New philharmonic director to open season with a bang

The Las Vegas Philharmonic, under new Music Director David Itkin, will open its ninth season with the "Star Spangled Spectacular" at 8 p.m. July 4 at Hills Park, 9002 Hillpointe Drive.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

With associate conductor Richard McGee, Itkin will lead patriotic tunes and marches in a family-style Independence Day event. The finale, starting with the "1812 Overture," will display a full fireworks show by pyrotechnics company Zambelli Internationale.

The season will continue Sept. 29 when Masterworks I features Hector Berlioz's "Roman Carnival," Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor and Johannes Brahams' Symphony No. 2 in D Major. Violinist Kiril Laskarov, 1995 winner of the Bulgarian National Violin Competition, will be the guest performer.

The Nov. 17 Masterworks II concert will bring Dmitri Shoskattovich's jovial "Ballet Suite No. 1." On Dec. 8 and 9, Itkin will conduct an all-new holiday concert.

The family concert will return Jan. 12 and will feature the music of John Williams.

A Feb. 16 Masterworks III concert will bring Ludwig van Beethoven to the forefront. Pianoist Navah Perlman, daughter of Itzhak Perlman, will be the guest performer. Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 in A Minor will close the night.

Masterworks IV on April 5 will combine the Romantic and Classical eras.

On May 10, Masterworks V will feature Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 4 in D Minor.

Saturday concerts begin at 8 p.m. while Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. in Artemus Ham Hall at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway.

Single tickets range from $29 to $73, with a 10 percent discount for seniors and students (18 and younger). They are available by calling 895-2787. Visit for more information.