Beethoven’s Triple Concerto highlights final Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert of 2018-2019 season

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Laskarov, Mann, and Gerstein in rehearsal

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra closes out the 2018-2019 season with its final I.N.C., Intimate Neighborhood Concerts, performance.  It is tonight (May 23) at 7pm at Calvary Baptist Church, 5700 Cantrell Road.

The program features Karlowicz’s Serenade for Strings, Op. 2; Moszkowski’s Prelude and Fuge, Op. 85; and Beethoven’s Concerto Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C Major, Op. 56.  Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Philip Mann is the conductor.

The ASO Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fantastic music in gorgeous, acoustically unique venues around Little Rock. The concerts offer special, intimate performances where patrons can get up – close and personal with chamber orchestra ensembles performing pieces in perfect settings. In addition to hearing these beautiful works, concertgoers are invited to mingle with the musicians after the concerts.

Soloists tonight are Kiril Laskarov, violin; David Gerstein, cello, and Tatiania Roitman Mann, piano.

Kiril Laskarov is in his 20th season as Concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. A native of Bulgaria, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State Academy of Music in Sofia and a Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he studied with Prof. Michael Barta.

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.

Tatiana Roitman Mann has appeared as a soloist and recitalist across North America and Europe. The BBC hailed her performance of G. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Oxford Pops Orchestra as “formidable…both accurate and with rarely seen joy.” Mann’s radio broadcasts include H.Villa-Lobos’ Mystic Sextet, on NPR’s Performance Today.


Arkansas Symphony Youth Ensembles in concert tonight

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Come see the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles perform in the annual Mid-Winter Youth Orchestra concert at 6 pm at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.

The four groups performing will be:

  • Preparatory Orchestra, conducted by Casey Buck
  • Prelude Orchestra, co-conducted by Andrew Irvin and Kiril Laskarov
  • Academy Orchestra, conducted by Tom McDonald
  • Youth Orchestra, conducted by Geoffrey Robson

Ranging in age from 9-18 and traveling from over 37 communities throughout the state, the ASYO has grown to over 200 members.

These youth work hard throughout the year on the music, which is often over and above their efforts with school music programs and individual private lessons.  The conductors choose music that is challenging for them but also appropriate for the level of the ensemble.  They also have the opportunity to interact with the professional musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra throughout the year.

$10 tickets can be purchased at the door or


Creative Class 2016: Kiril Laskarov

cc-laskarovKiril Laskarov is currently in his 17th season as Concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Earlier this year, he was also the featured soloist for the ASO playing  a 300-year-old priceless Stradivarius violin .

A native of Bulgaria, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State Academy of Music in Sofia and Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Kiril was the winner of the 1995 Bulgarian National Competition.  He  has appeared as a soloist with the Arkansas Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Southern Illinois Symphony, Abilene (TX) Philharmonic, and Texarkana (TX) Symphony, and also presented recitals in Little Rock, Memphis, Kansas City, and Dallas.

For over a decade, he has taught orchestral music at Episcopal  Collegiate School, in addition to his busy symphonic and chamber music schedule.

Mendelssohn String Symphony No. 10 tonight at Arkansas Symphony River Rhapsodies Series at Clinton Presidential Center

ASO NewThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth concert of the 2015-2016 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series: Mendelssohn’s String Symphony No. 10, at 7 PM Tuesday March 1, 2016 at the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall.

ASO musicians present a chamber music showcase in the beautiful Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center, featuring works from Prokofiev, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Bach in various ensembles.

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 and can be purchased online at; at the Clinton Presidential Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100.


Geoffrey Robson, violin/conductor
Rockefeller Quartet:

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

Vernon Di Carlo, tenor
Tatiana Roitman, piano
Andrew Irvin, Kiril Laskarov, Eric Hayward, Meredith Maddox Hicks, Leanne Day-Simpson, Sandra McDonald, Yennifer Correia, violins
Ryan Mooney, Katrina Weeks, violas
David Gerstein, Ethan Young, cellos
Barron Weir, bass
Carl Anthony, harpsichord



PROKOFIEV – Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op. 56

BEETHOVEN  – String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4

MENDELSSOHN – Selection of Songs for Voice and Piano

BACH – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BW 1048

MENDELSSOHN – String Symphony No. 10 in B minor

Firebird Suite headlines ASO Masterworks Concert this weekend

ASO firebirdThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the first 2016 concert of the Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series: Firebird Suite, 7:30 PM Saturday, January 30 and 3:00 PM Sunday, January 31, 2016, at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.

Under the baton of music director Philip Mann, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will perform Rossini’s La gazza ladra: Overture, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 – featuring ASO co-concertmaster Kiril Laskarov, Visconti’s Black Bend and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

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.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at; 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.

Kiril Laskarov, ASO Concertmaster for 17 years, steps to the front of the orchestra to perform Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto. The tradition of the concertmaster as a featured soloist with the orchestra is long and healthy, and the ASO is proud to present Mr. Laskarov with this work. Featured soloist Kiril Laskarov will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto on this “golden period” Stradivarius violin. These instruments are world famous and highly sought-after for there unique sound and quality. “Le Brun” was notably played by the famed violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini.

Composer Dan Visconti has spent the week in Little Rock for residency activities, including private lessons with high school students, presentations to classes, and speaking engagements.

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.

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.


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

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.