South Bend Symphony Orchestra announces the opening of the 91st Season with the Jack M. Champaigne Masterworks Series: Silk Road + Strauss, on Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Morris Performing Arts Center. This phenomenal evening showcases the remarkable percussionist Joseph Gramley, renowned for his collaborations with the Silkroad Ensemble; the United States premiere of Syrian-American Malek Jandali’s Symphony No. 6, The Desert Rose; and Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, or The Knight of the Rose.

“On behalf of the Symphony, welcome to our 91st Season filled with awe, joy and inspiration!” writes Music Director Alastair Willis. “Our opening Masterworks continues our Silk Road journey – we’ve invited one of the most inspiring and awesome percussionists I’ve ever met, Joe Gramley, a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble. We are thrilled to be presenting the United States premiere of Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali’s Symphony No.6, The Desert Rose. I first met Malek last year in Doha when I was invited to conduct the world premiere with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. His music is a unique and compelling fusion of ancient Arabic and Qatari melodies with the modern symphony orchestra. We close our concert with the sumptuous suite from Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier.

Malek Jandali’s mesmerizing Symphony No. 6, The Desert Rose makes its United States premiere through excerpts. The Desert Rose weaves a captivating tapestry of emotions, painting a vivid picture of the vast expanse of the desert and its timeless beauty. Prepare to be captivated as Joseph Gramley takes the stage, demonstrating an athleticism and wit in his performance of Chen Yi’s Percussion Concerto. Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier Suite, an orchestral suite extracted from his opera Der Rosenkavalier, captures the essence of Richard Strauss’s lush orchestral writing, rich harmonies, and complex character development.

The South Bend Symphony Orchestra thanks Jack M. Champaigne for his support of the Masterworks Series. Additionally, the Symphony acknowledges Jordan Lexus of Mishawaka as a distinguished Artistic Sponsor of the 2023-24 Season, reflecting their commitment to fostering artistic excellence and enriching the community through exceptional musical experiences.



Discounts, priority seating, and other exclusive benefits are available to season subscribers. Subscribe at or by phone at (574) 232-6343.

Single Tickets


PHONE – Morris Performing Arts Center Box Office 574-235-9190

(10 am – 2 pm, Tuesday – Thursday)

IN-PERSON – Visit the Morris Box Office (211 N. Michigan St., South Bend) during the times listed above or two hours before any performance or stop by the Symphony Office (127 N. Michigan St., South Bend) between 10 am – 2 pm on Tuesday through Thursday.

To VIEW the 2023-24 Season schedule, visit

Dates, programs, and venues are subject to change.


About the South Bend Symphony Orchestra

The South Bend Symphony Orchestra lives its mission by engaging the community in exploring orchestral music in all its forms, producing more than 20 mainstage programs serving more than 17,000 attendees annually. As the region’s only professional orchestra, the Symphony is committed to a diversity of sound and a robust arts community in Michiana.

In addition to being recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and other state and local arts funding organizations, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra is the recipient of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County’s Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence, which recognizes the best-run nonprofit organization in St. Joseph County, Indiana.



About Joseph Gramley, percussion

Joseph Gramley’s dynamic and exciting performances as a soloist have garnered critical acclaim and enthusiasm from emerging composers, percussion aficionados and first-time concertgoers alike. He is committed to bringing fresh and inventive compositions to a broad public, and each year he commissions and premieres a number of new works. His first solo recording, American Deconstruction, is an expert rendition of five milestone works in multi-percussion’s huge new modern repertoire. His second solo recording, Global Percussion, continues his exploration of important works for the idiom and includes two new commissions and the first release of Philip Glass’ 1 + 1. An invitation from Yo-Yo Ma in 2000 led Gramley to join Mr. Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble. In addition to participating in the group’s extended residencies in cities and at universities around the globe, Gramley has toured with Mr. Ma and the Ensemble throughout North America, Europe, Central Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Asia, performing in the world’s finest concert halls. Along the way, Gramley has studied percussion styles and instruments from around the globe, collaborating with internationally renowned musicians from India, Iran, China, Japan, Korea, Spain and Central Asia. He has also appeared on eight top-selling albums with Yo-Yo Ma on multiple labels. Gramley served as Associate Artistic Director of the Silkroad Ensemble from 2014-2017. During Gramley’s tenure, the Ensemble won the 2017 GRAMMY award for ‘best world music’ album, was nominated for ‘Best Music Film’ and recorded the music for Ken Burns’ documentary, ‘Vietnam’ for PBS.

In addition to his solo and Silkroad work, as well as his frequent appearances with chamber groups and orchestras, Gramley performs with the acclaimed British organist Clive Driskill-Smith in the duo Organized Rhythm. The pair’s first recording, Beaming Music, was issued in 2007. They’ve steadily commissioned new works and released videos since that time. Gramley joined The Knights in 2009 and has recorded and performed with them throughout the U.S. and Europe. Joseph Gramley has performed with: the Metropolitan Opera (on stage with Placido Domingo), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (US tour), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (US and international tours), Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (soloist), Seattle Symphony, Orchestre de Lyon, Dawn Upshaw (US and international tours), David Robertson (Carnegie Hall), Spoleto Festival (soloist), Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group (US and international tours), New York City Ballet, Glen Velez (US tour), Keiko Abe (PASIC), Aretha Franklin, Elton John and numerous others.