Music History with M.J.

All lectures will take place at 6pm in Foundation Hall

Music History with MJ RETURNS to the Canton Symphony Orchestra in glorious fashion. Explore the finest nuances of music with Stark county’s premiere scholar of the arts, M.J. Albacete. He will explore the vast orchestral canon and the historical context behind the music we all know, or have yet to know, and love.

Any and all are welcome to attend this lecture series. It is FREE to register, but you must sign-up at least two hours before the lecture begins. Light refreshments and snacks will be available at no cost and for purchase.

If you have any questions or would like to reserve your seats over the phone, please call 330-452-2094.

M. J. Albacete

Museum administrator, writer, arts scholar, and educator, Manuel Joseph Albacete was born on July 23, 1939, in Canton, Ohio.  After graduating from McKinley High School in 1957, Albacete served two years in the United States Navy aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Essex. The tour of duty allowed Albacete to explore the culture of cities in Europe and the Middle East, satisfying his curiosity by visiting museums. Albacete’s interests have always leaned toward the arts, and he has traveled the world throughout his life. It’s not surprising that he is revered as Canton’s Renaissance man.

Albacete lives in North Canton with his wife and is very active in the arts community. He also serves as adjunct professor in the Art Department of Kent State University Stark Campus.

At the CSO, M.J. leads our pre-concert lectures. Prior to all MasterWorks concerts, we feature a preconcert lecture called “Performance Preludes,” which is free to all ticket buyers, All talks occur one hour prior to the concert in The Martino Bar. These discussions provide a more in-depth look into the music being performed that evening and give our concertgoers more to listen for during the concerts. 


A Celebration of Patriotic American Music

October 5th, 2023 | 6:00PM

"A Celebration of Patriotic American Music" will include selections of works from the pre-Revolutionary/Revolutionary period, with a progression of larger works by American composers through the various war periods to the present.

Theme & Variations

November 2nd, 2023 | 6:00PM

“Theme & Variations” Here we will see examples from Jazz, American folk songs, and other historic examples by Juan Cabanilles, Fernando Sor, Francisco Tarrega, Beethoven; Tchaikovsky, Elgar, etc; various brief selections.

Unfinished Symphonies & Other works

January 4th, 2024 | 6:00PM

“Unfinished Symphonies and other works” Learn about the several symphonies that Schubert left unfinished, Elgar’s Third Symphony, Tchaikovsky Seventh Symphony, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Puccini’s “Turandot” (fabulous clip!), and others.

Beethoven As You've Never Heard Before

February 1st, 2024 | 6:00PM

"Beethoven as You've Never Heard Him Before" Beethoven composed music in many genres, which we all know through performances and recordings true to his original manuscripts. But there are many “alternate versions”—by him and others—that are little known, such as symphonies reduced to 2- and 4-hand piano arrangements, even chamber and brass ensembles; piano and clarinet versions of the violin concerto; string quartets arranged for full string orchestras; folk song arrangements; items for unusual instruments; a “Battle Symphony” with cannons and musket-fire . . .

Program TBD

March 7th, 2024 | 6:00PM

Composers in Alphabetical Order

May 2nd, 2024 | 6:00PM “Composers in Alphabetical Order” Audience members will be invited to select a letter of the alphabet (family name, grade in college, whatever), or come up to the podium and spin a wheel with all the letters of the alphabet. In any case, whatever letter is chosen, M.J. will draw a card from a small card file for that letter, which identifies a composer whose name begins with that letter, and will read a short bio, followed by a 2-3 minute pre-recorded selection of a work by that composer. Then, we make choices until we are out of time. There will be a prize-winning letter! After the last selection, M.J. will reveal the letter, and if it has been used, that audience member wins a prize. If not, wait until next time . .