ASO and ASYO Concerts This Weekend

20121020-054530.jpgThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs its first Masterworks concert of 2013 this weekend with performances at Robinson Center Music Hall on Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27.

Guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa takes the podium in a program featuring Beethoven’s classical masterpiece 2nd Symphony, Resphigi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, and the ASO’s own David Gerstein as he steps up from the Principal Cello chair to perform Tchaikovsky’s Mozart inspired Variations on a Rococo Theme.

David Gerstein, cello

Gerstein

David Gerstein, a devoted performer of chamber and contemporary music has played concerts all over the world, from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the Great Wall of China.

Mr. Gerstein has recently appeared in concert with the Ying Quartet, flutist Leone Buyse, clarinetist Michael Webster, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, soprano Renee Fleming, cellist Fred Sherry, violinist Jonathan Carney, and Vern Sutton of The Prairie Home Companion.

Figueroa

Guillermo Figueroa is Music Director of both the New Mexico Symphony and the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Puerto Rico Symphony, with whom he performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall in 2003, the Kennedy Center in 2004 and Spain in 2005.

As a Guest Conductor in the US he has appeared with the Symphony orchestras of Detroit, New Jersey, Memphis, Phoenix, Colorado, Berkeley, Tucson, Santa Fe, Toledo, Fairfax, San Jose, Juilliard Orchestra and the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.

Immediately after the Masterworks concert on Sunday January 27, the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra under the direction of Geoffrey Robson will perform a program featuring Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 and Beethoven’s Overture from Egmont. The FREE performance starts at 5pm on January 27 right after the ASO concert!

Arkansas Symphony 2012-2013 Masterworks and Pops

Continuing with the Spring Break theme of looking to next year, today’s entry looks at the 2012-2013 Masterworks and Pops offerings from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will kick off the 2012-2013 season on September 29 and 30 with a Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks concert featuring violinist Augustin Hadelich returning to play Eduoard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole.  Also on the program are Strauss’ Don Juan and von Dohanyi’s Suite in F-sharp Minor. ASO Musical Director/Conductor Philip Mann will conduct.

The ASO next turns to the Pops series. The Acxiom Pops Live! series starts on October 6 & 7 with the Beatles tribute act Classical Mystery Tour. ASO Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson will lead this concert.

Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon will be the ASO Composer of the Year for 2012-2013.  Her composition To the Point will be featured on the ASO’s second Masterworks concert on October 20 and 21.  That concert will also featured pianist Elissa Bolkkvadze performing Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2 and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5.

On November 10 and 11, the ASO’s annual “Beethoven & Blue Jeans” concert will showcase Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto featuring soloist Wu Man. Also on the program is the overture to Beethoven’s only ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus.  The evening will conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

For many families, it isn’t the holidays without the annual ASO Happy Holidays concert.  In 2012 it will take place on December 14-16.  Plan accordingly.

In January, the ASO will start 2013 with guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa, music director of the New Mexico Symphony and Colorado’s Music in the Mountains Festival on January 26 and 27.  ASO principal cellist David Gerstein will solo on Tchaikovsky’s Variationson a Rococo Theme.  The concerts will also include Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 1 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.

Returning to Pops, on February 9 and 10, the ASO will present “A Night at the Movies.”  Later that month, the ASO will feature Composer of the Year Higdon again on February 23 and 24.  In addition to her blue cathedral, the program will include Haydn’s No. 95 in C minor and Shostakovich’s No. 10 in E minor.

The ASO will march into March with a celebration of the American Songbook on the Pops schedule on March 16 and 17.

The Masterworks season will conclude on April 13 and 14, 2013.  Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring Midori will be the centerpiece of the evening.  Also on the bill will be the overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro as well as Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

The final concert of the 2012-2013 season will be in the Pops series: Cirque de la Symphonie.  This concert, on May 11 and 12, will featured six Cirque du Soleil veterans performing to music accompanied by the ASO.

Sponsors for the 2012-2013 season are the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Acxiom and American Airlines.