ASO Chamber Series Tonight: Masterworks

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s third concert of the Parker Lexus River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series features two great masterworks of the chamber music repertoire. The concert will be held Tuesday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

The program features Trio Arkansas playing Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor, which ASO Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson says shows Ravel’s mastery of piano and string instruments, with impressionistic stylings and influences from the Far East. Next ASO’s resident Quapaw Quartet will perform Beethoven’s great quartet Op. 130/133, which Robson says is one of Beethoven’s late great works. “It is large scale, in six movements. The original last movement (Grosse Fuge) was replaced by a shorter, simpler movement after initial publication, but the Quapaw Quartet will perform the original version intact!”

General Admission tickets for River Rhapsodies concerts are $22, and Student tickets are available for $10. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone at (501) 666-1761 or at the door.


Quapaw Quartet
Eric Hayward, violin
Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin
Ryan Mooney, viola
David Gerstein, cello

Trio Arkansas
Louis Menendez, piano
Geoffrey Robson, violin
David Gerstein, cello


Ravel, Piano Trio in A minor – Menendez, Gerstein, Robson


Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge – Hayward, Hicks, Mooney, Gerstein

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 47th season in 2012-2013 under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than thirty concerts each year for more than 42,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series and River Rhapsodies Chamber Series, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 24,000 school children and over 200 schools.

Claude Bolling’s Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio at The Afterthought

Tonight, October 8th, 2012 there will be a special one-time performance of Claude Bolling’s Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio at The Afterthought, the jazz club on Kavanaugh Blvd. in the Hillcrest section of Little Rock.

With music starting at 8pm, saxophonist Brandon Dorris will perform a trio set with bassist Joe Vick and drummer Brian Brown. The Bolling,which is about an hour of music, will feature violinist Geoffrey Robson,pianist Louis Menendez, bassist Joe Vick, and drummer Brian Brown.

The evening will conclude with more music from Brandon Dorris and the trio.

Sophisticated jazz piano stylings blend seamlessly with lyrical and virtuosic violin playing in the music of Claude Bolling. $5 cover only.

Geoffrey Robson, violinist, is the Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and violinist in Trio Arkansas with pianist Louis Menendez. Louis Menendez, of Hot Springs, AR, is a fine concert pianist, opera coach, and conductor, and is a faculty member at
Ouachita Baptist University. Joe Vick is a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and a Little Rock jazz mainstay. He also teaches music at College Station Elementary and Fuller Middle School in Little Rock.

Brian Brown, also a local jazz mainstay, has performed on just about every stage in town, and appears four nights a week at the Capital Hotel with the Ted Ludwig Jazz Trio. Brandon Dorris is one of the more versatile musicians in town. Recent appearances include the Hot Springs Jazz Festival, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Repertory Theater, and Dugan’s Pub.

ASO announces River Rhapsodies for 2012-2013

On the heels of the recent announcement of the 2012-2013 Arkansas Symphony Orchestra MasterWorks and Pops series, the ASO has unveiled next season’s River Rhapsodies Chamber Series.

It will kick off on October 2 when Augustin Hadelich will perform.  He will be featured on September 29 and 30 with the MasterWorks series as the Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction.  Joining him on the program will be the Quapaw String Quartet, the Rockefeller String Quartet and violinist Geoffrey Robson.  The works to be performed include Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54 No. 2; Webern’s Langsamer Satz; Yasye’s Violin Sonata in d minor, No. 3 “Ballade” and Tchaikovsky’s Sextet, Op. 70 “Souvenir de Florence.”

Appropriately the second concert of the series is entitled Duos.  On October 30, the concert will feature David Gerstein, cello; Andrew Irvin, violin; Tatiana Kotcherguina, viola; Ryan Mooney, viola; Geoffrey Robson, violin and Barron Weir, contrabass.  The program will feature Mozart’s Duo No. 1 in G for Violin and Viola; Rossini’s Duetto for Cello and Bass; Bridge’s Lament for Two Violas and Kodaly’s Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7.

On November 13, the concert is entitled Masterworks and will feature the Quapaw String Quartet, Louis Menendez on piano and violinist Geoffrey Robson.  They will perform Ravel’sPiano Trio in a minor and Beethoven’s String Quartet, Op. 130 and Op. 133.

The Rockefeller String Quartet’s 10th anniversary will be highlighted in the fourth concert of the series.  They will perform Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in D Major, Op. 44 No. 1; Glass’s String Quartet No. 3 (Mishima) and Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Major.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Composer of the Year Jennifer Higdon will be featured on February 26, 2013.  The musicians performing that night will be David Gerstein, cello; Kelly Johnson, clarinet; Kiril Laskarov, violin; Susan Bell Leon, bassoon; Meredith Maddox-Hicks; violin; Diane McVinney, flute; David Renfro, horn; Tatiana Roitman, piano and Beth Wheeler, oboe. The musical selections include Barber’s Summer Music; Higdon’s Piano Trio and Autumn Music and Shostokovich’s Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 67.

Spring in Little Rock will be celebrated with Appalachian Spring on April 16.  A host of musicians will play a program including Crumb’s Voice of the Whale; Debussy’s Sonate en trio for Flute, Viola and Harp; Higdon’s Amazing Grace and Copland’s Appalachian Spring.  The performers will be Carl Anthony, piano; Carolyn Brown, flute; Daniel Cline and David Gerstein, cello; Alisa Coffey, harp; Leanne Day-Simpson, Eric Hayward, Andrew Irvin and Kiril Laskarov, violin; Kelly Johnson, clarinet; Susan Bell Leon, bassoon; Ryan Mooney and Katherine Reynolds, viola and Barron Weir, contrabass.

The concerts will take place at 7pm at the Clinton Presidential Center.  Philip Mann is the music director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.