Symphony of Southeast Texas - Christopher O'Riley

Symphony of Southeast Texas - Christopher O'Riley

The Symphony of Southeast Texas will wrap up its spectacular 64th season with an extraordinary evening of great artistry fulfilling the season’s “Symphony Fantastique” theme on Saturday, April 1, inside the Julie Rogers Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Piano soloist Christopher O’Riley joins the Symphony featuring Rachmaninoff’s “Variations on a theme by Paganini” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.”

“This season has been an amazing adventure in many ways,” said SOST Executive Director Doug Fair. “We’ve presented outstanding artists, featured new dimensions of musical performances, and by including some locally treasured music, welcomed new faces to our audiences. We hope that many of our ‘first time’ concertgoers will be back again and again. Our season finale includes beloved classics like the Rachmaninoff variations, and the exciting epic symphonic story of a crazed artist. Pianist Christopher O’Riley’s wonderful talents will make the variations sparkle in his unique way.”

Wit, charm, romance, rhythmic verve, and masterly orchestration combine in what many consider to be one of Rachmaninoff’s greatest compositions – his “Paganini Variations.” The orchestra performs this masterwork with the amazing O’Riley as the piano soloist. Acclaimed for his engaging and deeply committed performances, O’Riley is known to millions as the host of NPR’s “From the Top.”

As a classical pianist, he performs around the world and has garnered widespread praise for his untiring efforts to reach new audiences by performing piano arrangements of popular alternative music from Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nirvana and more. His playing has been described as being “laced with an otherworldly elegance that can’t be duplicated.”

On the second half of the program is one of the greatest orchestral masterpieces, “Symphonie Fantastique” by Hector Berlioz. This symphony describes the tortured dreams of a sensitive artist in lovesick despair who becomes haunted by visions of an unattainable woman. You’ll actually hear the “Dies Ire” theme in both the Rachmaninoff and Berlioz works. This will be the first time the SOST has performed this exciting piece, which features two tuba players, a rarity for any symphonic work.

Tickets range from $26-$46 and can be purchased online at or by calling (409) 892-2257.

Julie Rogers Theatre is at 765 Pearl St. in downtown Beaumont.