The ASO River Rhapsodies series starts tonight with Beethoven and Milhaud

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opens the 2019-2020 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music series with Beethoven and Milhaud, Tuesday, October 1st at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

ASO’s Quapaw and Rockefeller String Quartets, along with other musicians are performing Milhaud’s Quartet No. 1, Roussel’s Serenade for Flute, String Trio, and Harp, and Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor.

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.ArkansasSymphony.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

Rockefeller String Quartet

  • Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
  • Linnaea Brophy, violin
  • Katherine Reynolds, viola
  • David Gerstein, cello

Gabriel Vega, flute

Alisa Coffey, harp

Diana Norwood, violin

Rafael León, cello

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

Image may contain: 2 people, including David Gerstein, people on stage and indoor

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.

Pianist Julie Cheek presents a solo program tonight as part of St. Luke’s Festival of the Senses

Pianist Julie Cheek will play a solo program of works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Debussy in addition to other favorites at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 4106 JFK Boulevard.

The concert, the eighth in Festival of the Senses’ 2018−19 season, is free and open to the public. The performance, which will introduce Julie’s 60/60 Project, will be followed by a reception for the audience to share refreshments and meet the artist.

With 25 years experience as a classical solo entertainer on the world’s most prestigious cruise lines, pianist Julie Cheek brings dazzling virtuosity and humor to delight your event. As the only entertainer to ever score a perfect 10 on the Crystal Cruise Line, Julie understands that audiences want an experience that invites them into the magic realm of classical music, where every emotion is possible.

Julie weaves a seamless narrative about the music with her own experiences on the stage with programs that blend popular favorites with her own personal ones. Thousands of audience members have left Julie’s performances feeling the charm of this very special entertainer.

Beethoven, Blue Jeans, Beer & Brats this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Image result for beethoven blue jeansThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, present the fifth concert of the 2018-2019 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season, Beethoven & Blue Jeans, on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th at the Robinson Center.

The annual Beer & Brats Street Party features beer from Stone’s Throw Brewery, free brats cooked on-site, t-shirts from Hillcrest Waterbugs, live music from the Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Band, and a food drive in partnership with Arkansas Foodbank. The party, located on the 400 block of West Markham in front of the Robinson Center, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, and is free for anyone with a ticket to Beethoven & Blue Jeans.

The League of American Orchestras and Feeding America are partners in a program called Orchestras Feeding America. As part of this program, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Foodbank work together each year for a food drive at Beethoven & Blue Jeans and other concerts. Any patron who brings at least 12 food items to the Beer & Brats Street Party will be given a voucher good for two free tickets to any future symphony subscription concert.

The concerts feature a casually dressed orchestra performing music from Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Enesco, and Tchaikovsky. Violinist Gareth Johnson is featured performing Ravel’s Tzigane and Beethoven’s Romance No. 2.

All concert ticket holders are also invited to Concert Conversations, a pre-concert talk one hour before each Masterworks concert in the Upper Tier Lobby of the Robinson Center. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57, and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level 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 https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

Program
SAINT-SAËNS                     Samson et Dalila: Bacchanale
RAVEL                                  Tzigane, rhapsodie de concert for Violin & Orchestra
BEETHOVEN                      Romance No. 2 in F Major, Op. 50

Intermission

TCHAIKOVSY                     Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a, TH 234
ENESCO                               Romanian Rhapsody in A Major, Op. 11, No. 1

The 2019-2020 Arkansas Symphony Orchestra MasterWorks season is announced

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced its 2019-2020 Masterworks which includes guest conductors and a concert conducted by Geoffrey Robson, ASO’s Associate Conductor who has been named Interim Artistic Director.

The Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series opens Sep. 28-29, 2019, with a concert presented in partnership with ACANSA Arts Festival of the South. Luminary conductor JoAnn Falletta is the first featured guest conductor, and American trio Time for Three is featured in work written for them by former ASO Conductor in Residence Jennifer Higdon. The program also features Ravel’s La Valse and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

ASO’s casual concert and street party, Beethoven and Blue Jeans, returns Nov. 9-10 and features works by two Arkansas composers: William Grant Still’s Festive Overture and Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement. Karen Walwyn, a specialist in the piano works of Price, is the featured soloist, and Andrew Grams will conduct the concert.

The Masterworks series ends May 2-3, 2020, featuring music from Fanny Mendelssohn and Schubert along with the return of prestigious cellist, Zuill Bailey, performing Dvorak’s Cello Concerto.

The 2019-2020 season coincides with the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. ASO is celebrating by featuring two outstanding women conductors, JoAnn Falletta and Carolyn Kuan, two women soloists, pianist Karen Walwyn and violinist Simone Porter, and by performing works from four women composers: Pulitzer Prize-winner and former ASO Composer in Residence, Jennifer Higdon, an active and popular composer today, Little Rock’s own Florence Price, Lili Boulanger, and Fanny Mendelssohn.

The full Masterworks series includes:

  • JoAnn Falletta and Time for Three, Sep. 28 & 29, 219, with music from Higdon, Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
  • Beethoven & Blue Jeans, Nov. 9 & 10, 2019, ASO’s annual casual concert, featuring works from Arkansas composers Florence Price and William Grant Still and guest conductor Andrew Grams.
  • Copland’s Rodeo, Jan. 25-26, 2020, with guest conductor Carolyn Kuan, and music from Ginastera and Bartok;
  • Sibelius & Debussy, Feb. 29 – Mar. 1, 2020, conducted by Geoffrey Robson, and featuring a multimedia work: In Seven Days: A Concerto for Piano and Moving Image, with pianist Andrius Zlabys.
  • Symphonie Fantastique, Apr. 18-19, 2020, with guest conductor Eric Jacobsen, and violinist Simone Porter performing the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3 in addition to the titular orchestral showpiece by Berlioz.
  • Zuill Bailey Plays Dvorak, May 2 & 3, 2020, with guest conductor Vladimir Kulenovic.

The concerts will be at Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Spoken Word Performance finalists tonight in collaboration between CALS and ASO

Image may contain: textThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) have announced a collaboration in a spoken word performance event focused on themes of joy, unity and hope. Spoken word writers and artists from our local community submitted their original works on these themes last month, and will now perform their dramatic pieces in a preliminary event at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2019.

Tonight from 7pm to 9pm, adult and youth finalists will perform for a panel of judges and a live audience at the Ron Robinson Theater at Library Square in downtown Little Rock. At this event, performers will be selected to join the ASO on stage at Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy, February 23 & 24.

This event is open to the public: invite your friends to share an hour of joy as we hear the work of our local spoken-word artists!

For more information contact Tameka Lee at (501) 918-2048.

Still time for Spoken Word submissions for CALS and ASO collaboration

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) have announced a collaboration in a spoken word performance event focused on themes of joy, unity and hope.

Spoken word artists ages 18 and younger should submit their work, either in writing or by video, through a participating CALS branch or via email at teenpoetry@cals.org.

Adults should submit via odetojoy@arkansassymphony.org. Submissions will be accepted until December 3, 2018, and should be limited to no more than three minutes long. Performers may perform original work or works for which they have secured performance rights.

CALS and ASO will invite youth and adult finalists to perform for a panel of judges and a live audience January 10, 2019 at the Ron Robinson Theater. At this event, performers will be selected to join the ASO on stage at Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy, February 23 & 24 at the Robinson Center.

“Whether lyrics in a popular song, libretto for an opera, or a symphonic setting of a poem, music and writing go hand-in-hand,” said Christina Littlejohn, CEO of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. “We are excited to join with another fundamental Little Rock institution to enrich our community with the power of orchestral music and language in our first spoken word collaboration.”

“Engaging people with words, music, and creativity lies at the center of our broad library mission,” said Nate Coulter, CALS Executive Director. “This collaborative performance with ASO musicians and library patrons speaking poetry will be an opportunity to express shared hopes and joys through two of our oldest and most emotionally evocative art forms. Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ is a great choice by the orchestra to inspire and embrace our library community’s aspiring poets.”

With a full orchestra and massed Arkansas intercollegiate and professional chorus, Maestro Philip Mann will lead more than 300 musicians on stage to perform one of the most powerful and recognizable works in the entire history of music: Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy. In this first ever collaboration between the ASO and CALS, spoken word artists will perform from the Robinson Center stage during the concert.

A series of special events at CALS branches is being planned as part of the partnership, including spoken word performances, mini-concerts and educational performances by ASO musicians, and panel discussions. CALS will also curate a multimedia collection of materials on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, its libretto, and other topics relevant to the themes of the presentation. For detailed information about events and materials at CALS and ASO, please visit ArkansasSymphony.org/spoken-word.

Tickets to Ode to Joy are available now and cost $16, $36, $57, and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at ArkansasSymphony.org at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1. 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 http://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.