Pianist Julie Cheek presents a solo program tonight as part of St. Luke’s Festival of the Senses

Pianist Julie Cheek will play a solo program of works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Debussy in addition to other favorites at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 4106 JFK Boulevard.

The concert, the eighth in Festival of the Senses’ 2018−19 season, is free and open to the public. The performance, which will introduce Julie’s 60/60 Project, will be followed by a reception for the audience to share refreshments and meet the artist.

With 25 years experience as a classical solo entertainer on the world’s most prestigious cruise lines, pianist Julie Cheek brings dazzling virtuosity and humor to delight your event. As the only entertainer to ever score a perfect 10 on the Crystal Cruise Line, Julie understands that audiences want an experience that invites them into the magic realm of classical music, where every emotion is possible.

Julie weaves a seamless narrative about the music with her own experiences on the stage with programs that blend popular favorites with her own personal ones. Thousands of audience members have left Julie’s performances feeling the charm of this very special entertainer.

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Chopin and Mendelssohn on tap with Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Artist of Distinction Andrew von Oeyen this weekend

Chopin & Mendelssohn | JAN 26-27

This weekend, Philip Mann and the ASO welcome 2018-2019 Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction Andrew von Oeyen!

Andrew takes the stage with ASO on January 26 & 27 to perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor on a program also featuring Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.3 “Scottish.”

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew Von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

The Saturday evening concert starts at 7:30pm, and the Sunday afternoon concert starts at 3pm.  The concerts are at Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Free tickets to Arkansas Symphony weekend concerts for Federal Employees.

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The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is offering free tickets to federal government employees (with valid ID) who want to attend this weekend’s concert “Chopin & Mendelssohn” on Jan. 26th & 27th.  The concerts are at Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Please call 501-666-1761 ext. 100 or email tickets@arkansassymphony.org to order.

Rocking the Tonys: Baryshnikov at Robinson (part 2)

One of the presenters at Sunday’s 72nd Tony Awards is Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Twenty-nine years ago, he himself was a 1989 Tony nominee for Actor in a Play (for playing a man-turned-cockroach in an adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

In 1985, Baryshnikov returned to Little Rock to perform again at Robinson Center under the auspices of Ballet Arkansas.   He had performed here two years earlier, as well.

Among the dancers who joined him in the program was future Tony nominee Robert LaFosse.  He would be nominated for a 1989 Tony as well. But he was up for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.  Other dancers in the company were Cynthia Harvey, Susan Jaffe, Leslie Browne, Elaine Kudo, Cheryl Yeager, Amanda McKerrow, Deirdre Carberry, Bonnie Moore, Valerie Madonia, Ross Stretton, Peter Fonseca, Gil Boggs, John Gardner, and John Turjoman.

The company danced to pieces choreographed by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Marius Petipa, future Tony Award winner Twyla Tharp, Lisa de Ribere, and La Fosse.  The music composers included George Gershwin, Jacques Offenbach, Frederic Chopin, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Hector Berlioz, as well as composers who wrote songs for Frank Sinatra.

While Ballet Arkansas did not have any dancers perform during the evening, the organization presented it and was able to receive the proceeds which exceeded the expenses.  For several years in the 1980s, the Ballet would either commence or conclude their season with such an performance. In fact, the 1985 Baryshnikov program contained a promotion of a 1986 visit by Alvin Ailey’s dance company.

Whereas the 1983 Baryshnikov appearance had been sponsored by the Arkansas Democrat, this time, the rival Arkansas Gazette was the sponsor.

 

15 Highlights of 2015 – Ballet Arkansas performs the Balanchine-Gershwin “Who Cares?”

WhoCares-220x300Ballet Arkansas made Arkansas history in April 2015, when it became the first Arkansas-based dance company licensed to perform a work by George Balanchine.

It took place during Ballet Arkansas’ annual spring mixed repertory show.  The headlining piece, Who Cares?, was choreographed by the father of American ballet George Balanchine and is set to music of the incomparable George Gershwin.  “We at Ballet Arkansas are honored to be able to bring such a wonderful work to our state. This accomplishment speaks volumes for artistic and technical abilities of our twelve professional dancers” noted Artistic Director Michael Bearden. This piece was chosen for its fun, high-energy choreography and audience catching tunes that will delight fans of all dance styles.

The show also includes Hilary Wolfley’s expanded piece, Façade. Hilary, from Orem Utah, was the winner of our August 2014 Visions Choreographic Competition. Excerpts from the tragic tale and classical ballet Raymonda, choreographed by the Marius Petipa which was premiered January 19th, 1898, Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg will be performed as well as the pas de deux from Lady of the Camellias by Val Caniparoli. Lady of the Camellias is set to the music of Chopin and is based on the 19th century French novel by Alexander Dumas. Former Hubbard Street Dance company member Greg Sample has choreographed a contemporary piece titled Rerouting which will round out the show’s line-up.

Ballet Arkansas is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Four Percussionists; 60 Instruments – Tonight at UALR

percussionThe University of Arkansas at Little Rock Percussion Ensemble will host a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in the University Theatre of the Center for Performing Arts that will include a daring performance of over 60 instruments.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Presented by the UALR Department of Music and under the direction of Conductor and Founder Charles Law, the show will include a performance of Bahrah for percussion quartet by Brandon Hendrix, Sands of Africa by Eric Harper, and Chopin’s Prelude No. 20 transcribed by Kevin Lepper.

A rendition of Bella by Carlos Santana arranged for mallets by Oliver Molina and Trinidad Blue Basin traditional arranged by Lisa Rogers will follow.

The finale will feature a performance of John Cage’s Third Construction for Percussion. This challenging work by Cage features over 60 instruments performed by four musicians creating a landscape of rhythm and sounds including shakers and twenty cans.

Celebrating more than 20 years, the UALR Percussion Ensemble is a high-energy group performing throughout the Midwest and South in concerts and clinics for students of all ages.

The ensemble has performed at the University of Missouri, University of Georgia, University of New Orleans, Mobile Alabama Concerts in the Park, Chicago Public Schools, Silver Dollar City, and Little Rock World Fest.

They explore a wide range of repertoire representing the most current and recognized composers of the time in percussion. The group has used music to reach out to inner-city and at-risk youth with the International House of Blues Foundation in New Orleans and the House of Blues Club.

Ballet Arkansas headlines spring show with historic performance of Balanchine-Gershwin WHO CARES? this weekend

WhoCares-220x300Ballet Arkansas’ annual spring mixed repertory show will be performed April 17-19 at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. “This mixed repertory format gives us the ability to entertain and educate our audience with different styles of dance, from classical ballet to contemporary dance to ballet-meets-Broadway” says Karen Bassett, Executive Director.  “There is truly something for everyone in this show”.

The headlining piece, Who Cares?, was choreographed by the father of American ballet George Balanchine and is set to music of the incomparable George Gershwin.  “This will mark the first time an Arkansas based dance company has been licensed to perform a work choreographed by Mr. Balanchine. We at Ballet Arkansas are honored to be able to bring such a wonderful work to our state. This accomplishment speaks volumes for artistic and technical abilities of our twelve professional dancers” says Artistic Director Michael Bearden. This piece was chosen for its fun, high-energy choreography and audience catching tunes that will delight fans of all dance styles.

The show also includes Hilary Wolfley’s expanded piece, Façade. Hilary, from Orem Utah, was the winner of our August 2014 Visions Choreographic Competition. Excerpts from the tragic tale and classical ballet Raymonda, choreographed by the Marius Petipa which was premiered January 19th, 1898, Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg will be performed as well as the pas de deux from Lady of the Camellias by Val Caniparoli. Lady of the Camellias is set to the music of Chopin and is based on the 19th century French novel by Alexander Dumas. Former Hubbard Street Dance company member Greg Sample has choreographed a contemporary piece titled Rerouting which will round out the show’s line-up.

Tickets to the public shows of Who Cares? are available on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s website at therep.org or by calling (501) 378-0405.

Ballet Arkansas is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.