SAVANNAH, GA – August 22, 2016 – The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus is set to launch its 2016-17 season at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 with Rossini, Sortomme, and Beethoven.

The season, beginning with both old and new orchestral classics, will open with a piece by one of the most celebrated opera composers of all time, Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie).

After this sparkling opening, the audience will be treated to a very special event: the world premiere of a violin concerto by composer Richard Sortomme, performed by the internationally renowned violinist Elmar Oliveira. Oliveira is the only American violinist ever to win the Gold Medal at Moscow’s prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition. Mr. Oliveira performs regularly with the most prestigious orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, London Philharmonic, and the Zürich Tonhalle, among many others; and he recently established the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition. For one extraordinary evening, this great artist will team up with the Savannah Philharmonic to provide guests with an unforgettable experience.

The concert will conclude with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the “Eroica” (the “Heroic”). Considered a turning point in musical history since its premiere in 1805, the work was originally titled “Bonaparte” to show the composer’s admiration of Napoleon. However, after Napoleon named himself emperor, Beethoven – whose belief in human freedom was legendary – renamed the piece “Eroica.”

Savannah Philharmonic Artistic Director and Conductor Peter Shannon said, “Having spent the summer studying, I’m excited to begin the new season and hear all this incredible music that has, until now, only been circling around in my head. Opening night is really a great reunion for all of us: conductor, orchestra and you, our wonderful audience. I know the orchestra are very excited about Sortomme’s violin concerto with American violinist Elmar Oliveira. This world premiere is all the more special because the concerto was written for Maestro Oliveira. I’ve enjoyed learning this work! Beethoven’s Eroica symphony in the second half just adds to the excitement that we already all feel. It will be an incredible night at the Lucas Theatre.”

Subscription packages are available for the 2016-17 Savannah Philharmonic season. The Philharmonic Experience includes tickets for all eight orchestral/choral concerts, plus all six chamber music series concerts for a 50 percent discount. Series 8 offers tickets to all eight orchestral/chorus concerts for a 15 percent discount. The Pick 5 package allows patrons to choose any five orchestral/chorus concerts for a 10 percent discount. Or, the Flex 3 package provides guests with the opportunity to choose any three orchestral/chorus concerts for a 5 percent discount. The Chamber Music Series package includes tickets to all six chamber concerts for the price of five.

Tickets and subscription may be purchased online by visiting, by phone at 912-525-5050, or in person at the Savannah Box Office, 216 E. Broughton St., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For a complete schedule and more information on the Savannah Philharmonic’s 2016-17 season, please visit

Major funding for the Savannah Philharmonic is provided by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs.