Arabian Nights

Orpheum Theatre

September 28, 2019 - 7:30pm

Preconcert Talk w/Maestro Haskins, 6:45pm


One of the most anticipated Opening Nights in SCSO history!

Legendary percussionist Evelyn Glennie joins the orchestra performing Grammy Award winning composer Michael Daugherty’s DREAMACHINE. The Grammy Award winner is the first person in musical history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. The program will conclude with the dazzling orchestral showpiece, SCHEHERAZADE.

Programming and Guest Artists subject to change


Joan Tower                         Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No.1

Michael Daughtery             Dreamachine

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  Scheherazade

#3 - Glennie is the first person to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. (Eat your heart out Tommy Lee and Ringo Starr)


#2 - She performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, appeared on David Letterman, and played on Sesame Street.


#1 - Glennie became deaf at the age of 12 and overcame it to win 3 Grammy Awards. There’s only 1 place in North America you can see her this year - Right here in Sioux City!

• If you take a look at it, Arabian Nights is shaping up to be Women’s Night at the symphony. The first piece of the new season was composed by Joan Tower and is titled “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman.”  The night’s second piece, “Dreamachine,” was composed by a man, but specifically for the female percussive virtuoso Evelyn Glennie.  The night’s finale, “Scheherazade,” was written in response to the stories of 1,001 Arabian Nights, told by Scheherazade, the female character who used her wits and her 1,0001 stories to fend off her husband, the king, who kind of had a thing for beheading all of his wives.  Maybe this is all a coincidence, and maybe it’s not.  Either way, it’s nice to see women taking center stage—figuratively and literally.  (Glennie is the night’s guest artist.)  And what I like just as much is how the SCSO isn’t making a lot of hay out of it.  Why should it be anything but normal to have an evening filled with great female talent?  

• What’s the SCSO going to do with Evelyn Glennie?  And what’s Glennie going to do with all of her “stuff?”  Glennie has collected over 2,000 instruments, so I can’t wait to see what she brings with her, what they sound like, and where she’ll be with them.  Most guest artists come down front and center for their performances, but Glennie may have too many toys at her disposal to make that a viable option.  Front, back, or middle, we’ll be sure to hear her loud and clear.  (This is more than you might be able to say for Glennie herself, who is deaf and performs barefoot to feel the music.)  

• Let’s face it: Lots of people think the symphony is music for old folks written by old, usually dead folks.  But I’m thirty-five and this season’s opener features two pieces (of three) that are younger than me.  Tower’s “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman” was written in ’86, and Daugherty’s “Dreamachine” is as old as my kindergarten-age son.  So if you think you’re not old or boring enough for the symphony, come feel what you’ve been missing.  And see how wrong you are.  


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