Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra Concludes Season with Jazzy Clarinet, Music from ‘West Side Story’

April 08, 2013

The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra concludes its 2012-13 “Let’s Dance!” season on April 20 at 8 p.m. at the University of Virginia’s Old Cabell Hall and April 21 at 3:30 p.m. at Monticello High School in Charlottesville.

Conducted by Music Director Kate Tamarkin, the program includes John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra),” Aaron Copland’s “Clarinet Concerto,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’” and “Malambo from ‘Estancia: Four Dances’” by South American composer Alberto Ginastera.

Rob Patterson, CUSO’s principal clarinet, will step out of the orchestra’s woodwind section to take center stage in the jazzy Copland Clarinet Concerto, written for the legendary Benny Goodman.

In addition to serving on the music faculty of the University of Virginia’s College of Arts & Sciences, Patterson is also the clarinetist with the Opus 39 and VERGE ensembles. He performs with the Lyrique en Mer Festival in France and is also a faculty member at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. His 2011 recording with pianist Audrey Andrist, “Gumbo,” earned a Washington Area Music Association’s Wammy award for Best Classical Recording of the Year.

“The Chairman Dances” is an outtake from Adams’ opera, “Nixon in China.” The term “dances” in the title is a verb, depicting a foxtrot for communist China’s Chairman Mao and Madame Mao.

Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’” re-tells the tale of Romeo and Juliet, set in New York City in the 1950s where rival gangs – the Jets from Manhattan and the Sharks from Puerto Rico – are determined to keep the young lovers apart. 

The program concludes with Ginastera’s pulsating “Malambo,” capturing the macho energy of Argentinian gaucho dancing.

In a new collaboration, Terry Dean’s Ballroom Dance Studio will offer a demonstration during intermission at the Monticello High School concert.

“Know the Score” pre-concert lectures will be presented 45 minutes before each concert. Free of charge, these lectures by Richard Will, associate professor and chair of U.Va.’s McIntire Department of Music, offer novice and experienced patrons a deeper appreciation of the performances. Saturday’s lecture will take place in Minor Hall; Sunday’s lecture will be held in the Forum at Monticello High. 

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 afternoons. Both venues are wheelchair accessible.                           

Tickets are priced between $20 and $38 ($10 for students). U.Va students may request one complimentary ticket in advance. Tickets may be purchased weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. by phone (434-924-3376) or in person at the University of Virginia Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road; or online at

U.Va. employees are entitled to a 20 percent discount on tickets to individual performances. This offer does not apply to previously purchased tickets. Holders of Public Broadcasting MemberCards are eligible for two-for-one admission on either concert date.