RI Philharmonic Music School holds masterclass with Grammy-nominated Cellist Rhonda Rider, March 4

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School will present a masterclass with critically acclaimed Cellist Rhonda Rider whose chamber music and solo recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards. The class will be on March 4 (Sunday) at 2 p.m. at the Music School’s Carter Center, 667 Waterman Ave., East Providence.

 At a Glance

Masterclass with Cellist Rhonda Rider
2:00pm, Sunday, March 4

RI Philharmonic Music School
Carter Center
667 Waterman Ave.
East Providence

For more information

Contact: Chelsea Anderson, canderson@riphil.org, 401.248.7038.

Rider PhotoAbout Cellist Rhonda Rider: Currently, she is a member of the celebrated trio Triple Helix and a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Lydian Quartet. Her chamber music and solo recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards and cited as Critic’s Choice in both the New York Times and Boston Globe. As a chamber musician, she has won numerous prizes at Banff, Evian, Fischoff and Portsmouth competitions.

Ms. Rider has given masterclasses at schools including Yale School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory and Princeton. She has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the American String Teachers Association and Chamber Music America.

Rider holds degrees from Oberlin and Yale. Her teachers have included the renowned cellists Aldo Parisot, Zara Nelsova and Richard Kapuscinski; chamber music coaches have included Robert Koff, Simon Goldberg, Raphael Hillyer and Louis Krasner. She is currently the Chair of Strings and a member of the cello faculty for Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Boston University.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School encourages lifelong engagement with music through comprehensive music education and community partnership programs taught by Orchestra members and outstanding faculty. Quality, access, diversity and collaboration are the Music School’s core values. If you have any questions, call 401.248.7001 or email cartercenter@riphil.org.

 

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Beethoven, Barber and Bernstein with Conductor Victor Yampolsky, March 16-17

Pianist Spencer Myer performs Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety Symphony

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Victor Yampolsky to The VETS stage for Barber’s Essay No.2, Beethoven’s Symphony No.7, and Bernstein’s Symphony No.2 (The Age of Anxiety), featuring soloist Spencer Myer on piano. The TACO Classical Concert is Saturday, March 17, 8:00pm; the Amica Rush Hour Concert is on Friday, March 16, 6:30pm.

“We’re looking forward to the upcoming program with Victor Yampolsky on the podium, and Spencer Myer on the piano. Victor came to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1973 to study conducting at Tanglewood at the invitation of Leonard Bernstein. He and Spencer will team up on Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety for piano and orchestra. Paired with works by Barber and Beethoven, it is a wonderful night of music.”
David Beauchesne
Executive Director, RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School

Beethoven’s Seventh!
TACO Classical Concert
Saturday, March 17, 8:00pm
The VETS

Victor Yampolsky, guest conductor
Spencer Myer, piano
BARBER: Essay No.2
BERNSTEIN: Symphony No.2 (The Age of Anxiety) for Piano and Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.7

Beethoven’s Seventh!
Amica Rush Hour concert
Friday, March 16, 6:30pm
The VETS

Victor Yampolsky, guest conductor
BARBER: Essay No.2
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No.7

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (M-F 9:00am-4:30pm). On day of concerts, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30pm–showtime; Saturday, 4:00pm-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

About Victor Yampolsky, guest conductor
Yampolsky studied conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory and violin performance at the Moscow Conservatory. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska and Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Born in the Soviet Union, he is the son of the legendary pianist Vladimir Yampolsky, and he studied violin at the Moscow Conservatory and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory. He was a member of the Moscow Philharmonic as both a violinist and assistant conductor.

Yampolsky serves as the Carol F. and Arthur L. Rice Jr. University Professor in Music Performance at Northwestern University, Music Director of the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wis., Music Director Emeritus of the Omaha Symphony, and Honorary Director of the Scotia Festival of Music, Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1977, Yampolsky became music director of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the conductor of the Young Artists Orchestra at Tanglewood. Two years later he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Violin and Director of Orchestras at the Boston University School of Music. He has been principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg and music director of the Omaha Symphony. In 2002, he led the Omaha Symphony in its debut recording, Take Flight, and the following year in the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Second Piano Concerto, which received an award from the Nebraska Arts Council. A dedicated educator, he has taught at the State Conservatory of St. Petersburg, Stellenbosch Conservatory, the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in Cape Town, Emory University, and the universities of Akron, Victoria and Nevada.

About Spencer Myer, pianist
Myer’s current season debuts include the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Arizona’s Flagstaff Symphony, and Colorado’s Grand Junction and Longmont Symphony orchestras. He had return engagements with the Duluth Superior and Southeast Iowa symphony orchestras. He is half of the Daurov/Myer Duo, having teamed up with the award-winning cellist Adrian Daurov in 2012. Myer’s orchestral, recital and chamber music performances have been heard throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia.

He has been a soloist with the Boise, Dayton, Evansville and Louisiana philharmonic orchestras, Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Altoona, Baton Rouge, Bozeman, Canton, Chattanooga, Duluth Superior, Indianapolis, Juneau, Knoxville, Macon, Missoula, New Haven, Phoenix, Ridgefield, San Juan, Santa Fe, Springfield (MA, MO, OH), Traverse, Tucson, Wyoming and Beijing’s China National symphony orchestras, and Cleveland, Indianapolis and Ohio’s ProMusica chamber orchestras, New York City’s Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Mexico’s Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, South Africa’s Cape Town and Johannesburg philharmonic orchestras. His 2005 recital/orchestral tour of South Africa included a performance of the five piano concerti of Beethoven with the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, followed by return orchestra and recital tours in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Myer is a Steinway Artist. “Superb playing” and “poised, alert musicianship”—The Boston Globe
“Definitely a man to watch”—The Independent

About the concert: stories behind the music
Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Essay No.2

Important American composer: In 1942, at the age of 32, Barber had become established as a significant U.S. composer. As a highly regarded graduate of the Curtis Institute, he had garnered key commissions and premieres from conductors such as Arturo Toscanini, and he had traveled and worked extensively throughout Europe. In 1939, Barber returned to Curtis to teach but left three years later, and never taught again. It was during his years at Curtis that he completed Essay No.2.
An elongated sequel: As a sequel to Barber’s First Essay, the second is longer, more complex, less based in one key and less focused on its main theme. It was a commission from conductor Bruno Walter, who premiered the work with the New York Philharmonic in April 1942.
Listen for this: The slow concluding section begins as an intense hymn for strings. Then, in the full orchestra, it evolves into a grand, tragic statement crowned by tense high pitches until the final major chord.

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Symphony No.2 (The Age of Anxiety) for Piano and Orchestra

Inspired by a dark poem: Not five years after the resounding 1942 success of his First Symphony, Bernstein was at work on his second. This was based on W.H. Auden’s The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue, which Bernstein had read during the summer of 1947. In the words of analyst Peter Gradenwitz, “The poem paints a terrifyingly depressing picture of post-World War II youth, the loneliness and despair of contemporary life….” Bernstein’s use of the piano in the symphony stemmed from his personal identification with the poem, the “essential line” of which he summarized as “our difficult and problematical search for faith.” The work is heavily programmatic and, at times, theatrical.
In his own words: For the 1949 premiere (in which he played the piano part himself), Bernstein provided extensive program notes. For the Prologue, musically, it is, he wrote, “a very short section consisting of a lonely improvisation by two clarinets, echo-tone, and followed by a long descending scale which acts as a bridge into the realm of the unconscious….”
Listen for this: The Epilogue’s formal beginning, representing “something pure,” presents trumpet and strings in what leads to a solemn chorale (hymn). The agitated piano cadenza interrupts, but the orchestra returns with impassioned phrases, leading to a climax in which the “piano-protagonist…seizes upon it with one eager chord of confirmation,” Bernstein wrote.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No.7 in A Major, Op.92

A victory: The expression “from the sublime to the ridiculous” could have applied to the 1813 concert program in which Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony was premiered. It began with the new symphony that the master had touted as “one of my best” (an opinion he later maintained). It concluded with the orchestral version of Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory (the “battle symphony”). Contemporary reports confirm that the event was a great triumph for Beethoven, and that the second movement of the Seventh Symphony even had to be encored.
Several unique features: Unlike the Fifth, each movement of the Seventh finds its own unique rhythm to generate themes. From the “Pastoral” Symphony, the Seventh inherits a celebration of Nature. In the Sixth, this often took the form of reflection and quiet reverence, but in the Seventh, it is a vibrant, life-affirming paean.
Listen for this: The sunny and exhilarating Scherzo movement comes at the right time, with a main section that features a bouncy quality and broad wit. However, a recurring contrast section stops that dance motion for a time, giving the music a magical, time-suspended quality. Beethoven’s rhythmic impulse returns in the dance-like finale.

Meet Soloist William Wolfram; Performs Rachmaninoff with the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb. 16-17

Soloist William Wolfram joins Guest Conductor Michael Christie and the RI Philharmonic Orchestra for the TACO Classical Concert
Saturday, Feb. 17, 8:00pm, at The VETS

Amica Rush Hour Concert is 6:30pm, Friday, Feb. 16, at The VETS

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About Pianist William Wolfram

  • Silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions.
  • Bronze medalist at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.
  • Enjoys close associations with the symphonies of Dallas, Milwaukee and Phoenix, and the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • Appeared with the San Francisco, Saint Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle and New Jersey symphonies, and the orchestras of Florida, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Nashville Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, and Grand Teton Festival.

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (M-F 9:00am-4:30pm). On day of concerts, tickets are available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30pm–showtime; Saturday, 4:00pm-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Focuses on Reconciliation as ‘Expressed in Music,’ Thursday, Feb. 8

RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School Executive Director to speak

During an event that explores expressions of reconciliation through music, David Beauchesne, Executive Director of the RI Philharmonic & Music School, will be the main speaker. The event is on Feb. 8 (Thursday) at 7pm at the newly re-opened Cathedral of St. John, 271 North Main Street, Providence.

Hosted by the Center for Reconciliation (CFR), the program includes performances by students from the RI Philharmonic Music School, the Ruach Singers and the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus.

“Across many human conflicts and struggles for civil rights, music has served to signal protest, preserve dignity and promote reconciliation and unity. In our own lives, most of us can think of a moment where music helped reconcile us to our deepest emotions, our sense of self, our own cultural heritage. We can also likely think of times where it connected us with the emotions, experiences and culture of someone else. I am honored, along with students from the RI Philharmonic Music School, to be a part of this series on the practice of reconciliation, and to share in the re-opening of Cathedral of St. John as the headquarters of the CFR.”

David Beauchesne, Executive Director, RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School

This will mark the second of three events based on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the second public event at the Cathedral since its closure in 2012. The third event in this series explores Reconciliation as Expressed in the Arts. It will be March 8 (Thursday) at 7:00pm.

The Center for Reconciliation (CFR) is a nonprofit organization that fosters interracial reconciliation through a wide range of events and programs designed to connect us to our past so we can together build a more just and equitable future. The goal of each event or program is to engender dialogue. The programs and events are designed to inform and inspire participants to become ambassadors of reconciliation. Based in the Cathedral of St. John in Providence, the work of the CFR grows out of the commitment of the Episcopal Church to address its role in slavery and the slave trade and the ways the Church both participated in and benefited from slavery. It is essential that we acknowledge this history and understand its impact in the ongoing process of reconciliation. And, given the pivotal role that Rhode Island played in the slave trade, ours is a unique opportunity to provide leadership in this process – not to dwell on the past but to build on our history as a pathway to the future.

For more information about the Center for Reconciliation visit cfrri.org, email info@cfrri.org, or call 401-274-4500 x231.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is the largest fully integrated orchestra and music school in the United States. Its mission is to enrich and transform Rhode Island and Southern New England through great music performance and education. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School strives to be the national model for the 21st-century symphony orchestra, providing performances and education programs that are of exceptional quality, and are relevant and accessible. The Philharmonic’s 73rd season offers eight TACO Classical concerts and four Amica Rush Hour concerts. A search is in progress for the Philharmonic’s new music director, following Larry Rachleff’s retirement in 2017.

During the past four seasons, audiences for the Orchestra’s TACO Classical concerts and Amica Rush Hour series have increased by 42 percent. Throughout the same period, the Philharmonic Music School, which encourages lifelong engagement with music through comprehensive music education and community partnership programs taught by Orchestra members and other faculty, has seen its enrollment grow by 39 percent, and the Music School’s education and engagement programs have doubled, serving more than 20,000 children annually. In addition, the Orchestra and Music School’s combined community impact has grown exponentially, and it has become the largest symphony orchestra in the nation to devote more than 50 percent of its programmatic budget to music education and engagement.

Music School alumni include principal players in the nation’s finest orchestras, skilled music educators, esteemed composers and conductors, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, academicians and a former Miss Universe. As one of the largest community music schools in the nation, it has one of finest music education facilities in the Northeast–the Carter Center for Music Education and Performance in East Providence–in addition to branches in East Greenwich and Westerly.

For more information visit riphil.org, and for tickets, tickets.riphil.org, info@rilphil.org or 401-248-7000.

Meet Guest Conductor Michael Christie; Conducts Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Schreker, Feb. 16-17

Michael Christie conducts RI Philharmonic Orchestra for
t
he TACO Classical concert, Saturday, Feb. 17, 8:00pm, at The VETS

Amica Rush Hour Concert features Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky
on Friday, Feb. 16, 6:30pm, at The VETS

“A director open to adventure and challenge” –New York Times

MichaelChristie_byTimTrumble

Guest Conductor Michael Christie

About Michael Christie

  • Committed to bringing new works to life.
  • Has championed commissions by leading and emerging composers.
  • Served as Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic.
  • Came to international attention with special prize for “Outstanding Potential” at the First International Sibelius Conductors’ Competition in Helsinki.
  • Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

 

Christie appeared with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra to critical acclaim in October 2013 on a program that included Schumann’s Cello Concerto and Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $15 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (M-F 9:00am-4:30pm, closed President’s Day). On day of concerts, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30pm–showtime; Saturday, 4:00pm-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

RI Philharmonic Orchestra Celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s Centennial with Concert Fundraiser and Gala, June 3

 Teddy Abrams and Morgan James join
 the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra to perform classics from Candide, On the Town, West Side Story and more

 PPAC’s J.L. “Lynn” Singleton is honored with John Hazen White, Sr.
Leadership in the Arts Award at post-concert celebration and dinner

To salute music legend Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, Conductor Teddy Abrams and Broadway’s Morgan James join the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra on stage for an orchestral program featuring Bernstein’s famous Broadway compositions—West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide and more. The concert is at 3:00pm on Sunday, June 3, at The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence.

***At A Glance***
Bernstein on Broadway: Glitter and Be Gala!
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Morgan James, soprano

Sunday, June 3
3:00pm Concert
The VETS
One Avenue of the Arts, Providence
Tickets start at $25

Concert tickets can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by calling 401.248.7000 (M-F 9:00am-4:30pm, closed President’s Day and Memorial Day). Day of the concert, tickets may be available at The VETS’ Box Office (2:00pm-showtime).

bernstein west sidte story b_w

Gala Celebration Dinner: Immediately following the concert is the Gala honoring PPAC’s J.L. “Lynn” Singleton Renaissance Providence Hotel, adjacent to The VETS.
Gala celebration tickets ($750) include premium concert seating, cocktail reception and dinner, and are available by calling Laurie Johnson-Carvalho at 401.248.7034, or by emailing ljohnson-carvalho@riphil.org.

 ***

About the Concert: “We are looking forward to honoring Bernstein with a rare performance of his irresistible American classics featuring Teddy and Morgan, two inspiring and versatile artists. Teddy is a noted music director and musician, and Morgan is a highly regarded  Broadway singer and songwriter,” said David Beauchesne, Executive Director of the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School. “What promises to be a spectacular concert at The VETS is also our largest fundraiser of the year. The money raised supports exceptional music performance and education throughout the region. Join us as Teddy and Morgan team up with the RI Philharmonic Orchestra for a memorable evening of Bernstein classics.”

This year, the funds raised from the concert and the Bernstein on Broadway: Glitter and Be Gala! will go toward scholarships and community outreach programs that ensure equitable access to music education throughout our region.

The Gala is made possible through the generous support of Taco/The White Family Foundation, Amica Insurance, The Washington Trust Co., University Orthopedics, and Murray Family Charitable Foundation.

About the Celebration Dinner: The concert will be immediately followed by Bernstein on Broadway: Glitter and Be Gala! celebration and dinner at the Renaissance Providence Hotel, which is adjacent to The VETS. During the post-concert Gala, J.L. “Lynn” Singleton, President of the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and a leader of Providence’s artistic renaissance, will be honored with the prestigious John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award. “Lynn is a visionary who embodies the meaning of this special award,” added Beauchesne. “We are pleased to be saluting—among his many outstanding accomplishments—his unwavering commitment to important artistic partnerships with the Philharmonic and his invaluable efforts to revive The VETS.”

About Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990): 

Leonard Bernstein
Bernstein on Broadway: Glitter and Be Gala! on June 3 at 3:00pm at The VETS raises funds for music and music education.

Composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, thinker and adventurous spirit, Leonard Bernstein transformed the way Americans and people everywhere hear and appreciate music. Bernstein’s successes as a composer ranged from the Broadway stage—West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, and Candide—to concert halls throughout the world, where his orchestral and choral music continues to thrive. Few composers capture their time and become the iconic voice of their age. Leonard Bernstein found his “voice” in the early 1940s and projected the sound of urban and urbane America from the period of World War II to the anti-war movements of the 1970s and the fall of the Berlin Wall and Soviet communism.

About Teddy Abrams, conductor: Known as a versatile musician, Teddy Abrams, the Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Director a

LO-Teddy-Abrams-Iroquois-1024x683

TEDDY ABRAMS

nd Conductor of the Britt Orchestra, is an established pianist, clarinetist and composer. He was the youngest conducting student ever accepted at Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Michael Tilson Thomas, Otto-Werner Mueller and Ford Lallerstedt, and at the Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with David Zinman. His work this season includes debuts with the Los Angeles and Malaysian philharmonics; the Milwaukee, Fort Worth, Princeton, and Omaha symphonies; and The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Recent highlights include engagements with the San Francisco, Houston, Vancouver, Colorado and Phoenix symphonies; Florida Orchestra; the Louisiana and New Mexico philharmonics; and the Kennedy Center.

About Morgan James: “A phenomenal talent whose feel for classic soul music is bone deep….This woman is on fire.”—The New York Times

Morgan James

MORGAN JAMES

A graduate of The Juilliard School, James’ Broadway credits include Motown: The Musical, The Addams Family, Godspell and Wonderland. She has released several albums with Epic Records, and she is well known for her collaborations with the jazz collective Postmodern Jukebox.

About J. L. “LYNN” SINGLETON: In 1983, Lynn Singleton arrived at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) as President and successfully reversed the theatre’s financial situation from near bankruptcy. Since 1984, PPAC is considered one of the most successful, not-for-profit theatres in North America. Under his direction, attendance at PPAC has increased from 57,000 in 1983 to nearly 500,000 this year, and the number of events has tripled.

2009_Lynn_Singleton_4_9824

J.L. “Lynn” Singleton, President of the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and a leader of Providence’s artistic renaissance, is to be honored with the prestigious John Hazen White, Sr. Leadership in the Arts Award.

In 1988, Lynn founded Professional Facilities Management, Inc. (PFM, http://www.pfmcorp.com) and serves as President and CEO. Today, PFM, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of PPAC and has national management/booking contracts with 11 facilities in eight states.

In May of 2012, Lynn received Trinity Repertory Co.’s Pell Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts. Lynn sits on the Government Relations Committee of the Broadway League and is a voting member for the Tony Awards. In 2004, he was the recipient of the Broadway League’s Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award for Outstanding Achievement in Presenter Management. In 2011 and again in 2016, Lynn was named as one of the 25 “driving forces” in the Rhode Island business community over the past 25 years by Providence Business News.

About the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School: As the largest fully integrated orchestra and music school in the United States, its mission is to enrich and transform Rhode Island and Southern New England through great music performance and education. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School strives to be the national model for the 21st-century symphony orchestra, providing performances and education programs that are of exceptional quality, and are relevant and accessible. The Philharmonic’s 73rd season offers eight TACO classical concerts and four Amica Rush Hour concerts. A search is in progress for the Philharmonic’s new music director, following Larry Rachleff’s retirement in 2017.

During the past four seasons, audiences for the Orchestra’s TACO Classical Concerts and Amica Rush Hour series have increased by 42 percent. Throughout the same period, the Philharmonic Music School, which encourages lifelong engagement with music through comprehensive music education and community partnership programs taught by Orchestra members and other faculty, has seen its enrollment grow by 39 percent, and the Music School’s education and engagement programs have doubled, serving more than 20,000 children annually. In addition, the Orchestra and Music School’s combined community impact has grown exponentially, and it has become the largest symphony orchestra in the nation to devote more than 50 percent of its programmatic budget to music education and engagement.

Music School alumni include principal players in the nation’s finest orchestras, skilled music educators, esteemed composers and conductors, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, academicians and a former Miss Universe. As one of the largest community music schools in the nation, it has one of finest music education facilities in the Northeast–the Carter Center for Music Education and Performance in East Providence–in addition to branches in East Greenwich and Westerly.

 

 

 

Michael Christie conducts Rachmaninoff, The Firebird, Feb. 16-17

Pianist William Wolfram performs Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Michael Christie to the podium for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2, Stravinsky’s The Firebird: Suite, and Schreker’s Intermezzo. The TACO Classical Concert is Saturday, Feb. 17, 8:00pm, at The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts. The Amica Rush Hour Concert, featuring Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, is on Friday, Feb.16, 6:30pm, at The VETS.

“In 2013, Michael Christie made a strong impression when he led the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra in a captivating program of Schumann’s Cello Concerto and Gustav Holst’s The Planets. He is an exciting conductor who has led orchestras in Europe, Australia and the United States, and has been credited with championing commissions by leading and emerging composers,” said David Beauchesne, Executive Director of Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School. “We’re looking forward to welcoming Christie back to The VETS to explore Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Schreker with our Orchestra. It promises to be a remarkable night.”

Guest Conductor Michael Christie added: “This concert program says a great deal about my priorities as a Music Director—featuring guest artists that are profound musical communicators, looking at the standard repertory in an expansive way, and satisfying an unending curiosity about the legions of composers whose music deserves a place on the concert platform. I can’t wait to work with my colleagues in Providence again, soon!”

MichaelChristie_byTimTrumble

Tickets are $15-$150 (including all fees), and can be purchased online at tickets.riphil.org, in person from the RI Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office in East Providence, or by phone 401.248.7000 (M-F 9am-4:30pm). On day of concerts, tickets are also available at The VETS Box Office (Friday, 3:30pm–showtime; Saturday, 4pm-showtime). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more

Romantic Rachmaninoff
TACO Classical Concert
Saturday, Feb. 17, 8:00pm
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Michael Christie, guest conductor
William Wolfram, piano
SCHRECKER Intermezzo
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No.2

STRAVINSKY The Firebird: Suite

Romantic Rachmaninoff
Amica Rush Hour Concert
Friday, Feb. 16, 6:30pm
The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Michael Christie, guest conductor
William Wolfram, piano
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No.2
STRAVINSKY The Firebird: Suite
****

About Michael Christie, guest conductor

“Open to adventure and challenge”–New York Times
“Remarkable precision and flair”–Chicago Tribune
“If Michael Christie represents the future of music in this country, the future looks promising indeed.” –Cincinnati Enquirer

Christie is currently the Music Director for the Minnesota Opera. In 2011, he led the Minnesota Opera in the world premiere performances of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, which was awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music. He conducted the European premiere of the opera in October 2014 at the Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, and led the opera again in May 2015 with the Opéra de Montréal. Performance highlights for the 2017-18 season include the world premiere of An American Soldier with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis; engagements with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Rhode Island Philharmonic; Santa Rosa Symphony; and taking charge of the world premiere performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs with the Santa Fe Opera. Christie champions commissions by leading and emerging composers.

His nearly 20-year symphonic conducting career has included serving as Music Director for the Phoenix Symphony (2005-2013) and Brooklyn Philharmonic (2005-2010), and as Chief Conductor for Australia’s Queensland Orchestra (2001-2004), guest appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the symphonies of Dallas, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, Oregon, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. His European engagements include the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Orchestre National de Lille, Swedish and Netherlands Radio Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, NDR Hannover Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic.

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About pianist William Wolfram
Silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions and a bronze medalist at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, William Wolfram has performed with many of the greatest orchestras of the world. He enjoys close associations with the symphonies of Dallas, Milwaukee and Phoenix, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He has appeared with the San Francisco, Saint Louis, Indianapolis, Seattle and New Jersey symphonies, and the orchestras of Florida, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Nashville Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, and Grand Teton Festival.

About the concert: stories behind the music
Franz Schreker (1878-1934)
Intermezzo 

Victim of the Third Reich: Schreker was brilliantly successful as a composer, conductor and educator. He founded and conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Chorus for many years and ranked among the foremost of contemporary opera composers. Director of Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik from 1920-1932, he was sacked due to rising anti-Semitism. He suffered a severe stroke in December 1933 and died the following March.

Prize-winner: Schreker’s most-frequently heard concert piece, the Intermezzo was composed around the end of 1900, when he was still a student. He entered this piece and a Scherzo for strings into a competition sponsored by a Viennese publisher. He won a cash award, and the chance to be published and premiered by the Konzertverein Orchestra.

Listen for this: After the intimate emotional close focus of the strings, a surprise transition to faster music and a more cheerful mood lifts spirits, then melts into high-strings emotion.

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Piano Concerto No.2 in C Minor, Op. 18

Miracle cure: Following the disastrous premiere of his First Symphony in 1897, Rachmaninoff fell into creative torpor, with the London Philharmonic waiting for a new concerto. He visited Dr. Nicolai Dahl, renowned for success through hypnosis. Rachmaninoff recalled: “I heard the same hypnotic formula repeated day after day while I lay half asleep in an armchair in Dr. Dahl’s study. ‘You will begin to write your concerto—you will work with great facility—the concerto will be of an excellent quality.’ Always the same without interruption. Though it may sound incredible, this cure really helped me.… Musical ideas began to stir within me, far more than I needed for my concerto.
At the premiere, the audience was puzzled by the concerto’s dedication to Dr. Dahl.”

Listen for this: The extreme lyrical beauty of the Second Concerto has made it one of the most popular piano concertos of this century. Most striking is the inordinate length with which the composer draws out his themes, from the beginning. Following an introduction by the solo piano resembling the tolling of bells, the strings spin out the lengthy, absorbing first theme. Listen for subsequent recurrences of each theme, containing subtle mood changes and instrumental colors.

Love theme: The third movement’s passionate second theme was popular during the 1930s and 1940s, appearing many times as a love theme in movies. Words were added in 1945 to make it the popular song, “Full Moon and Empty Arms.”

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
The Firebird: Suite (1945 version)

Big break: Twenty-seven-year-old Stravinsky received a commission in 1909 from Sergei Diaghilev, impresario of the famed Ballets Russes in Paris: a full-length ballet for the spring season. Stravinsky recognized the opportunity, but he worried about finishing so large and important a work on time. He had not yet collaborated with choreographer Michael Fokine, nor had he ever mingled with Parisian first-nighters such as Proust and Claudel (both of whom attended The Firebird’s premiere). During one rehearsal, Diaghilev remarked to The Firebird’s prima ballerina, “Mark him well. He is a man on the eve of celebrity.” The Firebird premiered in June 1910 and was an instant success, bringing Stravinsky worldwide fame. It remained his most frequently performed work.

Concert suites: Stravinsky made three concert suites of the music. The first was scored for the “wastefully large” orchestra (as Stravinsky put it) of the original production. In 1919, he arranged another five-movement suite for a more typical-size symphony orchestra, and in 1945 amplified some of the movements into a suite that also could be used for stage productions.

Listen for this: The movements trace the outline of the Firebird’s story, which was originally drawn from Russian folklore, with the evil King Kashchei, Ivan, son of the Czar, a princess, and the Firebird. In the Rondo (Chorovod), Stravinsky presents one of the suite’s loveliest melodies. The Final Hymn is music of deliverance and triumph.