ilya kaler

Ilya Kaler

Conductor Timothy Muffitt and the Baton Rouge Symphony will open the 71st Orchestral Season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, with “Tchaikovsky and Pines of Rome,” featuring violinist Ilya Kaler, at First Baptist Church Baton Rouge, 529 Convention St.

Kaler is the only violinist in the world to win the gold medal at three of the world’s most prestigious international violin competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia; the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, Finland; and the Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy. He joins forces with Muffitt and the symphony to perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.

As the symphony embarks on Muffitt’s 20th and final season as music director, it will open the concert with a piece last performed during his first season: Donald Grantham’s “To the Wind’s Twelve Quarters.” The second half of the concert features Manuel de Falla’s Suite No. 2 from “The Three-Cornered Hat” and concludes with Respighi’s powerful “Pines of Rome.”

Back by popular demand are the 30-minute preconcert lectures at 6:30 p.m. with Muffitt discussing the program.

A preconcert reception featuring musicians from the BRSO's Louisiana Youth Orchestra will take place at Taylor Porter, 450 Laurel St., 8th floor. Wine and light bites will be served.

Tickets for the season opener start at $25. Student rush tickets are available 20 minutes prior to the performance for $10 cash and current student ID (subject to availability). Tickets are available online at, by calling (225) 383-0500, or in person, 9635 Fenway Ave., Suite B.