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2012 will be a challenging year in that several pieces new to me are on the horizon. Some old favorites will also renew their acquaintance, and a Pops series that is up there with the best of them lay in store.

Our first performance this year, as in most recent years, will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert at the Bijou Theatre on Sunday, January 15. Michael Rodgers, the Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir and the MLK Celebration Choir will melt our faces with a mix of Gospel and inspiring classical selections.

Stepping to the plate later that week will be Mozart on the 19th and 20th. I haven’t played the “Elvira Madigan” piano concerto since my first season here, 1986, although I’d played it several times already in the 80's. The harmonies the muted violas create in the slow movement have appeared in dreams I’ve had, so aloof and moody. A new-to-me (no. 23) and a tried-and-true (no. 40) Mozart Symphony sandwich the concerto in this Masterworks production led by guest conductor Edward Cumming. Maestro Cumming is Orchestra Director at the Hartt School of Music, my alma mater.

Baroque music closes out the month with James Fellenbaum leading and playing works of Bach, Purcell, Handel and Vivaldi. The two Bach works, Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 and Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor are prime examples of works whose titles reveal very little of the caliber of perfection achieved in their composition.

Our Pops series is going to rock with Manhattan Transfer and Richard Marx topping the bill on Feb. 4th and March 16th, respectively. Works that shine in the advancing musical firmament are Mahler’s 2nd, Schoenberg’s Nacht, Holst’s Planets, Debussy’s Mer, and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. In the chamber department Stravinsky’s Concerto in D, Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, and Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat are all new pieces for me that invite me into their mystery. Wow. Better get to work.
6 years ago | Read Full Story
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