Announcing Soluna 2020

APRIL 3-21, 2020

Festival highlights include:

Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi leads DSO in Dallas premiere of
Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals

DSO collaborates with GRAMMY®-winning alt-rock band The Flaming Lips

Kronos Quartet makes first Dallas appearance in thirteen years

World premiere of Windows to Yushu by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun

Dallas-based Verdigris Ensemble and Voices of Change perform Song from the Uproar by GRAMMY®-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli

Sō Percussion makes North Texas debut with Texas premiere of Forbidden Love by Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Wolfe, DSO’s Composer-in-Residence

Single tickets go on sale January 30

Festival Passes Available Now

Download Images here

Dallas, TX (January 27, 2020) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) is pleased to announce programming for the 2020 Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival. Opening on April 3 and running through April 21, 2020, the festival will take place at venues in the Dallas Arts District and throughout the city. Tickets for all SOLUNA events go on sale January 30, 2020, at

Now in its sixth season, SOLUNA will present collaborative and immersive works throughout the city of Dallas. Central to this year’s festival is music by leading contemporary composers including Pulitzer Prize-winners Du Yun and DSO Composer-in-Residence Julia Wolfe, GRAMMY® and Emmy Award-winner James Newton Howard, and Missy Mazzoli, one of the first two women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. Continuing the tradition established at SOLUNA’s inception, this year’s festival includes many new works, including three Texas premieres and two world premieres. 

As part of the festival, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will present three weekends of concerts, two of them under the leadership of Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi, and will open the sixth festival with the rarely performed oratorio The Book with Seven Seals.

The ever-evolving psychedelic-rock band The Flaming Lips will join the DSO at this year’s festival. The legendary GRAMMY® Award-winning band will perform the entirety of their classic 1999 The Soft Bulletin album with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and members of the Dallas Symphony Chorus. Their newest album, The Soft Bulletin Recorded Live at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, was released in November 2019. Their Dallas performance will be a kaleidoscopic, one-night-only musical experience. This performance is generously sponsored by Capital One.

“Capital One believes in fostering a vibrant arts culture in Dallas, as it’s key to driving creativity and innovation. The DSO has been an amazing partner on this journey,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Capital One Financial Services and Chairman of the Dallas Symphony Board of Governors. “The DSO has reimagined what a symphony can be, and performances like these are just one way they are shattering perceptions and broadening their reach.”

“SOLUNA is about experiencing music in new ways,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “This edition of the festival brings the most vibrant voices in contemporary music to North Texas resulting in performances that can be found nowhere else.”

“I am excited for you to hear works by some of the most important living artists and composers who are helping to shape the future of classical music.” said Gillian Friedman Fox, Director of Contemporary & SOLUNA Programs. “By showcasing important, compelling and challenging performances by artists at all stages of their careers, we are showing how classical music continues to be relevant and enrich our lives in new and exciting ways.”

In 2019, SOLUNA celebrated its fifth anniversary. Highlights of the past five festivals include Jennifer Hudson in concert with the DSO in 2019; St. Vincent’s orchestral debut in 2015; the world premiere collaborative performance piece Rules Of The Game with choreography by Jonah Bokaer, set design by Daniel Arsham and an original score by Pharrell Williams with David Campbell in 2016; and Traveling Lady starring Rossy de Palma, performed for the first time in Texas in 2017. 2019 featured the world premiere of GRAMMY® winner and Oscar nominated-composer Terence Blanchard’s Caravan: A Revolution on the Road. This collaboration brought together live musical performance by Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective, choreography and dance by Rennie Harris and his company and Andrew F. Scott’s visual projections, sculpture and projection mapping and reflected the life experiences of each artist and their thoughts and feelings about Black Lives in the 21st century.


Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas
FRI | APR 3 | 8PM

Due to its unique geography and centuries of social strife, the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture has become one of the most isolated areas of the world. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun explores the lasting effects on the children who have grown up in this secluded corner of the world that has changed little in hundreds of years. In collaboration with director Julian Crouch, the performance will include new music featuring the composer’s band, OK Miss, to demonstrate the director’s design concepts and feature clips from an upcoming documentary film on the project. The performance will be followed by an artist talk with Du Yun and Julian Crouch about their travels and research thus far

APR 19 | 2PM
APR 20 + 21 | 7:30PM

Dallas-based groups Verdigris Ensemble and Voices of Change present an imaginative restaging of Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt. In partnership with the University of Texas at Dallas ATEC Lightsquad and Dallas-based stage director and choreographer Joshua L. Peugh, this performance explores societal issues of gender roles, female empowerment and self-discovery through the unique story of Isabelle Eberhardt. Eberhardt lived boldly at the turn of the twentieth century, dressing as a man while traveling North Africa, converting to Islam and surviving an assassination attempt. The work, scored for solo soprano, choir and chamber ensemble, will be performed at AT&T Performing Arts Center in Hamon Hall.

TUE | APR 7 | 7:30PM

The powerhouse contemporary music ensemble Sō makes its Dallas debut with “Forbidden Noise.” In this program, which features Julia Wolfe’s Forbidden Love, Jason Treuting’s iconic Amid the Noise and projected visuals submitted by DISD students, Sō Prior to the day of the performance the ensemble will also take part in a two-day residency with the DSO’s Young Strings and composer Julia Wolfe.

SAT | APR 18 | 4PM

SOLUNA will present the world premiere of Dallas-based artist and musician Carmen Menza’s  Negotiating Dialogues, a modern, multi-movement chamber work that employs improvisation. Using software algorithms, projections are triggered by the music and appear around the audience creating a visually and auditorily immersive environment. Created by Menza in collaboration with Mark Menza, Eric Farrar and Joel Olivas, Negotiating Dialogues is a recipient of a grant from the TACA New Works Fund and received support from the City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture.


Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi will be in residence for the first two weeks of SOLUNA. He will open the festival with three performances of Franz Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals (April 3-5). The GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor is a champion of the Austrian composer’s music and brings this work to Dallas for the first time. With text drawn from the Book of Revelation, The Book with Seven Seals employs a large orchestra, 180-voice chorus, organ and vocal soloists. The performance will feature some of the finest voices singing today – Herbert Lippert (St. John The Divine), Mika Kares (The Voice Of The Lord), Meghan Kasanders, Kelley O’Connor, Matthew Pearce and Hadleigh Adams.

Luisi’s second concert will present Artist-in-Residence James Ehnes in Elgar’s noble and virtuosically stirring Violin Concerto, on a program with Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 (April 9-11). Luisi and the DSO’s performance of that work will be recorded for an upcoming Brahms Cycle on the DSO Live label.


In addition to his appearance with the DSO as soloist in the Elgar Violin Concerto, violinist James Ehnes will curate a chamber music concert with DSO musicians on April 14. Ehnes and members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will join forces to present chamber works by Beethoven, Prokofiev and James Newton Howard at Moody Performance Hall.

Ehnes will lead the DSO in a colorful compendium of English music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The program ranges from Purcell’s stately Baroque Chacony and Britten’s quiet Lachrymae to works that feature the DSO’s Artist-in-Residence performing as soloist and director: Vaughan Williams’s pastoral The Lark Ascending, with the solo violin echoing the bird’s exquisite morning song, and Holst’s rarely heard Double Violin Concerto, for which Ehnes will be joined by Concertmaster Alexander Kerr (Michael L. Rosenberg Chair).


Kronos Quartet will make its first Dallas appearance in thirteen years in the multimedia performance piece A Thousand Thoughts – A live documentary with the Kronos Quartet, written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmakers Sam Green and Joe Bini. Interacting with the stirring cinematic imagery on screen, Green and the Kronos Quartet will present an important dialogue about the history of 20th- and 21st-century music. Also featured within the film are archival footage and filmed interviews with composers and performing artists Philip Glass, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Reich, Wu Man and Terry Riley.


SOLUNA has enjoyed a strong partnership with the prestigious Dallas Art Fair since the first festival season. This year, SOLUNA and Dallas Art Fair collaborate to bring Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society (NIS) to Dallas. Abrams formed Natural Information Society in 2010. The group navigates Abrams’s compositions for traditional & contemporary instrumentation to create long-form psychedelic environments. NIS’s sound and approach is informed by jazz, minimalism and traditional musics.  NIS will present a genre-bending and meditative performance surrounded by the works of artist and NIS harmonium player Lisa Alvarado.

As SOLUNA has evolved, three key events have emerged as perennial fan-favorites.


SOLUNA has partnered with Klyde Warren Park since the launch of the festival, and this year, the family-friendly event Passport to the Park – a day of free, culturally diverse performances and activities at Klyde Warren Park – will return for its fourth edition. This year’s line-up includes Ethiopian singer Meklit, Native American hip hop artist Supaman, Bruce Wood Dance and Greiner Middle School’s Mariachi Los Unicos.


In a continued collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute, SOLUNA 2020 presents this year’s production of Music and the Brain. Moderated by UT Southwestern neurologist Dr. Mark Goldberg, “Music as Storytelling” is the 2020 focus, and will investigate how the brain processes stories neurologically. Guest speakers include W.F. Strong, host of Stories from Texas on the Texas Standard; Dr. Elizabeth Davenport, Assistant Professor of Radiology and the Advanced Imaging Research Center at UT Southwestern; Dr. Nolan Gasser, composer and chief musicologist for Pandora Media, Inc.; Dr. Nina Kraus, scientist, inventor and musician who studies the biology of auditory learning at Northwestern University; and Dr. Joe Maldjian, Professor of Radiology and Chief of the Neuroradiology Division at UT Southwestern.

The event will feature a unique multi-media presentation of a musician’s brain at work. O’Donnell Brain Institute scientists will demonstrate how state-of-the-art magnetoencephalogram (MEG) and MRI techniques can “see” which brain areas are activated as DSO Violinist Bruce Wittrig listens to music. In addition, the public is invited early for a reception and to experience brain-focused interactive displays in the lobby.


A Musician’s View will return this season with guest-curation by the DSO’s Composer-in-Residence Julia Wolfe. In this concert, members of the DSO will perform chamber works on the stage of the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall while offering the audience a unique viewing perspective with seating on the stage and in the choral terrace. All are invited to enjoy post-concert mingling with the musicians and a delicious champagne toast in the Meyerson lobby. 

SOLUNA 2020 Partner Events

Dallas-based performing arts organizations will join SOLUNA as partners for their performances. Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore! will present Rising Excellence on April 3 and 4. Dance/choreographic duo Derion Loman and Madison Olandt will create a new work with an innovative style of movement, embodied by an abstract narrative, percussive and rhythmic dynamics. The Dallas Opera will perform Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Poulenc’s La voix humaine (in collaboration with Dallas Black Dance Theatre) from April 3 to 8. Dallas’s Avant Chamber Ballet will present Beauty and Beyond, a performance featuring both world premieres and ballet classics, all with live music, on April 17 and 18.

SOLUNA 2020 Festival Passes

Back by popular demand, SOLUNA will offer two levels of passes for this year’s festival. The Explorer Festival Pass, available for purchase for $75, provides general admission seating for eight signature events, subject to capacity, on a first-come, first-served basis. The Culture Junkie Festival Pass, available for purchase for $150, provides the benefits of the Explorer Pass and also includes dedicated “cut the line” access or special entrance, to the eight signature events. A limited quantity of Festival Passes will be available. Details on tickets and festival passes can be found at   

Festival passes include one ticket to each of the following SOLUNA Programs:

  • Du Yun: Windows to Yushu
  • Music and the Brain
  • A Musician’s View
  • Sō Percussion: Forbidden Noise
  • James Ehnes Chamber Concert
  • Negotiating Dialogues
  • Song from the Uproar
  • Kronos Quartet: A Thousand Thoughts

Patrons can keep up with SOLUNA events, purchase tickets and learn more about artists and partners with the SOLUNA Festival app. The app is currently available and may be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play.

2020 Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival Sponsors

  • Capital One
  • O’Donnell Foundation 
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
  • Texas Instruments – DSO Classical Series Sponsor 
  • PaperCity Dallas – Print & Digital Local Luxury Lifestyle Media Sponsor  
  • Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District
  • Hersh Foundation – Music and the Brain Presenting Sponsor 
  • TACA I The Arts Community Alliance New Works Fund – Negotiating Dialogues Sponsor
  • TACA | The Arts Community Alliance Artist Residency Fund – A Musician’s View Sponsor

About the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival

The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival showcases internationally-acclaimed guest soloists, visual artists and performing artists alongside leading Dallas-based companies and ensembles. An annual, multi-week interdisciplinary event, SOLUNA stages performances and exhibitions at venues, prominent galleries and performance spaces throughout the Dallas Arts District and beyond. SOLUNA aims to steward authentic collaborations within the Dallas Arts District and serve as a magnet for artists and performers around the world. By incorporating strong educational and science components, audiences are invited to experience music and art and interact with their Dallas community in new and exciting ways.

About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi, presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 234,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives annually. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming.

The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas.