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Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Youth Orchestra perform in May
Nicholas Hersh

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra (MSO) presents Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, 2024 led by Music Director Nicholas Hersh. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

The weekend’s program includes living composer, Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, Amy Beach’s Peace I Leave With You, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor. The concerts will feature the MSO Chorus, directed by Daniel R. Afonso Jr., and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 will also feature guest soloists: soprano Georgiana Adams, mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich, tenor Alex Boyer, and bass Matt Boehler.

“Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has taken on a kind of mystique of an almost supernatural masterpiece,” said Hersh. “But its reality is anything but: it’s one of Beethoven’s most personal and emotional works. Beethoven’s Ninth is a mountain to climb for any musician, but it’s at the summit that the forces of the orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists join together, reveling in the joy of unity with the composer’s most enduring melody: the Ode to Joy. I can’t wait for the MSO to take on this journey with my wonderful colleague Daniel Afonso leading the Modesto Symphony Chorus as well as the amazing guest soloists joining us from all over California.”

This concert is made possible by a generous legacy gift from Alicia Aywas and is dedicated to her memory.

“As a longtime subscriber and donor, Alicia Aywas brought joy to those around her and loved classical music,” said Caroline Nickel, President and CEO. “The MSO is honored to have known Alicia Aywas and to dedicate these performances of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ to her.”

The weekend also includes the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra (MSYO) in their Season Finale Concert on May 11, 2024 at 2 p.m.

The MSYO comprises two orchestras with students from grades five through 12 and is led by a deeply engaged leadership team. Their season finale concert will feature works by Grieg, Pascual Marquina Narro, music from the 2017 Disney movie, Coco, and excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen Suite. This concert will also feature the MSYO’s annual Concerto Competition winner, Samuel Kraus, performing the first movement of the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219. Learn more about the MSYO at

Performances will be at the Gallo Center for the Arts, Mary Stuart Rogers Theater, 1000 I St., Modesto.