Festival of the Senses presents Music for the Holidays on December 10 at St. Luke’s

sheet music with holiday ornaments, ribbons and evergreen branchesOn Tuesday, December 10, at 7:00 p.m., Festival of the Senses will present a holiday concert of music by Sant-Saens, Brahms, Yon, and traditional carols played by May Tsao-Lim at the piano, Andrew Irvin on violin, and David Renfro on French horn.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, is the third in the 2019-20 season of the performing arts series sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4106 JFK Boulevard. A reception with holiday treats will be held in the church’s parish hall following the performance.

The program will be as follows:

  • Caprice in the Form of a Waltz, Opus 52, No. 6, for Violin & Piano by Camille Sant-Saens;
  • Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano, Opus 40, by Johannes Brahms;
  • Gesu Bambino, by Pietro Yon;
  • A selection of traditional carols to be sung by the audience.

Festival of the Senses is a performing arts series created in 2011 by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church as a gift of the arts to the community to entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

May Tsao-Lim, who played in the Eric Hayward memorial concert for Festival of the Senses in September, teaches applied piano and piano pedagogy at Henderson State University, where she is Assistant Chair of the music department and Director of International Music Festivals. She has also taught at Iowa State University and Malaysia’s University College Sedaya International

ASO concertmaster Andrew Irvin is well known to Festival audiences as a member of the duo ARmusica. He also plays in the Camino Trio and recently was heard as substitute concertmaster with the Omaha Symphony. He has concertized across America and throughout Europe on his 1765 Gagliano violin, and his recordings are available on the Potenza and Naxos labels.

Since 2005, David Renfro has been the ASO’s principal horn player and also serves as the orchestra’s chief development officer. He is a member of Etesian Winds, a woodwind quintet, and the ASO Brass Quintet, and has taught at Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University. He was previously the principal horn in the Texarkana and Missouri Symphony Orchestras.

LR Winds celebrates 25th anniversary with concert tonight

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The Little Rock Winds and conductor Israel Getzov present the band’s 25th Anniversary Concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25 with a program of musical connections and milestones of the band’s 25-year history.

The concert opens with Camille Saint-Saens’ Marche Militaire Francaise which was also the opener for the Little Rock Winds’ first concert on February 8, 1994.  Also on the program from that first concert is John Philip Sousa’s lesser-known march, Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March. (At the time of 1994 concert, the march had made been available for performance only five years earlier.)

A familiar face, saxophonist Jackie Lamar, who has soloed with the band under each of the previous conductors, will perform a movement from “Radiant Blues”, an alto saxophone concerto composed by former Arkansas resident Charles Booker, Jr. and dedicated to Lamar.  West Mountain Fantasy by William Randall, Jr., is another work on the program by an Arkansas composer.  The piece is dedicated to the Little Rock Winds and Wendell Evanson, conductor, and was premiered by the band in February 1999.  Along with other selections on the program is Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy, a masterwork for wind band all will certainly enjoy.

Second Presbyterian Church, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive, Little Rock.

Tickets are available online at lrwinds.org and are $15 for adults, $12 for adults 65 and over, and free for students.

Program

  • Camille Saint-Saens     Marche Militaire Francaise
  • Howard Hanson           Symphony No. 2 “Romantic”, mvt. II
  • Percy Grainger             Lincolnshire Posy
  • William Randall            West Mountain Fantasy
  • Charles Booker, Jr.       Concerto for Alto Sax, Mvt. 1: Radiant Blues
  • Frank Ticheli                 Blue Shades
  • John Philip Sousa         Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March

Conway native Jackie Lamar, saxophone, has performed all over the United States as well as in Thailand, Iceland, Scotland, France, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bolivia.  She performed at the World Saxophone Congresses in Valencia, Spain, and Montreal, Canada.  She is an active member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, serving as Region 4 director for 15 years.  She is recorded on Music for the Cross Town Trio on Centaur Records.
Lamar is recently retired from the University of Central Arkansas where she was Professor of Saxophone and Jazz for 32 years.  She is one of only four females in the USA to ever be full professors of saxophone.  She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance and Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas and the Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas.  Her principal teachers were Debra Richtmeyer, Jim Riggs, and Homer Brown. This Lamar’s third solo performance with the Little Rock Winds.

Israel Getzov has won wide acclaim for his ability to evoke expressive and enthusiastic performances from his musicians.  He is in demand as conductor in the United States, China, and Bolivia. he is also the music director of the Conway Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor to the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.  In the U.S. Getzov has conducted ensembles in Arkansas, California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, and Maine. Since his debut at the International Fuzhou Music Festival in 2005, Getzov has appeared regularly in China in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Fuzhou, and Hangzhou where he is a frequent guest conductor with the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra. He is also an in-demand educator of ensemble techniques and has given clinics at many conservatories in the U.S. and China.

As the Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony from 2001-2008, Getzov led classical subscription, pops, and education concerts as well as numerous outreach concerts around the state. Getzov also hosted his own weekly radio program called “Izzy Investigates” on KLRE Classical 90.5 in Little Rock and has performed live on WFMT and WBEZ in Chicago.

Raised in Chicago, Mr. Getzov’s musical studies began with the violin at age four, and later included percussion, which he played in his schools’ wind ensembles and jazz bands. At sixteen he earned a position in the violin section of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has performed with many renowned conductors including Barenboim, Boulez, Solti, Mehta, Jansons, Spano, and Rostropovich. He was a founding member of the Rockefeller String Quartet, a professional quartet with whom he gave over 200 concerts.

Getzov holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and a master’s degree in conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and received additional training at the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and the National Conducting Institute with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Little Rock Winds was founded in 1993 to recognize the diverse heritage of the wind band tradition in Arkansas. It is dedicated to providing Arkansas communities live wind band music, including a variety of compositions and transcriptions that inspire audiences, challenge the players, and preserves the wind band tradition. LR Winds is an important outlet for the wind and percussion musicians in the central Arkansas area. The approximately 48 professional and semi-professional musicians are selected by audition and participate for personal development and enjoyment and as a service to the community. Six concerts are performed annually in Little Rock, and the band has performed statewide, from Texarkana to Cherokee Village, Harrison to Wynne.

Little Rock Winds an independent, nonprofit organization.

Beethoven, Blue Jeans, Beer & Brats this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Image result for beethoven blue jeansThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, present the fifth concert of the 2018-2019 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season, Beethoven & Blue Jeans, on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th at the Robinson Center.

The annual Beer & Brats Street Party features beer from Stone’s Throw Brewery, free brats cooked on-site, t-shirts from Hillcrest Waterbugs, live music from the Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Band, and a food drive in partnership with Arkansas Foodbank. The party, located on the 400 block of West Markham in front of the Robinson Center, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, and is free for anyone with a ticket to Beethoven & Blue Jeans.

The League of American Orchestras and Feeding America are partners in a program called Orchestras Feeding America. As part of this program, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Foodbank work together each year for a food drive at Beethoven & Blue Jeans and other concerts. Any patron who brings at least 12 food items to the Beer & Brats Street Party will be given a voucher good for two free tickets to any future symphony subscription concert.

The concerts feature a casually dressed orchestra performing music from Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Enesco, and Tchaikovsky. Violinist Gareth Johnson is featured performing Ravel’s Tzigane and Beethoven’s Romance No. 2.

All concert ticket holders are also invited to Concert Conversations, a pre-concert talk one hour before each Masterworks concert in the Upper Tier Lobby of the Robinson Center. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57, and $68; 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. 100. 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.

Program
SAINT-SAËNS                     Samson et Dalila: Bacchanale
RAVEL                                  Tzigane, rhapsodie de concert for Violin & Orchestra
BEETHOVEN                      Romance No. 2 in F Major, Op. 50

Intermission

TCHAIKOVSY                     Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a, TH 234
ENESCO                               Romanian Rhapsody in A Major, Op. 11, No. 1

The 2019-2020 Arkansas Symphony Orchestra MasterWorks season is announced

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced its 2019-2020 Masterworks which includes guest conductors and a concert conducted by Geoffrey Robson, ASO’s Associate Conductor who has been named Interim Artistic Director.

The Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series opens Sep. 28-29, 2019, with a concert presented in partnership with ACANSA Arts Festival of the South. Luminary conductor JoAnn Falletta is the first featured guest conductor, and American trio Time for Three is featured in work written for them by former ASO Conductor in Residence Jennifer Higdon. The program also features Ravel’s La Valse and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

ASO’s casual concert and street party, Beethoven and Blue Jeans, returns Nov. 9-10 and features works by two Arkansas composers: William Grant Still’s Festive Overture and Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement. Karen Walwyn, a specialist in the piano works of Price, is the featured soloist, and Andrew Grams will conduct the concert.

The Masterworks series ends May 2-3, 2020, featuring music from Fanny Mendelssohn and Schubert along with the return of prestigious cellist, Zuill Bailey, performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.

The 2019-2020 season coincides with the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. ASO is celebrating by featuring two outstanding women conductors, JoAnn Falletta and Carolyn Kuan, two women soloists, pianist Karen Walwyn and violinist Simone Porter, and by performing works from four women composers: Pulitzer Prize-winner and former ASO Composer in Residence, Jennifer Higdon, an active and popular composer today, Little Rock’s own Florence Price, Lili Boulanger, and Fanny Mendelssohn.

The full Masterworks series includes:

  • JoAnn Falletta and Time for Three, Sep. 28 & 29, 219, with music from Higdon, Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
  • Beethoven & Blue Jeans, Nov. 9 & 10, 2019, ASO’s annual casual concert, featuring works from Arkansas composers Florence Price and William Grant Still and guest conductor Andrew Grams.
  • Copland’s Rodeo, Jan. 25-26, 2020, with guest conductor Carolyn Kuan, and music from Ginastera and Bartok;
  • Sibelius & Debussy, Feb. 29 – Mar. 1, 2020, conducted by Geoffrey Robson, and featuring a multimedia work: In Seven Days: A Concerto for Piano and Moving Image, with pianist Andrius Zlabys.
  • Symphonie Fantastique, Apr. 18-19, 2020, with guest conductor Eric Jacobsen, and violinist Simone Porter performing the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3 in addition to the titular orchestral showpiece by Berlioz.
  • Zuill Bailey Plays Dvorak, May 2 & 3, 2020, with guest conductor Vladimir Kulenovic.

The concerts will be at Robinson Center Performance Hall.

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.

Ark Symphony Concerts This Weekend

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The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will perform with fiery Georgian pianist Elisso Bolkvadze on Saturday, October 20 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 p.m. at the Robinson Center Music Hall. This is the second concert of the Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series and is sponsored in part by University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The concert opens with To the Point by Jennifer Higdon, ASO Composer of the Year. Then Bolkvadze continues the program with Saint-Saëns much-loved 2nd concerto. ASO Music Director Philip Mann describes the work as, “full of captivating dance rhythms, grand flourishes, and melodies that stick with you.” The ASO then takes center stage again for the remainder of the program with Sibelius’s marvelous and influential 5th Symphony.

Elisso Bolkvadze won numerous international piano competitions, such as Van Cliburn (USA), Vianna da Motta (Lisbon, Portugal), Axa International Piano Competition (Dublin, Ireland), Marguerite Long (Paris, France).

A superstar in her country of birth in Georgia, Elisso has been awarded by Georgian Government “The award of Georgian Government” and “Cultural Merit.” After she enjoyed great success at Van Cliburn International Contest, she plays many concerts in top auditorium through the world, like Kennedy Centre (Washington), Pasadena Auditorium (Los Angeles), Santa Fe Festival, Miami Arts In Florida, Orange County Center, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau (Paris) Gewandhaus Orchestra (Leipzig) Radio France Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), Herkulessaal (Munich) Alte Oper (Frankfurt), National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Georgian National Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre de Champs Elysees (Paris).

Arkansas Symphony 2012-2013 Masterworks and Pops

Continuing with the Spring Break theme of looking to next year, today’s entry looks at the 2012-2013 Masterworks and Pops offerings from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will kick off the 2012-2013 season on September 29 and 30 with a Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks concert featuring violinist Augustin Hadelich returning to play Eduoard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole.  Also on the program are Strauss’ Don Juan and von Dohanyi’s Suite in F-sharp Minor. ASO Musical Director/Conductor Philip Mann will conduct.

The ASO next turns to the Pops series. The Acxiom Pops Live! series starts on October 6 & 7 with the Beatles tribute act Classical Mystery Tour. ASO Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson will lead this concert.

Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon will be the ASO Composer of the Year for 2012-2013.  Her composition To the Point will be featured on the ASO’s second Masterworks concert on October 20 and 21.  That concert will also featured pianist Elissa Bolkkvadze performing Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5.

On November 10 and 11, the ASO’s annual “Beethoven & Blue Jeans” concert will showcase Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto featuring soloist Wu Man. Also on the program is the overture to Beethoven’s only ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus.  The evening will conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

For many families, it isn’t the holidays without the annual ASO Happy Holidays concert.  In 2012 it will take place on December 14-16.  Plan accordingly.

In January, the ASO will start 2013 with guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa, music director of the New Mexico Symphony and Colorado’s Music in the Mountains Festival on January 26 and 27.  ASO principal cellist David Gerstein will solo on Tchaikovsky’s Variationson a Rococo Theme.  The concerts will also include Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.

Returning to Pops, on February 9 and 10, the ASO will present “A Night at the Movies.”  Later that month, the ASO will feature Composer of the Year Higdon again on February 23 and 24.  In addition to her blue cathedral, the program will include Haydn’s No. 95 in C minor and Shostakovich’s No. 10 in E minor.

The ASO will march into March with a celebration of the American Songbook on the Pops schedule on March 16 and 17.

The Masterworks season will conclude on April 13 and 14, 2013.  Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring Midori will be the centerpiece of the evening.  Also on the bill will be the overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as well as Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

The final concert of the 2012-2013 season will be in the Pops series: Cirque de la Symphonie.  This concert, on May 11 and 12, will featured six Cirque du Soleil veterans performing to music accompanied by the ASO.

Sponsors for the 2012-2013 season are the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Acxiom and American Airlines.