symphony and the shimmering Rainbow Body. (Feb 8 & 9, 2020)
  • Carmina Burana Orff’s spellbinding choral masterwork bursts to life as 200 voices join the Des Moines Symphony, plus Beethoven’s ebullient Eighth Symphony and Wagner’s tender Siegfried Idyll. (Mar 14 & 15, 2020)
  • April in Paris Franco-Belgian sensation Camille Thomas joins the Symphony for a sparkling evocation of the City of Lights, plus – Elgar’s searing, rhapsodic Cello Concerto. (Apr 18 & 19, 2020)
  • Season Finale: The Firebird From the romantic thrill of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto to the dazzling, colorful Firebird – experience this epic concert live. (May 9 & 10, 2020)

2019-2020 POPS SEASON

  • Havana Nights Star soprano Camille Zamora and the Mambo Kings present a sultry, passionate and exciting evening of Latin rhythms! This hot evening of music includes orchestral and vocal selections from the Spanish Zarzuela period combined with the electrifying Afro Cuban rhythms of the Mambo Kings. (Oct 26, 2019)
  • New Year’s Eve Pops: Cirque at the Symphony With jaw-dropping feats of athletic prowess and gravity-defying acrobatics, Troupe Vertigo’s acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and more will take you on a spellbinding journey — all backed by the full orchestral power of your Des Moines Symphony. Ring in the New Year with an electrifying evening of entertainment! (Dec 31, 2019)
  • Bernadette Peters in Concert One night only! Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actress Bernadette Peters has dazzled audiences and critics with her performances on stage and television, in concert, and on recordings. Don’t miss this unique chance to hear this legend live with the Des Moines Symphony. (Apr 4, 2020 – in Collaboration with Des Moines Performing Arts)


  • Home Alone in Concert A true holiday favorite, this beloved comedy classic features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live to picture by the Des Moines Symphony. Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves.  Hilarious and heart-warming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family! (Nov 30 & Dec 1, 2019)


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.


Subscriptions may be purchased at, by calling 515.246.2300, or in person 9am-5pm at the Civic Center Ticket Office (221 Walnut Street, Des Moines) beginning at 9am Tuesday, March 26 and at any remaining concerts of the 2018-2019 season. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.