September 21, 2009 — The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra opens its 2009-10 "Musical Postcards" season presenting "Ciao Bella" in two shows: Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. in the Old Cabell Hall auditorium, and Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. at Monticello High School in Charlottesville.
The concert, conducted by music director Kate Tamarkin, explores the musical landscape of Italy. The program includes Giuseppe Verdi's Overture to "Nabucco," Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio for Strings in G minor, the Bassoon Concerto of Nino Rota and Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4, known as the "Italian Symphony."
Featured as guest artist in Rota's Bassoon Concerto is Elizabeth Roberts, principal bassoonist and outreach coordinator of the orchestra and bassoon instructor in the University of Virginia's McIntire Department of Music. Roberts is a frequent performer in the region, serving as bassoonist in the Albemarle Ensemble and principal bassoonist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. She freelances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Virginia Symphony and Richmond Symphony. She is an adjunct faculty member at Mary Baldwin College and teaches bassoon and chamber music in the Charlottesville area.
Roberts has given world-premiere performances of works by Arthur Weisberg, Bernard Rands, Gary Schocker and Walter Ross. She also gave the Virginia premiere of the recently discovered concerto for bassoon by Gioacchino Rossini.
Free pre-concert lectures, presented by Richard Will, a U.Va. associate professor of music, will be held 45 minutes before each concert. Saturday's lecture will take place in Room 107 at Old Cabell Hall. Sunday's lecture will be held in the Forum at Monticello High School.
"Noon Notes," a free popular lecture series by Tamarkin, will continue this season on Sept. 25 at noon in the Northside Branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.
Free parking is available in the U.Va. Central Grounds Parking Garage, located on Emmet Street, on Saturday night and at the high school on Sunday.
Tickets are priced at $35, $30, $25 and $20 for adults, and $10 for students. U.Va. students may request one complimentary ticket in advance. Tickets may be purchased online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu or at the U.Va. Arts Box Office on weekdays from noon to 5 p.m., either by phone at 434-924-3376 or in person in the lobby of the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road.
Remaining dates in the "Musical Postcards" season are "Vive la France" on Nov. 7-8, "Heartland of Europe" on Feb. 13-14, "English Variations" on March 27-28 and "The New World" on April 24-25. Subscription tickets for the entire season are still available at the orchestra office 434-924-3139.