ARmusica in concert at 7pm tonight

ArMusicaFestival of the Senses, the free performing arts series sponsored by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church at 4106 JFK Boulevard, again presents the ARmusica duo of Julie Cheek on piano and Andrew Irvin Tuesday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m. in a program of “Spring Surprises”: music by composers Arvo Pärt and Ludwig von Beethoven, plus a selection of beloved musical themes from the movies by Ennio Morricone and John Williams.

Julie Cheek, a Little Rock native who made her professional debut at age 14 as a soloist with the Arkansas Chamber Orchestra, has performed and held master classes with orchestras across America and Europe and has traveled around the world as a popular entertainer on several cruise lines. She continues to teach at Interlochen and elsewhere and to concertize throughout the U.S.

Violinist Andrew Irvin, concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO), has played his 1765 Gagliano violin in concerts throughout North America and Europe. In addition to being a cofounder of ARmusica in 2012, he is a member of the Irvin/Christopher Duo and the Camino Trio and has recorded on the Potenza and Naxos labels.

This season marks the eighth year of Festival of the Senses, with nine events spotlighting some of the region’s most distinguished and dedicated musicians and artists. Designed as a gift of the arts to the community to entertain, enlighten, and inspire, all events are free and open to the public. The performance will be followed by a reception in the parish hall for attendees to meet and greet the performers.


Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles in concert tonight

Image result for music notes

Come see the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles perform in the annual Mid-Winter Youth Orchestra concert at 6 pm at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.

The four groups performing will be:

  • Preparatory Orchestra, conducted by Casey Buck
  • Prelude Orchestra, co-conducted by Andrew Irvin and Kiril Laskarov
  • Academy Orchestra, conducted by Tom McDonald
  • Youth Orchestra, conducted by Geoffrey Robson

Ranging in age from 9-18 and traveling from over 37 communities throughout the state, the ASYO has grown to over 200 members.

These youth work hard throughout the year on the music, which is often over and above their efforts with school music programs and individual private lessons.  The conductors choose music that is challenging for them but also appropriate for the level of the ensemble.  They also have the opportunity to interact with the professional musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra throughout the year.

$10 tickets can be purchased at the door or


Chamber Music Concert tonight – Mozart and a Premiere

Image result for mozart clarinet concertoTonight (January 14) at 7pm at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Drew Irvin, Stephen Feldman, and friends will perform the Mozart Clarinet Quintet.

Also on the program is the premier of the work “The Fence, The Rooftop And The Distant Sea”, by Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh for string quartet and clarinet.

Tickets are available at the door for a suggested donation of $15. Students are admitted for free with I.D.

Mendelssohn String Symphony No. 10 tonight at Arkansas Symphony River Rhapsodies Series at Clinton Presidential Center

ASO NewThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth concert of the 2015-2016 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series: Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10, at 7 PM Tuesday March 1, 2016 at the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall.

ASO musicians present a chamber music showcase in the beautiful Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center, featuring works from Prokofiev, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Bach in various ensembles.

A cash bar is open at 6 PM and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the hall. Media sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is KUAR/KLRE.

Tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at; at the Clinton Presidential Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.


Geoffrey Robson, violin/conductor
Rockefeller Quartet:

  • Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
  • Katherine Williamson, violin
  • Katherine Reynolds, viola
  • Aaron Ludwig, cello

Vernon Di Carlo, tenor
Tatiana Roitman, piano
Andrew Irvin, Kiril Laskarov, Eric Hayward, Meredith Maddox Hicks, Leanne Day-Simpson, Sandra McDonald, Yennifer Correia, violins
Ryan Mooney, Katrina Weeks, violas
David Gerstein, Ethan Young, cellos
Barron Weir, bass
Carl Anthony, harpsichord



PROKOFIEV – Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op. 56

BEETHOVEN  – String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4

MENDELSSOHN – Selection of Songs for Voice and Piano

BACH – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BW 1048

MENDELSSOHN – String Symphony No. 10 in B minor

250 year old Gagliano violin celebrated at tonight’s ASO River Rhapsodies

drew asoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will showcase Concertmaster Andrew Irvin’s 250 year old Gagliano violin on October 27 as part of the ASO’s 2015-2016 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music series at 7 PM. The program features Mr. Irvin and his exceptional violin in various ensemble settings in the beautiful Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center, performing music spanning the quarter-century life of the instrument.

The program includes:

  • Mozart – Sonata for Violin and Piano
  • Shostakovich – String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122

A cash bar is open at 6 PM and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry their drinks into the hall. The media sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Series is KUAR/KLRE.

General admission tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at, at the Clinton Presidential Center box office beginning 60 minutes prior to the concert, or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100

“Great instruments require skilled musician hands to come alive — yet in these hands, they become personified beings that dwell in a realm unshackled from the bonds of time — and in so doing, connect musicians across centuries through the uniquely profound relationship that musicians have with their instruments.  Mr. Irvin’s violin is a direct connection to musical history.  Its previous masters’ preferences are infused in is tone, their gaffes inscribed upon its body, and its surface is a story of centuries of perspiration and effort in service to art. Musicians are merely the caretakers, or curators, of these instruments for a short human lifespan, and this program is a celebration of not only an instrument’s anniversary, but of all the musicians since 1765 who have made it possible.”  Philip Mann, music director

About the violin

The violin was made by Nicolo Gagliano in approximately 1765 (Gagliano marked his violins by decade only, so the exact date is unknown) in Naples, Italy. Headed by Alessandro Gagliano, the Neapolitan school of violin makers is considered to be among the pinnacles of high quality musical artisanship. Alessandro’s son, Nicolo, is possibly the greatest of the Gagliano luthiers. His legacy began with his four sons employed in his workshop and lasted well into the 20th Century, ending when the firm of Vincenzo Gagliano and Sons closed in 1925.

Before 1820 violins had shorter necks set up for gut strings, which have lower tension than modern steel strings. Composers like Beethoven demanded higher pitches and more sound, which drove changes to violin constructions. Violins were refitted with a longer neck for an increased range and the body was reinforced to handle the increased tension of more resonant steel strings.

Michael Purcell of Philadelphia maintains the violin, and Mr. Irvin returns to his shop twice a year for maintenance.

FREE Arkansas Symphony concert today at UAMS

ASO_revThe Ruth Allen UAMS Series takes place from time to time at UAMS and is free.  This afternoon at 4:30pm will be the latest concert in the series.

The musicians today will be Violin/Harp duo: Drew Irvin, Co-Concert Master of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Alisa Coffey, Principal Harp of the ASO.

Bela Bartok: Rumanian Folk Dances
Camille Saint Saens: Fantasie for Violin and Harp, Op. 24
Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel
Gaetano Donizetti: Larghetto and Allegro for Violin and Harp
Vittorio Monti: Czardas
Jules Massenat: Meditation from Thais

As always, the concert is free and everyone is invited. It should be a nice way to start the holiday season. We look forward to seeing you there.

Here are the directions for the concert:

From Markham, turn south onto Hooper St.
Follow signs to Parking Lot 1.
Enter the lot, which goes underground.
Take the elevator to the “top” of the parking Lot 1, which immediately adjoins the back side of the lobby.
The Music Room is at the west end of the lobby, behind the grand piano.

Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestras perform “Side by Side” with members of the ASO tonight

asoyoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles presents: Side by Side on May 2rd at 7 p.m. at the Robinson Center Music Hall.  Featuring all four ensembles, the concert culminates with the members of the top Youth Orchestra joining the ASO on stage and performing side by side with ASO professional musicians. Also featured is Stella Boyle Smith Concerto Competition winner, Hannah Cruse, oboe, performing as soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Adult tickets are $15; K-12 free, all seats are general admission. Tickets available at; 501-666-1761; at the Robinson Center beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 2nd.


Hannah Cruse, oboe

Casey Buck, conductor, Preparatory Orchestra

Kiril Laskarov, Andrew Irvin, conductors, Prelude Orchestra

Tom McDonald, conductor, Academy Orchestra

Geoffrey Robson, conductor, Youth Orchestra

Philip Mann, Music Director and conductor, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra



Preparatory Orchestra

Casey Buck, conductor

Arr.  Bob Phillips Sword Dance
Arr. Noah Klauss Loch Lomond
Richard Meyer Dragonhunter


Prelude Orchestra

Kiril Laskarov, Andrew Irvin, conductors

Eliot Del Borgo Concertino in G
Leopold Mozart/Arr. Rondeau Entrée and Allegro in C


Academy Orchestra

Tom McDonald, conductor

F. Handel Concerto Grosso in G op. 6 no. 1

  1.  Tempo giusto
  2.  Allegro
  3.  Allegro
Edward Barnes, Willem Mouw, violins

Eilis Jones, cello


Arr. Noah Klauss Concerto for 4 violins and cello in D op. 3 No. 1

  1.  Allegro
  2.  Allegro
Kevin Li, Angela Wang, Alex Small, Jalin Parry, violins

J.D. Hill, Cello


Arr. Brubaker Complete Harry Potter




Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor

W.A. Mozart Concerto for Oboe, K. 314

  1.  Allegro Aperto
Hannah Cruse, oboe



Side by Side

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra

Geoffrey Robson, Conductor, Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra

Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

D. Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47

  1.  Allegro non troppo