Three Little Rock arts organizations announced as NEA grant recipients

Three Little Rock organizations were announced today as recipients of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  They are: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, and the Oxford American magazine.

Each year, more than 4,500 communities large and small throughout the United States benefit from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants to nonprofits. For the NEA’s first of two major grant announcements of fiscal year 2019, more than $25 million in grants across all artistic disciplines will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These grants are for specific projects and range from performances and exhibitions, to healing arts and arts education programs, to festivals and artist residencies.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc.
$10,000
Challenge America
To support concert performances and related outreach activities.

Chamber Music Society of Little Rock
$10,000
Challenge America
To support a series of chamber music performances and related educational programming.

Oxford American Literary Project
$20,000
Art Works — Literature
To support publication and promotion of the magazine.

Enjoy an Informance by the ASO Quapaw Quartet today at lunchtime

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is inviting you to an Informance today (January 15) at 12 noon.

What is an Informance?  It is a performance + information. (Performation sounded too much like Perforation so they went with the other option.)

Listen to the Quapaw Strings Quartet perform and discuss their music today.  The program contains works by Darius Milhaud, William Grant Still, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Osvaldo Golijov.

Bring your lunch and enjoy it or come lunchless–the choice is up to you.

The program takes place at Byrne Hall, 2417 N. Tyler St. This event is FREE!

Clarinet Quintets Old and New tonight at St. Luke’s Festival of the Senses.

Five musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will play a free Festival of the Senses concert at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Clarinetist Kelly Johnson, violinists Andrew Irvin and Meredith Maddox Hicks, violist Katherine Williamson, and cellist Stephen Feldman will play Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major and contemporary Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh’s “The Fence, the Rooftop, and the Distant Sea.”

The concert, which is free and open to the public, is the fourth in the 2019-20 season of the Festival of the Senses performing arts series sponsored by St. Luke’s and will be followed by a reception in the church’s parish hall.

Written in 1789 and sometimes called the Stadler Quintet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s only completed clarinet quintet is one of his most admired works. His Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581, has four movements: Allegro, Larghetto, Menuetto, and Allegretto con Variazioni.

Image result for the fence the rooftop and the distant sea“The Fence, the Rooftop, and the Distant Sea” by Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh is a work in five movements inspired by memories of his Damascus birthplace in a distant view of the Syrian coastline seen from a rooftop in Beirut. Azmeh has achieved worldwide fame as a clarinetist and composer with a distinctive voice across diverse musical genres.

A graduate of the Julliard School with a doctorate in music from the City University of New York, he has taken his music around the globe as a soloist, composer and improviser.  His album “Uneven Sky” with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra won the OpusKlassik Award in 2019, and he is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble, whose 2017 Grammy Award-winning album “Sing Me Home” features Kinan as a clarinetist and composer.

#2FAN at The Bookstore at Library Square – DebiLynn Fendley plus ASO

No photo description available.The Bookstore at Library Square is proud to present the 2nd Friday Art Night reception for “Circus of Imaginings” by Arkansas artist DebiLynn Fendley at this free monthly event #2FAN

DebiLynn Fendley works within cultural subgroups to produce both documentary and conceptual realism pieces in photography, printmaking, drawing, and painting. As a visual storyteller, she pushes the boundaries between fantasy and reality and strives to make work that crosses boundaries between subgroups and mainstream norms. She is a founding member of and active exhibitor with the Arkansas Society of Printmakers and holds membership in the Southern Graphics Council, Audubon Artists Society, Allied Artists of America, and Professional Photographers of America.

She has been published in multiple national publications on photography, printmaking, and painting, including works from North Light Books, and recently completed her first IMBd credit as still photographer on the film Ride Hard, Live Free. This show can be viewed Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm until it’s closing February 6th, 2020.

In addition, members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Quapaw String Quartet will be hosting an instrument petting zoo in the Bookstore at Library Square during the 2nd Friday Art Night festivities. Come play with an instrument and meet a musician leading up to the ASO’s January Masterworks concert!

Join the Bookstore at Library Square on the 2nd Friday of every month for 2FAN (2nd Friday Art Night) a free downtown art gallery walkabout in the River Market District from 5-8pm with light refreshments, art show, and bookstore shopping.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, Opera in the Rock brings THE GIFT OF THE MAGI

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Opera In The Rock is pleased to present a special addition to the 2019-2020 season: David Conte’s chamber opera “The Gift of the Magi” in partnership with Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church on Friday, January 3rd, 2020, 7:30 pm at PHUMC, 4823 Woodlawn Dr., Little Rock, 72205.

“The Gift of the Magi” is a chamber opera in four scenes with music by David Conte and libretto by Nicholas Giardini based on the 1905 holiday short story with the same title by O. Henry. The opera focuses on the love story between the poor married couple Jim and Della who cannot afford to buy each other presents for Christmas. As a sentimental story about gift-giving with a well-known plot and an ironic ending, “The Gift of the Magi” opera delivers this classic holiday tale of morals with beautiful singing and a rich orchestral score.

Starring local operatic favorites Kyle Forehand and Shannon Rookey as Jim and Della alongside their friends Maggie and Henry played by Sarah Stankiewicz-Dailey and Daniel Morris, the chamber opera will include musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Robson sponsored by Pulaski Heights UMC.  Watch for some surprise cameos in the production, as well.

In partnership with Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, there will be a “Meet the Kings! Family Fun” event prior to the opera performance at 6:30pm in the Gathering Hall of the church. Activities for children and families include crown-making and cookie-decorating with an opportunity to meet the three kings.

General Admission is free with a $15 suggested donation benefitting Opera In The Rock performances and outreach programming. Childcare available at the church with RSVP only by calling 501-664-3600 with ages and number of children. For more information and tickets, please visit www.oitr.org or call 501-681-9640.

Kevin! The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is presenting HOME ALONE with live orchestra this weekend!

Home Alone PosterThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents the first concert of the 2019-2020 Acxiom Pops! Live concert series: Home Alone: Film with Orchestra, Saturday, December 21th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 22th at 3:00 p.m. in the Robinson Center. The Pops! Live concert series is sponsored by Acxiom.

A true holiday favorite, this beloved comedy classic features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live to picture by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an 8-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacations, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves. Hilarious and heart-warming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family!

The Symphony, under the direction of Geoffrey Robson, will be playing John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score as the film plays.

Joining Culkin (whose aunt Bonnie Bedelia is a star in another Christmas move: DIE HARD) in HOME ALONE are a group of seasoned veterans.  While the adults are meant to be more cartoonish, they still keep the film grounded.  Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern have wonderful chemistry as the Wet Bandits.  John Heard’s slightly befuddled father is an apt foil for Catherine O’Hara’s intense mother. The latter displays much warmth when needed, as well. John Candy turns in a fun cameo in the first film. If you blink, you may miss future Tony nominee and The Newsroom actress Hope Davis as a French ticket agent.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57, and $70; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.