Firebird Suite headlines ASO Masterworks Concert this weekend

ASO firebirdThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the first 2016 concert of the Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series: Firebird Suite, 7:30 PM Saturday, January 30 and 3:00 PM Sunday, January 31, 2016, at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.

Under the baton of music director Philip Mann, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will perform Rossini’s La gazza ladra: Overture, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 – featuring ASO co-concertmaster Kiril Laskarov, Visconti’s Black Bend and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Concert Conversations – All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center 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 the ASO website.

Kiril Laskarov, ASO Concertmaster for 17 years, steps to the front of the orchestra to perform Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto. The tradition of the concertmaster as a featured soloist with the orchestra is long and healthy, and the ASO is proud to present Mr. Laskarov with this work. Featured soloist Kiril Laskarov will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on this “golden period” Stradivarius violin. These instruments are world famous and highly sought-after for there unique sound and quality. “Le Brun” was notably played by the famed violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini.

Composer Dan Visconti has spent the week in Little Rock for residency activities, including private lessons with high school students, presentations to classes, and speaking engagements.

About Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 50th season in 2015-2016, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than sixty concerts each year for more than 165,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools.

Award winning composer Dan Visconti at the Clinton School today

Today the Clinton School, in partnership with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, welcomes composer Dan Visconti. His remarks will start at 12 noon.

Dan Visconti is an American composer whose compositions often explore the rough timbres, propulsive rhythms, and improvisational energy characteristic of jazz, bluegrass, and rock. His work has been performed by some of the top interpreters of contemporary music in some of the best venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and has received numerous awards.

For his ongoing initiatives innovating concert experiences that address social issues through music, Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship and delivered a TED talk at the 30th Anniversary TED Conference in Vancouver. Visconti serves as composer and Director of Artistic Programming at Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble, a nonprofit organization that reaches new audiences with an emphasis on civic outreach, educational programming, and collaborative projects with other artists. He is also composer-in-residence at the Fresh Inc Festival, where he works with young entrepreneurs in building musical careers in line with their own unique vision and values.

2015-16 ASO, I.N.C. concerts start tonight with “Something Borrowed”

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s I.N.C. series returns this year, expanding to four offerings.  Tonight’s concert starts at 7pm at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Under the direction of Philip Mann, the concert will feature:
MENDELSSOHN – Nocturno in C for Eleven Winds
SHOSTAKOVICH – Chamber Symphony for Strings
VISCONTI – Storm Windows
BRITTEN – Soirées musicales, Op.9 (after Rossini)

ASO, I.N.C.: Intimate Neighborhood Concerts presents gorgeous and acoustically unique venues and music selected specifically to explore the spaces of the concerts. Patrons can get up-close and personal with musicians in chamber orchestra ensembles performing pieces in the settings intended by the composers.

Beethoven, Bernstein, Brahams, Borodin & Blue Jeans with the 2015-16 Arkansas Symphony Masterworks Season

Under the baton of Maestro Philip Mann, the 2015-2016 Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks series features a lineup with something old, something new, something borrowed and jeans that are blue.

The borrowed is the location. For the second of two seasons, the Maumelle Performing Arts Center will be the Masterworks home.

The new includes a World Premiere of D.J. Sparr’s Concerto for Jazz Guitar, which will feature Ted Ludwig.  Another new selection is Scott McAllister’s Black Dog which is based in hard rock.

Among the old friends returning are pieces by Grieg, Dvorák, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Borodin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Stravinsky, Brahms, Shostakovich and Bernstein.

The season kicks off with Grieg’s Piano Concerto on September 26 & 27. The guest artist that weekend is pianist Jon Kimura Parker.  The concert will include Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides, Op. 26 “Fingal’s Cave,” Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor.

Next is Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 on October 17 & 18. Imre Palló will be the guest conductor, and Cicely Parnas, cello will be the featured artist. The program will include Kodály’s Dances of Galanta; Haydn’s Concerto for Cello in C Major;and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88.

The annual Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert will be November 7 & 8 featuring guest artist Kelly Johnson, clarinet.  The lineup will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93; McAllister’s Black Dog; and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a.

2016 will start with Firebird Suite and featured soloist Kiril Laskarov. On January 30 & 31 the program will include Rossini’s La gazza ladra: Overture; Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Visconti’s Black Bend and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919).

February 27 & 28 the program is Bernstein and Brahams.  The concert will have Bernstein’s Chicester Psalms and the Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. 

The 2015-2016 season will wrap up on April 9 & 10 with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. The concerts will include Bernstein’s Candide Overture; Sparr’s Concerto for Jazz Guitar and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47. 

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue (Jeans) in 2015-16 Arkansas Symphony Masterworks Series

Under the baton of Maestro Philip Mann, the 2015-2016 Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks series features a lineup with something old, something new, something borrowed and jeans that are blue.

The borrowed is the location. For the second of two seasons, the Maumelle Performing Arts Center will be the Masterworks home.

The new includes a World Premiere of D.J. Sparr’s Concerto for Jazz Guitar, which will feature Ted Ludwig.  Another new selection is Scott McAllister’s Black Dog which is based in hard rock.

Among the old friends returning are pieces by Grieg, Dvorák, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Borodin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Stravinsky, Brahms, Shostakovich and Bernstein.

The season kicks off with Grieg’s Piano Concerto on September 26 & 27. The guest artist that weekend is pianist Jon Kimura Parker.  The concert will include Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides, Op. 26 “Fingal’s Cave,” Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor.

Next is Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 on October 17 & 18. Imre Palló will be the guest conductor, and Cicely Parnas, cello will be the featured artist. The program will include Kodály’s Dances of Galanta; Haydn’s Concerto for Cello in C Major; and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88.

The annual Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert will be November 7 & 8 featuring guest artist Kelly Johnson, clarinet.  The lineup will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93; McAllister’s Black Dog; and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a.

2016 will start with Firebird Suite and featured soloist Kiril Laskarov. On January 30 & 31 the program will include Rossini’s La gazza ladra: Overture; Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Visconti’s Black Bend and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919).

February 27 & 28 the program is Bernstein and Brahams.  The concert will have Bernstein’s Chicester Psalms and the Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. 

The 2015-2016 season will wrap up on April 9 & 10 with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. The concerts will include Bernstein’s Candide Overture; Sparr’s Concerto for Jazz Guitar and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47.