We invite you to experience the wonder of music. In the same way that majestic landscapes and architectural marvels leave you feeling awestruck, we’ll share musical moments that will leave you breathless.

The triumph of Orff’s Carmina Burana.
The majesty of Respighi’s Pines of Rome.
The yearning of Brahms’ Violin Concerto.

We hope you’ll join us as we embark on our 87th Season. Close your eyes, let your imagination take you on a journey through amazing histories and cultures and into realms of beauty and contemplation, and experience the wonders for yourself.


  • SEASON DEBUT: THE EMPEROR Classical tradition meets innovative spirit in the Symphony’s Season Debut! Kevin Day’s Lightspeed kicks off the concert with kaleidoscopic textures and futuristic soundscapesCritically acclaimed Olga Kern brings the bold spirit of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto to life. Bruckner’s majestic Symphony No. 7 closes the concert. (Sep 28 & 29, 2024) 
  • LEWIS PLAYS BRAHMS Geneva Lewis makes her Des Moines debut playing Brahm’s virtuosic and emotionally profound Violin Concerto. The lush harmonies of Still’s Serenade, which weaves American jazz and blues with classical traditions, open the concert. The Orchestra shines during Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5. (Oct 26 & 27, 2024) 
  • PARKER PLAYS GERSHWIN The Symphony’s third Masterworks program is bookended by Des Moines’ composer Linda Robbins Coleman’s joyful and exuberant Music from The Celebration: A Symphonic Jubilee and Beethoven’s triumphant Symphony No. 7. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker ignites the Civic Center with the exuberant melodies and syncopated rhythms of Gershwin’s Concerto in F. (Nov 23 & 24, 2024) 
  • CHEN CONDUCTS RACHMANINOFF Chicago’s Mei-Ann Chen leads the Orchestra! The concert opens with Florence Price’s Dance of the Canebrakes, a lively work inspired by African American folk music. Anne Marie McDermott makes her Des Moines debut performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Rachmaninoff’s dramatic Symphonic Dances closes the evening. (Feb 8 & 9, 2025) 
  • FROM THE NEW WORLD Sterling Elliot makes his Des Moines debut performing Haydn’s elegant Cello Concerto in D Major. Coleridge-Taylor’s The Song of Hiawatha and Dvorak’s New World Symphony bookend the concert, celebrating the rich tapestry of American musical expression. (Mar 8 & 9, 2025) 
  • O FORTUNA - CARMINA BURANA Explore fate, fortune and the joys and sorrows of human existence when more than 100 voices join the Orchestra for Orff’s bold and powerful Carmina Burana. Wagner’s grand Prelude to Die Meistersinger opens the concert, with a poignant interlude from Brahms, Nanie, Op. 82. (Apr 5 & 6, 2025) 
  • SEASON FINALE: PINES OF ROME Be transported to the Eternal City at the Symphony’s Season Finale! Mendelssohn-Hensel’s effervescent Overture in C Major opens the concert, followed by Mendelssohn’s exuberant Italian Symphony, evoking the bustling street of Italy. George Li dazzles with Sant-Saens’ Second Piano Concerto. Respighi’s evocative Pines of Rome closes the concert and the season.” (May 17 & 18, 2025)