VOL. 130 | NO. 46 | Monday, March 9, 2015
Sun Sets on Memphis in May’s Annual Symphony
JANE DONAHOE | The Daily News
Sunset Symphony will take its final bow this year.
Memphis in May International Festival announced Monday that the 2015 AutoZone Sunset Symphony would be the last, ending a 39-year run.
A crowd watches the 2014 Sunset Symphony at Tom Lee Park on May 24, 2014. The annual event, part of the Memphis in May International Festival, will end its 39-year run May 23.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
The event, scheduled for May 23 in Downtown Memphis’ Tom Lee Park, will feature special guests and an expanded fireworks show as part of its grand finale celebration.
Memphis in May will announce next year plans for a new Memorial Day weekend event set to take Sunset Symphony’s place.
Sunset Symphony will begin this year at 6 p.m. with an air show by the Commemorative Air Force. The Memphis Symphony Orchestra – led by music director Mei-Ann Chen – will perform along with opera star and Memphian Kallen Esperian and local soloist Richard Todd Payne, who will reprise “Ol’ Man River.”
MSO president and CEO Roland Valliere said the organization “deeply appreciates” its partnership with Memphis in May.
“We look forward to a spectacular grand finale with many special elements that will take place during this May’s culminating performance,” Valliere said in a statement.
Memphis in May CEO Jim Holt said the decision to launch new event programming in 2016 was made by the board of directors after studying event trends and program popularity.
“While we’re sad to close the chapter on the Sunset Symphony as we know it, we’re excited about the spectacular and fitting grand finale program that’s in place for 2015, and we’re very excited to create future event opportunities in its place for our community,” he said in a statement. “Our goal is to broaden community engagement and participation with our new event.”
Sunset Symphony tickets are $10 and will go on sale through Ticketmaster Thursday, March 12.