Tonight at 7 – AR Symphony River Rhapsodies series starts with Jon Kimura Parker

ASO lowres-jkp-321The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the opening concert of the 2015-2016 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series: Artist of Distinction: Jon Kimura Parker on September 29, 2015 at 7:00 PM.

ASO musicians including the Rockefeller Quartet are joined by the 2015-2016 Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction, pianist Jon Kimura Parker, for music from Borodin, Hirtz, and Beethoven in the beautiful Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. A cash bar is open at 6 PM and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the hall. Media sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is KUAR/KLRE.

Tickets are $23; active duty military and student tickets are $10 are can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Clinton Presidential Center box office beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.

Artists

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Rockefeller Quartet:

  • Katherine Williamson, violin
  • Trisha McGovern, violin
  • Katherine Reynolds, viola
  • Aaron Ludwig, cello

Leanna Booze, oboe

Kelly Johnson, clarinet

Susan Bell León, bassoon

David Renfro, horn

Program

BORODIN                            String Quartet No. 2 in D Major

HIRTZ                                    Wizard of Oz Fantasy

BEETHOVEN                       Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16

Program Notes:

Mr. Parker on Hirtz’s Fantasy, from http://www.jonkimuraparker.com:

My friend and colleague, the composer William Hirtz, can work pianistic miracles out of harmony, rhythm and texture. Several years ago he showed me a piano duet Fantasy that he had composed using several of Harold Arlen’s iconic themes from the “Wizard of Oz” soundtrack. It was joyous, technically raucous, and seemingly featured dozens of notes all at once. I jokingly commented that I if he could arrange this Fantasy for one piano two hands, I would happily play it. I thought nothing more about it.

Fast forward several months: one day my fax machine started up and several insanely dotted pages spewed forth. I recognized the music – it was indeed the Fantasy arranged for two hands – but couldn’t imagine how it might be played. I called Bill and complained, “Hey, didn’t you know that when you rearrange a four hand work for two hands, that you’re supposed to leave out some of the notes!!

Here is the Wizard of Oz music in all its glory. It’s one of the most difficult works I’ve played, period. If you’re a pianist and would like to order a copy of either the two handed or (more reasonably playable) four handed version, feel free to contact William Hirtz directly at w.hirtz@att.net.

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.

For more information about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra call 501-666-1761 or visit www.ArkansasSymphony.org

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.

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

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. 

Lineup announced for the Arkansas Symphony 2015-2016 Landers Fiat River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series

ASO_2-colorThe Arkansas Symphony is still going strong in their 2014-2015 season. There are still concerts remaining in each of the Symphony’s series.

The lineup for next season’s Landers FIAT River Rhapsodies Series has recently been announced.  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
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
Brahms – Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 101
Bartok – String Quartet No. 4
Dvořák- String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat Major, Op. 105

Robinson Redux – February

grand opening adHere are some of the highlights from the annals of the Robinson Center Music Hall nee Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium.  This entry looks at bookings from Februarys in years ending with an 0 or 5.

The building was officially dedicated on February 16, 1940.  A few days earlier a children’s theatre troupe had entertained school kids with a performance in the music hall.  Also that month high school basketball continued in the exhibition hall.  The month had kicked off with a much more glamorous event as the Movie Ball took place in the exhibition hall.

The year 1945 featured a ecumenical Christian Youth Rally on February 4, a concert featuring Tito Guizar on February 7, the operetta Blossom Time on February 8 and the long-running comedy Life with Father on February 19.   In 1950, Robinson’s offerings ran from the Grand Ole Opry featuring Hank Williams (February 5), to Dick Contino (February 8) to the magician Blackstone (February 10 & 11) as well as the opera Il Trovatore (February 15) and a recital featuring Mrs. Rece Price (February 21).

By the mid 1950s, the touring business was changing.  The only notable booking at Robinson in February 1955 was on February 20 as it featured the Duke of Paducah and a little known singer from Mississippi named Elvis Presley.  Five years later, Jackie Wilson and Jesse Belvin headlined a concert on February 5, 1960. The Venable Quartet and several other gospel groups performed on February 12 and the Beaux Arts Bal de Tete took place on February 19.  In 1965, Donald Voorhees and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra were in concert on February 21.

February 1970 showed much more activity.  Husband and wife Phil Ford and Mimi Hines starred in the national tour of I Do! I Do! on February 6 & 7. That show had been a hit on Broadway in the 1966-1967 season. Another hit from that season, Cabaret, played on February 19 & 20 with Tandy Cronyn starring.  In between, contralto Bernadette Greevy presented a recital.

Musician Jerry Jeff Walker performed at Robinson on February 23, 1975.  Earlier that month (February 19), the national tour of Pippin stopped by with Barry Williams (aka Greg Brady) in the title role.  Five years later, Ballet Arkansas welcomed Cynthia Gregory and Patrick Bissell in a performance on February 7, 1980. Later that month Mason Williams and his Bluegrass Band performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on February 23.  The next two nights, a tour of Jesus Christ Superstar took the stage.

David Copperfield kicked off February 1985 with two shows on the 1st.  The next day the musical The Cotton Patch Gospel was performed.  Musican Carman performed on February 25.  In February 1990, Peabo Bryson and jazz extraordinaire Billy Mitchell shared the stage on February 22.

In 1995, the focus was on music.  There was “An Evening with John Bayless” on February 7 as part of the Greater Little Rock Community Concert Association.  On February 11, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presented an evening of music of Rodgers & Hammerstein.  A few days later on February 17, various musical groups presented an evening of gospel music. The next night, Gladys Knight shook the house in a concert.  The month ended on February 28 with Nancy Griffith and the Blue Moon Orchestra. A February 8 concert with Della Reese was cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

Five years later, highlights included a tour of Camelot on February 15 – 18, and a staged concert version of the opera La Boheme presented by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  In 2005, Kenny Loggins performed with the Arkansas Symphony on the 11 & 12. The ASO also presented an all Tchaikovsky concert with Jon Kimura Parker on piano.  Earlier in the month, President George W. Bush hosted a town hall forum on Social Security at Robinson Center.

In 2010, the ASO Valentine Pops concert featured Christiane Noll and Doug LaBrecque.  From February 16-18 STOMP rang out throughout Robinson.  The month ended on a more quieter note as the ASO and Philippe Quint presented the Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius.