Rafael Payare. Courtesy San Diego Symphony

The San Diego Symphony said Monday its upcoming 2018-19 season — the first under new music director Rafael Payare — will focus on American music and include a world premiere performance.

The upcoming season features 13 works by American composers, including Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” Ives’ “The Unanswered Question,” Bernstein’s “The Age of Anxiety,” Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” and works by John Williams, Alyssa Weinberg, Mason Bates, Michael Ippolito, Matthew Aucoin, Andrew Norman, Christopher Theofanidis and Sean Shepherd.

“In 2018-19 we continue hearing our American voice,” said Martha Gilmer, CEO of the symphony.

The season begins Oct. 6 with frequent guest conductor Edo de Waart leading the orchestra in Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and works by Ippolito and Grieg.

On Nov. 2, the symphony will perform the world premiere of a work it commissioned that brings together Mexican composer Javier Álvarez and genre-crossing U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Filipe Herrera.

Payare will conduct his first four concerts in January. He will be joined by his wife, acclaimed cellist Alisa Weilerstein, in the orchestra’s first-ever performance of Benjamin Britten’s “Symphony for Cello and Orchestra.”

“I am looking forward to getting to know each and every member of the orchestra and learning more about San Diego and the region,” said Payare.

Special guest artists during the season include Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Joyce Yang, Augustin Hadelich and conductor Robert Spano.

The symphony’s fourth annual January Festival, entitled “Hearing the Future,” will explore the concept of “creation” and the artistic expression that springs from youthful composers and artists.

There is also a series of four concerts for children and families, and the popular holiday choir performances return in December.

Subscriptions for the new season are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale Sunday, Aug. 19.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.