WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (MARCH 15, 2016) – The Winston-Salem Symphony and Music Director Robert Moody will end the 2015-2016 Classics Series with a spring finale featuring Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring: Suite alongside Peer Gynt: Suite No. 1, op. 46, by Edvard Grieg; Pomp and Circumstance No. 1, op. 39, by Edward Elgar; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, op. 36 in D Major. All four pieces herald the arrival of spring with spritely, lyrical music from Copland’s depiction of the mountains of Appalachia, to Grieg’s lively Peer Gynt, Elgar’s stirring “Graduation March,” and Beethoven’s rollicking Symphony No. 2.
Under the baton of Maestro Moody, the concerts will take place on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m., and Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 405 West Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Tickets range from $15 – $67 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at WSSymphony.org.
This year, The Winston-Salem Symphony has partnered with Viking River Cruises to offer a raffle for a cruise for two. The winner will enjoy eight days of the 2016 European Christmas Market Tour on one of Viking’s elegant ships. Viking River Cruises will be sponsoring a reception on Saturday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. on the 10th Floor of the Stevens Center preceding the concert. Free wine and refreshments will be served for this special pre-concert event. RSVP for the reception to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.725.1035, extension 225. Raffle tickets cost $100 and can be purchased online at wssymphony.org/viking/ or by calling (336) 464-0145. Tickets can also be purchased in the lobby during performances and contest entries will be accepted until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. One-hundred percent of raffle ticket proceeds benefit the Winston-Salem Symphony. The grand prize drawing will take place at the beginning of the concert on Tuesday, April 5. Full details on the Viking River Cruise raffle can be found at wssymphony.org/viking/.
A “Music Lovers’ Luncheon,” a fun and informative pre-concert lunch with Maestro Moody and guests will take place Friday, April 1 at noon at The Piedmont Club at 200 West Second Street in downtown Winston-Salem. The luncheon is a great opportunity to learn more about the concert in a relaxed atmosphere. Reservations are requested for the Music Lovers’ Luncheon and can be made by calling 336.724.7077. Club membership is not required.
Students of all ages can enjoy a free open rehearsal with the Symphony on Friday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, 405 W. Fourth Street. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn how a professional symphony orchestra rehearses, to watch how musicians and conductor interact with each other musically, and to discover interesting things about the repertoire before it’s performed. Free tickets can be reserved online at WSsymphony.org or by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145.
The Saturday, April 2 performance is part of the Kicked-Back Classics Series. Kicked-Back Classics concerts are full-length but retain the more informal atmosphere of previous years and include educational insights from the conductor.
The concerts will open with Copland’s distinctly American Appalachian Spring. Originally written as a score for Martha Graham’s ballet, Appalachian Spring, Copland expanded the orchestration and extracted a suite for full orchestra in 1945. The music tells the story of a farm wedding celebration in the spring. The main theme is based on the Shaker Hymn ‘Tis the Gift to be Simple, and the piece overall shows the composer’s shift to a more modern style. At times lively and joyous and at other times more contemplative, it is the perfect depiction of a young couple embarking on a new life.
Henryk Ibsen asked Edvard Grieg to compose music to accompany his play Peer Gynt, which was first performed in 1876. The title character, whose less than admirable behavior makes it hard to call a hero, wanders the world in the story undergoing a series of adventures and experiences. The music is well-known and beloved by many, who may not even realize the first time they heard it might have been watching cartoons. The first movement of Suite No. 1, “Morning Mood,” was used in the Bugs Bunny cartoons as the music to accompany Bugs’ emergence from hibernation on a warm spring morning.
Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No. 1, op. 3, is familiar to all as the music that is played as spring graduates march in to receive their diplomas. Elgar composed six marches under the title Pomp and Circumstance. March No. 1 was composed in 1901 and was first played at a graduation in 1905 at Yale University. The title comes from Act III, Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Othello: “Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, th’ear-piercing fife, The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!”
The concerts will end with Symphony No. 2, op. 36 in D Major, by Ludwig van Beethoven. This fresh, effervescent, and lively piece reminds us of renewal and spring rebirth. Full of audacious virtuosity, the symphony is full of humor and surprises, despite the fact that it was composed during a dark time in Beethoven’s life. He had become aware that his deteriorating hearing was irreversible and worsening, confiding only in the closest of friends of his condition. The Symphony was completed during a period where Beethoven sought solace in the countryside, away from the noise and bustle of Vienna’s streets.
This concert and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsor Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A.; Classics Series Presenting Sponsor EY; Kicked-Back Classics Presenting Sponsor Chris and Mike Morykwas; Concert Sponsors The Bill McCall Family, in honor of Dr. Bill McCall’s 90th birthday, Viking River Cruises and Wells Fargo; as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony
The Winston-Salem Symphony began its 69th season in September 2015 as one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras. Under the baton of Music Director Robert Moody, the performance season includes Classics and Kicked-Back Classics series, Plugged-In Pops series,
Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. For more information, visit WSsymphony.org.
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