The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra is set to host an extended dance party, rolling out its 2012-13 season with the theme, “Let’s Dance!”
“Someone once said that all music is based on song or dance,” Kate Tamarkin, the orchestra’s music director, said. “This season, the orchestra will present an orchestral sampling of all genres of dance, from classical ballet to non-Western folk dance to the mambo. The traditional forms of ballroom dance are also represented. It seems that composers had no shortage of inspiration in the realm of dance. It promises to be a delightful party.”
The season will comprise five pairs of masterworks concerts, generally held on Saturdays and Sundays (though the season’s first concert will be held on a Friday night, Sept. 28). Highlights include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which Richard Wagner called “the apotheosis of the dance”; Tchaikovsky’s Suite from his immortal ballet, “Swan Lake”; “Azerbaijani Dance,” by Israeli composer Avner Dorman; Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story”; the Emperor Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.; Ravel’s elegant “La Valse”; and “Malambo” from “Estancia: Four Dances,” by Alberto Ginastera.
In a first-time collaboration, the University of Virginia’s University Singers and members of the Oratorio Society of Virginia – both conducted by Michael Slon – will join the orchestra in one of the most renowned cantatas of the 20th century, Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevksy.” The contralto soloist is 2012 Grammy Award winner Meredith Arwady, who delighted local audiences in her uproarious portrayal of Eulalie Shinn in Ash Lawn Opera’s recent production of “The Music Man.”
Additional guest artists include pianist Dmitri Shteinberg, who returns to perform Schumann’s Concerto in A minor; violinist Shannon Lee playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor; the orchestra’s principal flute, Kelly Sulik, featured in Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2; and principal clarinet Rob Patterson soloing in Aaron Copland’s jazzy Clarinet Concerto.
Family Holiday Concerts, presented in partnership with the University Singers, welcome the holiday season with a program of cherished carols, new arrangements and audience merriment.
For those who want to “Know the Score,” pre-concert lectures will be presented 45 minutes prior to each concert. Free of charge, these popular lectures by Richard Will, who chairs the McIntire Department of Music in U.Va.’s College of Arts & Sciences, educate, entertain and provide a behind-the-scenes look at classical music. The Sept. 28 and Saturday lectures will take place in U.Va.’s Minor Hall; Sunday lectures will be held in the Forum at Monticello High School.
For those who want to know even more, in-depth program notes are posted on the orchestra’s website two weeks prior to each masterworks concert.
The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra, now presenting its 38th season, has been under the artistic leadership of Kate Tamarkin since 2006. It is supported through a partnership between the Charlottesville Symphony Society, a private non-profit corporation, and the McIntire Department of Music. The society’s mission is to champion the orchestra by providing financial, marketing and administrative support.
Free parking for concerts at U.Va. will be available in the U.Va Central Grounds Garage, located on Emmet Street, for the Sept. 28 concert and all of Saturday night concerts; and at the high school on Sunday afternoons. Both venues are wheelchair accessible.
Season tickets are on sale now for as little as $18 per concert. Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices, plus VIP customer service, free lost ticket replacement and unlimited ticket exchanges. To purchase a subscription by phone or to request a 2012-13 season brochure, call 434-924-3139. Subscription orders are also being accepted in person at the orchestra’s office. 801 W. Main St., Suite 201, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Single tickets go on sale Sept. 4 and are priced at $10 to $38 for adults, and $10 for students. U.Va students can request one complimentary ticket in advance. Single tickets can be purchased through the U.Va. Arts Box Office, by phone at 434-924-3376, in person weekdays between noon and 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road, or online.
The complete season schedule:
• Sept. 28, 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall, U.Va. Grounds
Sept. 30, 3:30 p.m., Monticello High School
Carl Von Weber, “Invitation to the Dance”
Robert Schumann, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor (Dmitri Shteinberg, piano)
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Suite from “Swan Lake,” Opus 20a
• Nov. 17, 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
Nov. 18, 3:30 p.m., Monticello High School
Avner Dorman, “Azerbaijani Dance”
Max Bruch, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in G minor (Shannon Lee, violin)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 7 in A major, Opus 92
(Nov. 18th performance sponsored by Our Lady of Peace.)
• Family Holiday Concerts (with the University Singers; Michael Slon, conductor)
Dec. 1, 8:00 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
Dec. 2, 3:30 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
Program to be announced; these concerts are not included in the subscription price, but may be ordered separately when purchasing a subscription.
• Feb. 16, 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
Feb. 17, 3:30 p.m., Monticello High School
Alexander Borodin, Polovtsian Dances from “Prince Igor”
Johann Sebastian Bach, Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 (Kelly Sulick, flute)
Sergei Prokofiev, “Alexander Nevsky,” Opus 78 (Meredith Arwady, contralto)
With the University Singers and members of The Oratorio Society of Virginia; Michael Slon, conductor of both ensembles
(Sponsored by McGuireWoods)
• March 23, 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
March 24, 3:30 p.m., Monticello High School
Ottorino Respighi, Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1
Manuel de Falla, Suite No. 2 from “The Three Cornered Hat”
Johann Strauss Jr., “Emperor Waltzes,” Opus 437
Maurice Ravel, “La Valse”
(Sponsored by Sage Physics & Engineering)
• April 20, 8 p.m., Old Cabell Hall
April 21, 3:30 p.m., Monticello High School
John Adams, “The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra)”
Aaron Copland, Clarinet Concerto (Rob Patterson, clarinet)
Leonard Bernstein, Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story”
Alberto Ginastera, Malambo from “Estancia: Four Dances”
Note: All artists, programs and venues are subject to change.