After an unprecedented season, that featured a mix of concerts in empty and limited capacity concert halls, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) is hoping for something far closer to normal for its 107th season in 2021-22, starting in August.

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

A socially distanced Quad City Symphony performing in the Adler Theatre.

“From the New World” – named for the iconic Antonin Dvorak symphony that will kick off the Masterworks Oct. 2-3 – will feature six dynamic Masterworks programs, the beloved Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops, the return of QCSO at the Movies, four intimate “Up Close” chamber concerts, and several special events.

“As we are truly entering the new world of post-pandemic life, we are looking forward to being back in the concert halls to experience the power live music has to uplift humanity and heal our souls,” QCSO Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith said in a release on the new season.

“The musicians of the Quad City Symphony and I are so grateful for your support of us and our music this past year. You showed us how important music is to our community, and inspired us

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

Mark Russell Smith led the QCSO in a very different 2020-21 season.

to keep that music alive,” he said.

“We will hit the ground running with our season opener featuring Antonín Dvořák’s famous ‘New World Symphony,’ paired with world-renowned and Quad-City favorite pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing Barber’s powerhouse piano concerto,” said QCSO Executive Director Brian Baxter.

“We are also pleased to shine a spotlight on the incredible talent within our orchestra this season with concertmaster Naha Greenholtz performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4, and principal horn, Marc Zyla performing Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 1 and Benjamin Brittan’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings.”

Ohlsson, now 73, last performed with the QCSO in November 2016, in the Brahms Second Piano Concerto. He was to kick off the 100th season here, but he had to cancel because of health reasons and was replaced by Andre Watts.

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

Internationally renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson will play the Samuel Barber Piano Concerto in the first Masterworks of next season, Oct. 2-3, 2021.

Ohlsson is the only American to have won the Gold Medal at the Chopin International Piano Competition (in 1970), and he has established himself worldwide with a repertoire of more than 80 concertos.

A resident of San Francisco, Ohlsson received the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994; the University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1998; and the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in 2014.

Ohlsson’s 10-disc set of the complete Ludwig van Beethoven sonatas earned a Grammy award, and in 2008, the English label Hyperion re-released his 16-disc set of the complete works of Frederic Chopin.

The diverse QCSO 107th season will also include Anton Bruckner’s sweeping 8th Symphony, Jennifer Higdon’s Grammy-award winning Viola Concerto performed by Roberto Díaz, and exciting music by Michael Abels, Chen Yi, and

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

Mark Russell Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony.

William Grant Still.

This summer’s Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops will be in Davenport’s LeClaire Park Aug. 21, for The Music of the Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards 1969, featuring the band’s greatest hits from the iconic albums, Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed including “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Midnight Rambler,” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

The QCSO at the Movies series returns to the Adler Theatre with presentations of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert in November. The QCSO will be one of the first orchestras in the nation to present Disney’s Frozen in Concert in May 2022.

QCSO Masterworks performances are held on Saturday evenings at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport, and Sunday afternoons at Centennial Hall, Augustana College, 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island, unless otherwise noted. The following works are scheduled for the 2021-22 season:

All Masterworks Concerts sponsored in part by the Regional Development Authority, Illinois Arts Council, and Iowa Arts Council

Masterwork I: The New World

Saturday, October 2, 2021, 7:30 pm

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

Brian Baxter is executive director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.

Sunday, October 3, 2021, 2:00 pm

Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Dudley Buck Festival Overture on the American National Air

Samuel Barber Piano Concerto, Op. 38

Antonín Dvořák Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 “From the New World”

 Masterworks II: Fantasies & Fables

Saturday, November 6, 2021, 7:30 pm

Sunday, November 7, 2021, 2:00 pm

Shellie Moore Guy, narrator

Engelbert Humperdinck Prelude to Hänsel und Gretel

MICHAEL ABELS Frederick’s Fables

William Grant Still Poem for Orchestra

PYotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet, Fantasy-Overture

Masterworks III: English Serenade

Saturday, December 4, 2021, 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 5, 2021, 2:00 pm (Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Moline)

Marc Zyla, horn

Edward Elgar Serenade for Strings, Op. 20

Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1, Op. 11

Benjamin Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn, & Strings

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 36, K. 425 “Linz”


Masterworks IV: Bruckner 8

Saturday, February 5, 2022, 7:30 pm

Sunday, February 6, 2022, 2:00 pm

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 8, WAB 108

Masterworks V: From East to West

Saturday, March 5, 2022, 7:30 pm

Sunday, March 6, 2022, 2:00 pm

Naha Greenholtz, violin


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4, K. 218

Robert Schumann Symphony No. 2, Op. 61

Masterworks VI: Pines of Rome

Saturday, April 2, 2022, 7:30 pm

Sunday, April 3, 2022, 2:00 pm

Roberto Díaz, viola

 Johann Strauss Jr. Frühlingsstimmen, Op. 410 “Voices of Spring”

Jennifer Higdon Viola Concerto

Samuel Barber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9

Ottorino Respighi Pines of Rome


Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops

The Music of the Rolling Stones: Mike Jagger & Keith Richards 1969

Saturday, August 21, 2021, 7:30 pm, LeClaire Park

Sponsored by Quad City Bank & Trust

produced by Windborne Music, Brent Havens, guest conductor 

The party of the summer returns to LeClaire Park with the music of The Rolling Stones. “Let’s Spend the Night Together” along the banks of the Mississippi River rocking out to the band’s greatest hits from the iconic albums, Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed including “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Midnight Rambler,” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want!” This spectacular event closes with our traditional renditions of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” set to a brilliant fireworks display.

QCSO At the Movies:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm, Adler Theatre

Part of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series brought to you by CineConcerts

Grab your broom and get ready for the tasks ahead! The Triwizard Tournament comes to Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert.  Relive the magic of Harry Potter soaring across the big screen in high-definition and experience the music of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra performing Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score live to picture.

QCSO at the Movies:

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

The QCSO will be one of the first orchestras in the nation to present Disney’s “Frozen” in concert, in May 2022.

Disney’s Frozen in Concert

Saturday, May 14, 2022, 2:00 pm, Adler Theatre

Travel to Arendelle and experience the phenomenon of Disney’s Frozen like never before! Watch in high-definition as Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf set off on a grand adventure to help Elsa to control her powers and save the kingdom from eternal winter. Experience the blockbuster movie in its entirety as the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and choir bring the incredible score to life, including favorite songs “First Time in Forever,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Let It Go.”



Formerly Signature Series

Up Close I: Soldier’s Tale

Saturday, October 9, 2021, 7:30 pm, Galvin Fine Arts Center

with Ballet Quad Cities

Daniel Won, clarinet, Ben Coelho, bassoon, Matt Onstad, trumpet, Michael Cox, trombone, Tony Oliver percussion, Naha Greenholtz, violin, Dave Scholl, bass, & Kyle Knox, guest conductor

 Works by Igor Stravinsky, Morton Gould, Libby Larsen, & James Stephenson

Up Close II with Andrew Parker

Saturday, January 8, 2022, 7:30 pm, Figge Art Museum

Andrew Parker, oboe, & Marian Lee, piano

 Works by Francis Poulenc, Marina Dranishnikova, Alyssa Morris, & Sigismund Toduță

Up Close III: Nordic Dreams

Saturday, March 26, 2022, 7:30 pm, Centennial Hall

Naha Greenholtz, violin, Hannah Holman, cello, & Juliana Han, piano

 Works by Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius, Arvo Pärt, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, & Dietrich Buxtehude

Up Close IV with Naha Greenholtz

Sunday, May 1, 2022, 2:00 pm, Figge Art Museum

Naha Greenholtz, violin, & Marian Lee, piano

 Works by Astor Piazzolla, Eugène Ysaÿe, Gabriela Lena Frank, Pablo de Sarasate, & Johann Sebastian bach



 QCSO Soirée: The Roaring 20s

Saturday, October 16, 2021, 5:30 pm, Figge Art Museum

Let the roaring 2020s begin with an elegant evening at the Figge! Tickets for this “Great Gatsby”-inspired event include dinner and

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

Augustana-based composer Jacob Bancks will have his long-awaited Living Proof opera “Karkinos” premiered with the QCSO in February 2022.

performance, plus a paddle raise and live auction with Maestro Mark Russell Smith as your auctioneer to benefit the QCSO’s programs.

Holiday Brass

Sunday, December 12, 2021, 3:00 pm, St. Paul Lutheran Church

Chris Nelson, organ

Ring in the holiday season with members of the QCSO Brass and Percussion sections! Under the direction of Maestro Mark Russell Smith, the ensemble is joined by organist Chris Nelson to perform uplifting sections of classical and holiday favorites including Samuel Barber’s Mutations from Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s intricate “Little Fugue” in G minor, and a selection of favorite carol arrangements by Anthony DiLorenzo.

Living Proof Exhibit Opera: Karkinos

Saturday, February 12, 2022, 7:30 pm, Bartlett Performing Arts Center

In collaboration with Living Proof Exhibit, the QCSO has commissioned local composer and Augustana Professor Jacob Bancks to create an opera entitled Karkinos that will provide hope and celebration for those with cancer and all who love them.  Inspired by direct conversations with people impacted by cancer, this emotional multi-media work featuring chamber orchestra, vocal soloists, and choir, depicts the story of a beautiful empress who is forced into battle with the unseen monster Karkinos the night before her coronation.

Ticket sales to 2021-22 season concerts open first to subscribers on May 29, 2021 at 7:30 a.m., and single tickets open to the general public on June 7, 2021 at 9 a.m.

QCSO tickets are available at the QCSO box office at 327 Brady St., Davenport. You can also call the QCSO at (563) 322-7276 or visit

Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season
Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.
Quad City Symphony Aims to Enter a “New World” in New 2021-22 Season

Free Breaking News
Alerts & Daily Digest
In Your Inbox!