Copland’s Rodeo, Pieces by Bartok and Ginastera on Arkansas Symphony Weekend Program, with guest conductor Carolyn Kuan

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents the third concert of the 2019-2020 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season: Copland’s Rodeo, Saturday, January 25th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 26th at 3:00 p.m. in the Robinson Center.

The ASO is proud to present Copland’s Rodeo featuring guest conductor Carolyn Kuan and the works of Ginastera, Bartók and Copland.  Copland’s Rodeo is sponsored by The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Interim Artistic Director, Geoffrey Robson, gives these notes: “Orchestral showpieces dominate the first masterworks concert of 2020. All the works show the distinct character of music from the composers’ homelands. Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera composed 11 variations on an original theme in his Variaciones Concertantes, each of which features a different instrument in the orchestra. The solos are legendary among orchestral musicians.

Béla Bartók brings the folk music of Hungary to life in his lively, funky, beautiful Dance Suite. The work is very accessible to the ear and deeply expressive. The American master Aaron Copland wrote Rodeo as a ballet, choreographed by Agnes de Mille. The Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo, the concert version, showcases his quintessential American sound and concludes with the famous Hoedown, one of the most recognized melodies of the 20th century.”

Image result for carolyn kuanRecognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility, Carolyn Kuan has enjoyed successful associations with top tier orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals worldwide. Her commitment to contemporary music has defined her approach to programming, and established her as an international resource for new music and world premieres. Appointed Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011, she has signed a six-year contract extending their creative collaboration through May, 2022.

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.

Program
GINASTERA                        Variaciones Concertantes
BARTÓK                             Dance Suite
COPLAND                          Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes  

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.