Eerie Multimedia Sleepy Hollow kicks off 2019/20 Ballet Arkansas Season

Image result for ballet arkansas sleepy hollowBallet Arkansas, the state’s professional ballet company, is working in partnership with the creative team at Cranford Co. and the Historic Arkansas Museum to breathe new life into Sleepy Hollow. The first production of Ballet Arkansas’ 2019/20 Season, Sleepy Hollow takes the stage on the weekend of October 18-20, 2019 at UA – Pulaski Tech CHARTS Theater for four public performances and one student matinee (school) show.

A world-premiere multimedia ballet designed in collaboration with the creative team at Cranford Co, Sleepy Hollow is a bold retelling of a classic Halloween tale, just in time for the Holiday.

Featuring 360 sound and captivating video and photo projections filmed by Cranford Co. at the Historic Arkansas Museum, this unique take on Washington Irving’s classic tale combines the beauty of visual art with breathtaking original choreography by Executive and Artistic Director, Michael Fothergill.

Ballet Arkansas’ Sleepy Hollow is not your stereotypical story ballet. “We’ve combined dramatic world premiere choreography with stunning multimedia content that features the professional dancers of Ballet Arkansas. Our visionary portrayal is unlike any other and is a bold new take on the classic narrative,” says Fothergill.

“I’ve taken a rather ambiguous storyline and infused it with narrative that dives much deeper into the relationships of those present in the town.” Narratives like these are what stretches the company, and make it a competitor on the national scale. “Not only do we tell stories at Ballet Arkansas, but we tell them well and in unique ways,” says Fothergill.

“A story of love, drama, and mystery, Sleepy Hollow starts off the season with a spooky tone, similar to last season’s wildly popular production of Dracula,” says Associate Artistic Director, Catherine Fothergill. From the musical selections by composers such as Dimitri Shostakovitch, Francis Poulenc, Alfred Schnittke, and Benjamin Britten, to newly created sets and costumes, the production “is a true blending of classic and modern, and eerie, through and through,” says Michael Fothergill.

A part of Ballet Arkansas’ mission as a nonprofit organization is creative collaboration and partnering with both Cranford Co. and the Historic Arkansas Museum makes the ballet a true Arkansas world premiere, which will provide a rich audience and community experience.

Ballet Arkansas will present four public performances, Friday, October 18, 7:30 pm, Saturday, October 19, 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sunday, October 20, 2:30pm.

Audience members are encouraged to enjoy the holiday spirit and wear a Halloween costume to the Saturday, October 19, 7:30 pm performance. Tickets range from $25-35.  Students with a valid college ID may purchase $10 student rush tickets 45 minutes prior to the performance. Tickets are on sale now.

Ballet Arkansas’ performance of Sleepy Hollow will run approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, including intermission.

2019-2020 Little Rock Winds season starts tonight

Image result for little rock windsThe Little Rock Winds and conductor Israel Getzov open their 2019-20 Season on Thursday, October 10th at 7:30 p.m. with “Melody and Passion”, a program of gorgeous melodies that exude passion and fire!

And, for the first time, the LR Winds’ will feature a string player as the guest soloist.  Stephen Feldman, cello, will perform Tramonto: Romanza for Cello and Winds, a reflective piece by Luis Serrano Alarcón that artfully employs full wind symphony accompaniment to the romantic cello solo.  Other lush melodies include songs from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and Whitacre’s Seal Lullaby.  Chance’s Incantation and Dance and the finale from Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 present passion and fire so hot, the band may need fire-proof tuxes.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10, 2019
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

Davide Delle Cese         L’Inglesina
John Barnes Chance    Incantation and Dance
Eric Whitacre                 The Seal Lullaby
George Gershwin         Porgy & Bess
Luis Serrano Alarcón   Tramonto: Romanza for Cello and Winds
                                           Stephen Feldman, cello
Dimitri Shostakovich    Symphony #5: Finale
Leonard Bernstein        Slava!

A gifted and enthusiastic communicator in recitals, chamber music, and solo performances, Stephen Feldman’s cello playing has taken him from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Sacramento, California.  Formerly a member of the Fetter and Rivanna String Quartets, he also performed in the Quapaw and Sturgis String Quartets during his six years with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, the Eastman School of Music, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Feldman’s mentors include cellists Steven Doane and Timothy Eddy.  He considers chamber music coach Julius Levine and Baroque specialists Arthur Haas and Paul O’dette also to be significant musical influences.

Israel Getzov has been the Music Director and Conductor of the Little Rock Wind Symphony since 2015.  He also serves as Music Director of the Conway Symphony Orchestra, and previously held the position of Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony and Principal Conductor of the Tianjin Philharmonic, the resident orchestra of the Tianjin Grand Theater.  Mr. Getzov has conducted orchestras throughout the United States and abroad including Abilene Philharmonic, Asheville, Symphony, Cleveland Pops, Monroe Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic, Symphony of the Mountains, Tianjin Symphony, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, Bolivia Classica, University of Taipei Symphony, and the Encuentro Jovenes Musicos Festival in La Paz, Bolivia.

Mr. Getzov started the violin at age 3, and later studied viola, piano and percussion.  An in-demand educator of ensemble techniques, Mr. Getzov holds a tenured professorship at the University of Central Arkansas and has given clinics at many schools in the U.S. and internationally.  A

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 preserve 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 McGehee.

The ASO River Rhapsodies tonight features Artist of Distinction: Andrew von Oeyen

Andrew von Oeyen, pianoThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the third concert of the 2018-2019 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music season with Artist of Distinction: Andrew von Oeyen, Tuesday, Jan. 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center. The program opens with Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 4, featuring ASO’s Quapaw String Quartet. Von Oeyen then performs a solo rendition of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and the concert closes with the pianist joining ASO’s Rockefeller String Quartet and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor.

The Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction is a musician with an exemplary international career as a soloist and chamber musician, widely sought after by leading performing arts organizations.

River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Concerts are held in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall. A cash bar is open before the concert and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the concert. The Media Sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is UA Little Rock Public Radio.

General Admission tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Clinton Presidential Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

Artists

Andrew von Oeyen, piano, 2018-2019 Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction

Quapaw String Quartet
Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin
Charlotte Crosmer, violin
Ryan Mooney, viola
David Gerstein, cello

Rockefeller String Quartet
Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
Katherine Williamson, violin
Katherine Reynolds, viola
Ethan Young, cello

Program
HAYDN – String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No. 4
RAVEL – Le Tombeau de Couperin
SHOSTAKOVICH – Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57

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.

Dracula Unearthed at Wildwood Park

Dracula unearthedThursday, Friday and Saturday at Wildwood Park for the Arts, Arkansas Festival Ballet and Praeclara collaborate to tell a new Dracula story in song, dance, and dramatic narrative! Dracula’s servants help him rise from the grave, expecting him to resume his evil works — but instead, he becomes entangled in the life of his daughter, Wilhelmina, who does not realize what her father is. But how long can the count deny his own nature? And what will happen when Wilhelmina comes to truly know her father … and realizes what she herself may be?

This show is appropriate for adults and teens. Its story is told through the interaction of choreography and dramatic masterworks by Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Bartok, and more. Coffins, fog, and strobe lights will occasionally be used to set the mood on stage.

The Wildwood gates open at 6:30 p.m. for guests to enjoy a bit of life in the village of Bran before Dracula’s castle (thetheatre) opens for seating at 7:45. Enjoy the “Dead Ringers” handbell concert — take your picture with Dracula and his coffin — sample garlic-based hors d’oeuvres and bat-themed sweets!

Performances begin at 8pm.  Tickets are available at the Wildwood website.

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 www.ArkansasSymphony.org, 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.

Several centuries of music featured in ASO River Rhapsodies 2015-16 series

ASO_2-colorLater this month, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Landers FIAT River Rhapsodies Series will start.  All concerts in this series take place at the Clinton Presidential Center Great Hall and start at 7pm.

 

Artist of Disinction: Jon Kimura Parker
September 29, 2015
Borodin – String Quartet No. 2 in D Major
Hirtz – Wizard of Oz Fantasy
Beethoven – Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16

Anniversary of a Violin
October 27
Mozart – Sonata for Violin and Piano
Shostakovich – String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 122

Merry Pranks
November 17
Strauss – Till Eulenspiegel – einmal anders
Vaughn Williams – Quintet in D Major
Beethoven – Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20

Mozart & Mendelssohn
February 2
Dohnányi – Sextet in C Major, Op. 37
Mozart – String Quartet in A Major, K. 169
Mendelssohn – Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66

Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10
March 1
Prokofiev – Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op. 56
Beethoven – String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G
Mendelssohn – String Symphony No. 10 in B minor

Brahms and Dvořák
April 12
Brahms – Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 101
Bartok – String Quartet No. 4
Dvořák- String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105