Still time for Spoken Word submissions for CALS and ASO collaboration

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) have announced a collaboration in a spoken word performance event focused on themes of joy, unity and hope.

Spoken word artists ages 18 and younger should submit their work, either in writing or by video, through a participating CALS branch or via email at teenpoetry@cals.org.

Adults should submit via odetojoy@arkansassymphony.org. Submissions will be accepted until December 3, 2018, and should be limited to no more than three minutes long. Performers may perform original work or works for which they have secured performance rights.

CALS and ASO will invite youth and adult finalists to perform for a panel of judges and a live audience January 10, 2019 at the Ron Robinson Theater. At this event, performers will be selected to join the ASO on stage at Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy, February 23 & 24 at the Robinson Center.

“Whether lyrics in a popular song, libretto for an opera, or a symphonic setting of a poem, music and writing go hand-in-hand,” said Christina Littlejohn, CEO of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. “We are excited to join with another fundamental Little Rock institution to enrich our community with the power of orchestral music and language in our first spoken word collaboration.”

“Engaging people with words, music, and creativity lies at the center of our broad library mission,” said Nate Coulter, CALS Executive Director. “This collaborative performance with ASO musicians and library patrons speaking poetry will be an opportunity to express shared hopes and joys through two of our oldest and most emotionally evocative art forms. Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ is a great choice by the orchestra to inspire and embrace our library community’s aspiring poets.”

With a full orchestra and massed Arkansas intercollegiate and professional chorus, Maestro Philip Mann will lead more than 300 musicians on stage to perform one of the most powerful and recognizable works in the entire history of music: Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy. In this first ever collaboration between the ASO and CALS, spoken word artists will perform from the Robinson Center stage during the concert.

A series of special events at CALS branches is being planned as part of the partnership, including spoken word performances, mini-concerts and educational performances by ASO musicians, and panel discussions. CALS will also curate a multimedia collection of materials on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, its libretto, and other topics relevant to the themes of the presentation. For detailed information about events and materials at CALS and ASO, please visit ArkansasSymphony.org/spoken-word.

Tickets to Ode to Joy are available now and cost $16, $36, $57, and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at 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 http://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

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Grieg’s Piano Concerto marks start of 2015-16 Masterworks Season for Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO NewThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the first concert of the Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series: Grieg’s Piano Concerto, 7:30 PM Saturday, September 26 and 3:00 PM Sunday, September 27, 2015.

 Featuring Jon Kimura Parker on piano, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will take the stage with Mendelssohn’s concert overture, Fingal’s Cave, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor.  The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust. The concert is sponsored by Metal Recycling Corporation.

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.

Shuttle service is available – The ASO provides shuttle service from Second Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Valley to the Maumelle Performing Arts Center and back after the concert. For more information and to purchase fare, please visit www.ArkansasSymphony.org/shuttle.

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.

 

Artists

Philip Mann, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Program

  • Mendelssohn – The Hebrides, Op. 26 “Fingal’s Cave”  
  • Grieg – Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
  • Borodin – Symphony No. 2 in B minor

Program Notes:

Grieg’s legendary Concerto boasts one of the most familiar openings in the entire concerto repertoire, owing much to its simplicity. Grieg composed the work while sharing a house with pianist Edmund Neupert, who advised him on the solo part and to whom the piece was eventually dedicated in gratitude. Fingal’s Cave evokes the majesty and mystery of the sea. Mendelssohn composed the work after touring the Hebrides, including the flooded grotto known as Fingal’s Cave. The piece influenced later compositions on similar subjects, such as Wagner’s opera, The Flying Dutchman, and Debussy’s symphonic work, La Mer.

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.