Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra To Salute American Stage and Screen

February 28, 2012 – The Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra continues its 2011-12 "Bridges" season with a program titled "Bridges Across Genres" on March 24 at 8 p.m. at the University of Virginia's Old Cabell Hall, and March 25 at 3:30 p.m. at Monticello High School in Albemarle County.

Conducted by music director Kate Tamarkin, the all-American program will explore genres that have broadened the orchestral repertoire, including ballet, film scores, Broadway and jazz.

Leonard Bernstein's "Three Dance Episodes from 'On the Town'" started as a ballet before morphing into a Broadway musical. Aaron Copland's "Suite from 'The Red Pony'" was first composed for Lewis Milestone's 1949 film of the same name, based on a John Steinbeck story. George Gershwin's ever-popular "Rhapsody in Blue" started as a concert piece for a jazz band, and Gershwin's "An American in Paris" was adapted for Vincente Minnelli's 1951 film that enthralled audiences with the dancing of newcomer Leslie Caron and the incomparable Gene Kelly.

Michael Mizrahi is the piano soloist in "Rhapsody in Blue." The Philadelphia Inquirer has praised Mizrahi's "sumptuous texture" and "intrepid performances." He has appeared as concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and music educator at Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Boston's Jordan Hall and Jones Hall in Houston. He is a founding member of NOW Ensemble, devoted to new music by emerging composers, and the Moët Trio. He is a faculty member at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wis.

"Know the Score" pre-concert lectures will be presented 45 minutes before each concert. Free of charge, these informative and entertaining lectures by Richard Will, who chairs U.Va.'s McIntire Department of Music, offer both novice and experienced patrons a deeper appreciation of the performances. Friday's lecture will take place in Minor Hall; Sunday's lecture will be held in the forum at Monticello High School.

Prior to the March 25 performance at the high school, the orchestra will host the second annual "Musical Instrument Petting Zoo" from 1 to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. Miniature Mozarts and budding Beethovens will be able to explore, touch and learn to make sounds on instruments they may play in school band or orchestra.

The instruments will be provided by Music For HOPE, whose mission is to purchase new instruments and refurbish donated used instruments for distribution to children in low-income families and under-funded school music programs. More information is available at www.musicforhope.org.

There is no admission charge for the Petting Zoo. To register, call 434-924-3139.

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 afternoon. Both venues are wheelchair accessible.

Tickets are $20, $25, $30 and $38 for adults, and $10 for students. U.Va students can request one complimentary ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the U.Va. Arts Box Office, 434-924-3376, weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Drama Building at 109 Culbreth Road, or online here.

Both performances are sponsored by Sage Physics and Engineering.

The final concert of the season, "Bridges Across Hemispheres," will be given April 21 and 22.