Chiharu Naruse Submitted photo

The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rohan Smith, returns to the stage for its 33rd concert season with performances in Lewiston and Topsham on Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30.

The orchestra welcomes soloist Chiharu Naruse performing Piano Concerto No. 2 by Russian composer Shostakovich. Smith said the concerto is “undoubtedly one of his [Shostokovich’s] happiest and most youthful-sounding works.”

Naruse, who is on the music faculty at Bates College and the Portland Conservatory of Music, has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician throughout the United States, Germany, France and Japan. She is frequently contracted by recording companies to record contemporary music, including several recordings with Navona Records and, most recently, a solo album of compositions by Kenneth Kuhn from Big Round Records.

The MSO will also perform Symphony No. 4 by Brahms and “Seven O’Clock Shout” by Valerie Coleman.

The Brahms symphony is one of four he composed, written in 1885 while he was at the peak of his fame as a composer, pianist, and conductor. Smith describes the work as Brahms’s “deeply lyrical and passionate last symphony.”

“Seven O’Clock Shout” was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and given its first, virtual performance in July 2020. Coleman wrote about the work, “[It] is an anthem inspired by the tireless frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the heartwarming ritual of evening serenades that brings people together amidst isolation to celebrate life and the sacrifices of heroes.”

All MSO musicians and staff members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks are recommended for audience members.

Complete concert and ticket information is at Season tickets for the four classical concerts are available for $74. Individual tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the concert, and free for ages18 and under and for college students with ID. Audiences are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at or by calling the box office at 207-481-0790.

The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra is a community orchestra founded in 1990. Started as a chamber orchestra, there are now more than 80 members. Under the baton of Rohan Smith, the orchestra brings top-notch performances to the Orion Center in Topsham and the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. Members are volunteer musicians from many communities in Maine.

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