Scoop: Beatles, Queen, the Dead…

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If you’re looking for classical music at Conner Prairie this summer, well, you’d better look carefully.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s soon-to-be-announced northside season is heavy on pop access, low on the traditional classical cannon. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Depends on what you are looking for from your symphony.

The season kicks off with a June 20 concert of Grateful Dead tunes, continues the following week with music from the Harry Potter films, and then hits the usual 4th of July weekend notes.

July 10-11 brings ISO violinist Zach de Pue and his brothers for a Time for Three set, followed the next weekend by the Prairie debut of maestro Mario Venzago.

It gets lighter again on July 24-25 with the music of Billy Joel, then a Beatles cover group doing the “Classical Mystery Tour.”

Aug. 7-8 brings a “Mozart by Moonlight” program. Then it’s back to the top-40 with a Queen tribute on Aug. 14-15.

As is usual, the ISO turns the stage over to other groups for the final concerts of the season. This time, it’s Rockapella on Aug. 21-22, the Glenn Miller Orchestra on Aug. 28-29, a performance by ’70s and ’80s hitmakers America on Sept. 3-4 and, finally, the River City Brass Band on Sept. 5-6.

At least, that’s what I’ve heard. Tickets go on sale April 27, so don’t bug the box office yet.

So what do you think of the summer season? Smart commercial moves in tough economic times or pandering too much to the pop crowd?

Your thoughts?

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