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.

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Dracula Unearthed at Wildwood Park

Dracula unearthedThursday, Friday and Saturday at Wildwood Park for the Arts, Arkansas Festival Ballet and Praeclara collaborate to tell a new Dracula story in song, dance, and dramatic narrative! Dracula’s servants help him rise from the grave, expecting him to resume his evil works — but instead, he becomes entangled in the life of his daughter, Wilhelmina, who does not realize what her father is. But how long can the count deny his own nature? And what will happen when Wilhelmina comes to truly know her father … and realizes what she herself may be?

This show is appropriate for adults and teens. Its story is told through the interaction of choreography and dramatic masterworks by Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Bartok, and more. Coffins, fog, and strobe lights will occasionally be used to set the mood on stage.

The Wildwood gates open at 6:30 p.m. for guests to enjoy a bit of life in the village of Bran before Dracula’s castle (thetheatre) opens for seating at 7:45. Enjoy the “Dead Ringers” handbell concert — take your picture with Dracula and his coffin — sample garlic-based hors d’oeuvres and bat-themed sweets!

Performances begin at 8pm.  Tickets are available at the Wildwood website.

Music of the Night this weekend in Little Rock presented by Arkansas Chamber Singers

acs nightThis weekend the Arkansas Chamber Singers present their first concerts of the season.  Entitled “Music of the Night,” they will take place at St. Edward’s Catholic Church on Friday evening at 7:30pm and at St. James United Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm.

Under the leadership of John Erwin, artistic director and conductor, the concert features excerpts from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil”, “Sure On This Shining Night” by Morten Lauridsen and “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine” by Eric Whitacre. The choir will also perform “Dark Night of the Soul” by Ola Gjeilo and “Abendlied”, “O Schne Nacht” and “Sehnsucht” by Johannes Brahms.

Lynn Bauman is the accompanist, and Lisette Christensen is the executive director.

 

Tickets purchased in advance are $15 Adult and $10 Student; at the door they are $18 Adults, $12 Students.

The Arkansas Symphony’s first Masterworks Concert of 2014-15 is this weekend with Rachmaninoff, Corigliano, Brahams and pianist Andrew Staupe

aso staupeASO_2-colorThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra launches into 2014-2015 with its first Masterworks Concert of the season. Tonight at a new time (7:30pm) and a new, temporary location (Maumelle Performing Arts Center), the evening consists of Corigiliano’s Promenade Overture, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Brahms Symphony No. 2.   Guest artist Andrew Staupe will be featured on the Rachmaninoff piece.

Andrew Staupe is emerging as one of the distinctive voices of a new generation of pianists. In 2012 Andrew made his Carnegie Hall debut to critical acclaim, for which New York Concert Review raved “Staupe gave a brilliant performance, handling the virtuosic demands with apparent ease… I was stunned- this was one of the most incredible performances… A once in a lifetime performance!”

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is under the direction of Music Director Philip Mann.  Tonight’s concert will be repeated tomorrow afternoon at 3pm, also at the Maumelle location.

 

 

ASO Masterworks for 2014-2015 announced

ASO_revThough there are several concerts remaining in each of their series, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra has announced three of their 2014-2015 series.

Next year is the first of their two-year hiatus from Robinson Center Music Hall (as it gets transformed into a true music hall instead of a civic gathering room).

The Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series will be performed at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center. To entice audiences who have been used to attending Robinson for ASO concerts for 40 years, Music Director Philip Mann has programmed a line up with many familiar composers. In addition, an Oscar winning musical genius will be presented.

The series will kick off on September 27 & 28 with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Andrew Staupe on piano.  Also on the program will be John Corigliano’s Promenade Overture and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major.  Corigliano is the Oscar winner, having won for composing the score of The Red Violin.

On October 18 & 19, the ASO will heat things up with Blazing Brass featuring trumpeter Richard Jorgensen.  The program will consist of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in E Major.

The now annual Beethoven and Blue Jeans concert will be November 8 & 9. Sharon Isbin’s guitar work will be featured as the ASO plays Corigliano’s Three Hallucinations from Altered States as well as his Troubadours-Variations for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra.  The Beethoven portion of the evening will be his Symphony No. 5 in C minor.

The Masterworks series will ring in 2015 on January 31 & February 1 with a Tchaikovsky & Mozart Festival.  Vladimir Verbitsky will be guest conductor. The evening will feature violin soloist Randall Goosby.  The program consists of Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Concerto for Violin No. 5 in A Major, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor.

On February 28 and March 1, the ASO will present Schubert’s “Unfinished.”  In addition to that masterpiece, the musicians will play Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger and Brahms’ Concerto for Violin in D. Major.

The Masterworks Series for 2014-2015 will conclude with an evening of Mozart, Prokofiev & Strauss.  Pianist Yeol Eum Son will be the featured guest artist.  The program will consist of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major – Jupiter, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59 Suite.

All Masterworks concerts will be performed at 7:30pm on Saturday evenings and 3pm on Sunday evenings.

The other ASO series will be previewed by the Culture Vulture in the coming days.

Classical Piano by Gio at Afterthought

Giovanni Antipolo will be performing classical solo piano pieces at the Afterthought tonight.

As the Afterthought says, “There are piano players and then there are PIANO players…Giovanni fits this last description as he treats the crowd to everything from classic to very modern tunes. Come enjoy with us!”

A Little Rock Central graduate, Gio himself describes the evening as “an an effort to deliver classical music to the masses in informal venues.” An expert on the keyboard, he is as comfortable playing Rachmaninoff and the Razorback fight song.

Among the composers who will be featured are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Prokofiev.

The evening starts at 8pm, but for guaranteed seating an earlier arrival is recommended.  There is no cover charge.