Artober – Behind the Scenes. An Arkansas Symphony Orchestra rehearsal in 2017

Image may contain: 2 people, people sittingOctober is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month. Today’s focus is “Behind the Scenes.”

In 2017, I had the rare privilege of sitting on the stage during an Arkansas Symphony Orchestra rehearsal. These are some of the photos I took from that time.  It was exciting to not only hear the music up close but the see the musicians interact with each other on breaks. My appreciation for the ASO musicians (which was already high) grew even more so that evening.

As I was seated next to the violins, most of the photos are of the strings section.  I tried to be as subtle as possible in taking the photos.

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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

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra launches 2019 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts tonight

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, opens the 2019-2020 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts (INC) series with Songs from the Heart, Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (310 W 17th St, Little Rock).

Michael Underwood (ASO principal trombone) and Susan Bell León (ASO principal bassoon) perform music from Albrechtsberger and Lars-Erik Larsson, respectively. The program concludes with Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.

ASO, I.N.C.: Intimate Neighborhood Concerts are presented in acoustically unique venues around Little Rock. The programs feature works suited to the acoustic and aesthetic space of each venue, giving patrons the opportunity to hear these works as the composers imagined them.

General Admission tickets are $29; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the venue beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

Program
LARSSON, Lars-Erik — Concertino for Bassoon and String Orchestra, Op. 45, No. 4
Susan Bell León, bassoon

ALBRECHTSBERGER — Trombone Concerto in B-flat Major
Michael Underwood, trombone

TCHAIKOVSKY — Serenade for Strings, Op. 48

About Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 53rd full season in 2018-2019, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, to which the ASO returned in November of 2016 after a two-year renovation of the historic structure. ASO 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, Intimate Neighborhood Concerts, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools. ASO is a member of the League of American Orchestras.

The 2019 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts announced by Arkansas Symphony

Songs from the HeartThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the 2018-2019 Intimate Neighborhood Concerts (INC) Series. The series opens with Songs from the Heart, featuring ASO principal musicians Michael Underwood (trombone), Susan Bell León (bassoon), and Blake Taylor (percussion) as soloists at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral on Mar. 28, 2019, and closes with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto on May 23, 2019 at Calvary Baptist Church in Little Rock.

Subscriptions and single tickets to the two-concert series are on-sale now; general admission single tickets are $29 per concert, and new subscribers get both concerts at half-price if they subscribe by January 25th. Patrons interested in the subscription discount should visit www.ArkansasSymphony.org/inc2019. Active duty military and student tickets are $10.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the concert venues beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

The ASO Intimate Neighborhood Concerts series is an opportunity for audiences to enjoy fantastic music in acoustically unique venues around Little Rock.  The concerts offer intimate performances where patrons can get up-close and personal with musicians in chamber orchestra ensembles. In addition to hearing these beautiful works, concertgoers are invited to mingle with the musicians after the concerts.

Series Performances:

Songs from the Heart | March 28, 2019 at 7 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (310 W 17th St, Little Rock, AR 72206)
Philip Mann, conductor
Michael Underwood, trombone
Susan Bell León, bassoon
Blake Taylor, vibraphone

ALBRECHTSBERGER–Trombone Concerto in B-flat Major
LARSEN–Elegy for Bassoon and Strings
SÉJOURNÉ–Concerto for Vibraphone and Strings

 

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto | May 23, 2019 at 7 pm
Calvary Baptist Church (5700 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72207)
Philip Mann, conductor
soloists TBA

KARLOWICZ— Serenade for Strings, Op. 2
MOSZKOWSKI–Prelude and Fugue, Op. 85
BEETHOVEN–Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano in C Major, Op. 56

 

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 53rd full season in 2018-2019, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO 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, Intimate Neighborhood Concerts 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. ASO is a member of the League of American Orchestras.

For more information about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra call 501-666-1761 or visit www.ArkansasSymphony.org

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

Music for Double Reeds in free ASO concert this afternoon at UAMS.

aso_2-colorThe Ruth Allen UAMS Series takes place from time to time at UAMS and is free.  This afternoon at 4:30pm will be the latest concert in the series.

The musicians today will be music for double reeds!

TAYLOR Bach Goes North
BOZZA Shepherds of Provence
DIETZE Variations on a Hungarian Folksong
RATHBUN Two Marches
BACH Three Part Inventions No. 8, No. 13, and No. 15
BROUGHTON Music for Oboes
RUNNING Quodlibet
TAYLOR Bach Goes to Sea

As always, the concert is free and everyone is invited. It should be a nice way to start the holiday season. We look forward to seeing you there.

Here are the directions for the concert:

From Markham, turn south onto Hooper St.
Follow signs to Parking Lot 1.
Enter the lot, which goes underground.
Take the elevator to the “top” of the parking Lot 1, which immediately adjoins the back side of the lobby.
The Music Room is at the west end of the lobby, behind the grand piano.

Beethoven, Wagner, Ghosts and Tangos tonight at Ark Symphony’s River Rhapsodies

ASO_revTonight at 7pm, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s final 2013-2014 concert of the Parker Lexus River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series will feature ASO Musicians playing Wagner, Beethoven, Theofanidis and Piazzolla. The concert will be held at the Clinton Presidential Center.

The program is an intimate showcase of the ASO’s musicians.

General Admission tickets for River Rhapsodies concerts are $23, and Student tickets are available for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org, over the phone at (501) 666-1761 or at the door.

The program will include:

THEOFANIDIS                    O Vis Aeternitatis for String Quartet and Piano
(Quapaw Quartet, Tatiana Roitman, piano)

BEETHOVEN                      Piano Trio No. 5 in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, “Ghost”
I.          Allegro vivace e con brio
II.         Largo assai ed espressivo
III.        Presto
(Geoffrey Robson, violin, David Gerstein, cello, Julie Cheek, piano)

INTERMISSION

PIAZZOLLA                         Histoire du Tango
I. Bordello 1900
II.        Café 1930
III.       Night Club 1960
IV. Concert d’Aujourd’hui (Modern Day Concert)
(Kelly Johnson, Karla Fournier, Carina Washington, clarinet; Lyle Wong, bass clarinet)

WAGNER                              Siegfried Idyll
(Diane McVinney, flute; Leanna Booze, oboe; Kelly Johnson, Karla Fournier, clarinet; Susan Bell Leon, bassoon; David Renfro, Brent Shires, French horn; Richard Jorgensen, trumpet; Kiril Laskarov, Andrew Irvin, violin; Katherine Reynolds, viola; Daniel Cline, cello; Barron Weir, contrabass)

 

PROGRAM NOTES
Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio is so-called because of its eerie slow movement. It is speculated that the ghostly sound may have been influenced by Beethoven’s thoughts of  composing a Macbeth opera.

Originally written for flute and guitar, Histoire du Tango is one of Piazzolla’s most famous compositions. It has been arranged for many ensembles and is presented here as a demonstration of the lush sound of a clarinet quartet. The work attempts to demonstrate the evolution of the Tango, and the composer provided these notes:

Bordello, 1900: The tango originated in Buenos Aires in 1882. It was first played on the guitar and flute. Arrangements then came to include the piano, and later, the concertina. This music is full of grace and liveliness. It paints a picture of the good natured chatter of the French, Italian, and Spanish women who peopled those bordellos as they teased the policemen, thieves, sailors, and riffraff who came to see them. This is a high-spirited tango.

Café, 1930: This is another age of the tango. People stopped dancing it as they did in 1900, preferring instead simply to listen to it. It became more musical, and more romantic. This tango has undergone total transformation: the movements are slower, with new and often melancholy harmonies. Tango orchestras come to consist of two violins, two concertinas, a piano, and a bass. The tango is sometimes sung as well.

Night Club, 1960: This is a time of rapidly expanding international exchange, and the tango evolves again as Brazil and Argentina come together in Buenos Aires. The bossa nova and the new tango are moving to the same beat. Audiences rush to the night clubs to listen earnestly to the new tango. This marks a revolution and a profound alteration in some of the original tango forms.

Modern-Day Concert: Certain concepts in tango music become intertwined with modern music. Bartok, Stravinsky, and other composers reminisce to the tune of tango music. This is today’s tango, and the tango of the future as well.

Wagner composed Siegfried Idyll  – in honor of his son – for his wife, Cosima. The piece was very private and filled with references of personal significance to the composer and his wife, many of which went unknown to the public for a long time.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 48th season in 2013-2014.  Under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann, the ASO 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.