The ASO River Rhapsodies series continues tonight

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra continues the 2019-2020 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music season with Musical Images, Tuesday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

ASO’s Quapaw String Quartet, along with other musicians will perform Golijov’s Tenebrae; Kinan Azmeh’s The Fence, the Rooftop, and the Distant Sea; Paul Reade’s Suite from The Victorian Kitchen Garden; and Elgar’s Violin Sonata in E minor, Op. 82. 

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 $26; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSympohny.org; at the Clinton Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

Artists
Quapaw String Quartet
–Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin
–Charlotte Crosmer, violin
–Timothy MacDuff, viola
–David Gerstein, cello
Kiril Laskarov, violin
Andrew Irvin, violin
Kelly Johnson, clarinet
Katherine Williamson, violin
Stephen Feldman, cello
Alisa Coffey, harp
Jason Pennington, piano

Clarinet Quintets Old and New tonight at St. Luke’s Festival of the Senses.

Five musicians from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will play a free Festival of the Senses concert at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Clarinetist Kelly Johnson, violinists Andrew Irvin and Meredith Maddox Hicks, violist Katherine Williamson, and cellist Stephen Feldman will play Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major and contemporary Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh’s “The Fence, the Rooftop, and the Distant Sea.”

The concert, which is free and open to the public, is the fourth in the 2019-20 season of the Festival of the Senses performing arts series sponsored by St. Luke’s and will be followed by a reception in the church’s parish hall.

Written in 1789 and sometimes called the Stadler Quintet, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s only completed clarinet quintet is one of his most admired works. His Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581, has four movements: Allegro, Larghetto, Menuetto, and Allegretto con Variazioni.

Image result for the fence the rooftop and the distant sea“The Fence, the Rooftop, and the Distant Sea” by Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh is a work in five movements inspired by memories of his Damascus birthplace in a distant view of the Syrian coastline seen from a rooftop in Beirut. Azmeh has achieved worldwide fame as a clarinetist and composer with a distinctive voice across diverse musical genres.

A graduate of the Julliard School with a doctorate in music from the City University of New York, he has taken his music around the globe as a soloist, composer and improviser.  His album “Uneven Sky” with the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra won the OpusKlassik Award in 2019, and he is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble, whose 2017 Grammy Award-winning album “Sing Me Home” features Kinan as a clarinetist and composer.

Music from Steinmetz, Debussy, and Poulenc Presented by Arkansas Symphony Musicians at Clinton Center

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth concert of the 2018-2019 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music season with Debussy & Poulenc, Tuesday, Apr. 16th at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

ASO musicians present Debussy’s Violin Sonata, Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds, and music from Steinmetz.

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
Diane McVinney, flute
Leanna Renfro, oboe
Kelly Johnson, clarinet
Susan Bell León, bassoon
David Renfro, horn
Geoffrey Robson, violin
John Krebs, piano
Tatiana Roitman Mann, piano

Program

STEINMETZ – What’s Going On (Consortium Commission)
McVinney, L. Renfro, Johnson, León, D. Renfro

DEBUSSY – Violin Sonata
Robson, Krebs

POULENC – Sextet for Piano and Winds
McVinney, L. Renfro, Johnson, León, D. Renfro, Mann

Merry Pranks highlight ASO River Rhapsodies concert at Clinton Center this evening

ASO NewArkansas Symphony Orchestra musicians in three different ensembles present music from Beethoven, Vaughn Williams, and a special arrangement of Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel, the Merry Prankster at 7pm on Tuesday, November 17 in the beautiful Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center.

Tickets are $23.

PROGRAM

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

The musicians who will be featured tonight are:

  • Kelly Johnson, clarinet
  • Lyle Wong, clarinet
  • Susan León, bassoon
  • David Renfro, horn
  • Liz Deitemyer, horn
  • Kiril Laskarov, violin
  • Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
  • Ryan Mooney, viola
  • David Gerstein, cello
  • Aaron Ludwig, cello
  • Barron Weir, bass
  • May Tsao-Lim, piano

Ludwig & Levis, or Beethoven & Blue Jeans at the Arkansas Symphony this weekend

ASO B&BThe annual audience favorite Beethoven & Blue Jeans concerts are this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra!

On the program for this year’s edition are Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93; Scott McAllister’s Black Dog; and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a.

Under the direction of music director/conductor Philip Mann, the ASO will feature soloist Kelly Johnson.  She is principal clarinetist with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Associate Professor of Clarinet at the University of Central Arkansas. Johnson has a CD, entitled Child’s Play: Stories, Songs, and Dances.

The concert times are 7:30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. They will take place at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.

Again this year, the ASO is teaming up with the Arkansas Foodbank.  Attendees can support the Arkansas Foodbank during the much needed holiday season by dropping off a frozen turkey or other bird  before either concert and as a thank you, turkey donors will receive a pair of free tickets to any future concert from the ASO’s 2015-2016 Season.

 

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

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.