Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Columbia Theatre


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performed “Beethoven Meets the Wild West” on Feb. 16, 2018. This year, the orchestra will be performing “Romantic German Masters” on Oct. 25.

Professional orchestra players are scheduled to perform in downtown Hammond this month.

The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will be hosting a performance by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, a New Orleans based ensemble and the only full time professional orchestra within the Gulf South Region on Oct. 25.

James Winter, artistic director for the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, elaborated on the impact of the orchestra’s local presence.

“I know that when I mention they’re coming here to people, their ears prick up,” explained Winter. “We have a lot of returning patrons, and one of the first things they ask is ‘Is LPO coming back? When are they performing?’ So, I do know the organization carries with it a certain amount of prestige.”

The orchestra will be performing Romantic German classics, and the audience can look forward to witnessing a world-renowned guest musician.

“Their performance on Oct. 25 is featuring a world-class cellist Lynn Harrell, and if you look up Lynn on social media, you’ll see that he is a really famous cellist,” explained Winter. “So, the fact that they’re coming into Hammond with this incredible musician performing with their already talented ensemble, really does make it a special event.”

Daniel Cassin, a lecturer of cello, commended the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for their musical perseverance.

“They sort of reconstituted the organization from the ground up, and they’ve done a tremendous job,” said Cassin. “There’s not that much interest coming up in the younger generations. So, it’s very difficult for an organization to survive culturally these days like that, and the orchestra’s done a super job of getting out there and reaching out to the community and doing things in the area to stimulate interest.”

Cassin also explained what makes live symphony music a distinct experience.

“There’s so much trouble in the world,” expressed Cassin. “People forget that when you go to a symphony concert, not only do you see and hear the music, but the music reaches you on a level that’s far deeper than most other media are capable of doing. It’s a real, almost spiritual connection when you go to an event like that and are moved that way.”

Zorica Dimova, a lecturer of violin and member of the LPO, discussed what distinguishes the orchestra from other organizations.

“This is actually the oldest musician-operated orchestra in the United States,” explained Dimova. “Our orchestra is very unique because musicians participate in every decision that is made. We perform together. We rehearse together every single week, so the performances are very strong because of that.”

Dimova encouraged younger generations and students to attend the orchestra’s performance.

“Students get to attend all the concerts, not only in Hammond, but we also have concerts in Covington,” said Dimova. “We love to see young people and students at our concerts. It’s really great.”

Winter also encouraged newcomers to visit as he believes the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has something to offer for everyone.

“There’s nothing like the live music experience regardless of what kind of music you’re into,’’ said Winter. “To experience an orchestra live is an incredible thing. So, if you haven’t done it, this is a chance to see a really good one live.”

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing on Oct. 25 at the Columbia Theatre. Entry ticket prices are $20 and $37.