WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (FEBRUARY 15, 2016) – The Winston-Salem Symphony, Robert Moody Music Director, is presenting a Discovery Concerts for Kids performance of Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. The concert will be conducted by Maestro Stephen Mulligan, Assistant Conductor, on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 3 p.m. in Brendle Recital Hall on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. The concert also will include the world premiere of a new piece by rising composer, Viet Cuong, entitled The Wild Woods, commissioned by Maestro Mulligan. Paul Brown of NPR’s Across the Blue Ridge will narrate both The Wild Woods and Peter and the Wolf.
Dancers from the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet will join the Symphony for Prokofiev’s timeless tale of a brave boy, his grandpa, and their quirky animal companions. Each character is represented by a different instrument and melody, from the bird’s flourishing flute to the grandpa’s grumpy bassoon, creating a classic that listeners of all ages will remember for the rest of their lives.
Single tickets for Discovery concerts are $7 for children, ages three to 12 (age two and under, free) and $18 for adults. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336.464.0145 or online at WSsymphony.org.
Cuong’s new piece, The Wild Woods, is a prologue to the Peter and the Wolf story, set the night before the events of Prokofiev’s piece and presents the scene from the Grandfather’s perspective.
“I set out to write a piece that would flow smoothly in a dramatic, story-telling arc with the Prokofiev, but would otherwise act as a satisfying counterpart,” said Cuong. “As a result, my piece is set in a contrasting musical world, with night vs. day, old vs. young, and reality vs. fantasy being the main dichotomies. The work was musically inspired by the sounds of the night. Peter and the Wolf is brilliant for its use of what I think of a “musical onomatopoeia,” and I strove to take this a step further by creating even more literal translations of natural sounds. Horns howl at the moon, violins chirp and croak, cellos hop on lily pads, and the whole orchestra slowly transforms into an aviary as the sun slowly rises in the horizon. “
The Wild Woods was completed in January 2016 while Cuong was in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award.
As always, the doors will open at 2 p.m. on February 28, an hour before performance time, for a variety of child-friendly pre-concert events. Guests will have the opportunity to take part in a making a mask based on a character in Peter and the Wolf, delight in a variety of fun stories, enjoy 5 minute short stories through ventriloquism, learn to read musical notation by playing “Pin the Note,” and more! They also will be able to hold, play, and learn about instruments at an instrument petting zoo. Pre-concert activities are included in the price of the concert ticket. Discovery Concert for Kids pre-concert activities partners include The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, Burns and Company Magic and Ventriloquism, and Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children’s Hospital.
The final Discovery Concert for Kids in the 2015-2016 season will be:
Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.
(pre-concert activities begin at 2:00 p.m.)
Stephen Mulligan, conductor
The Symphony celebrates the premiere of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens with a concert of music from throughout the saga, written by one of America’s most celebrated living composers, John Williams. The music from Star Wars is some of the most beloved in the history of film music, including the “Main Theme,” the “Imperial March,” and the “Duel of the Fates.” The Winston-Salem Symphony will be joined by members of the Carolina Garrison of the 501st Legion of officially-sanctioned Star Wars re-enactors.
These concerts and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Discovery Concerts for Kids Presenting Sponsor Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children’s Hospital and Founding Sponsor Jeanne Hill as well as by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
About Viet Cuong
A 25-year-old composer whose music “leaves you breathless” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Viet Cuong has had works performed on six continents in diverse venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music at the Bowdoin Music Festival, US Navy Band International Sax Symposium, International Double Reed Society Conference, Boston GuitarFest, Midwest Clinic, and the WASBE and CBDNA conferences. Cuong’s music has been performed or commissioned by a number of soloists and chamber musicians. He is currently a Naumburg and Roger Sessions Fellow at Princeton University, where he received his MFA and is currently a PhD Candidate. Cuong also holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. While at Peabody, he received the Peabody Alumni Award (the Valedictorian honor), as well as the Gustav Klemm Award for excellence in composition. Cuong was a winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould Composers Award, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composers Award, Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award, Cortona Prize, Dolce Suono Ensemble Young Composers Competition, Boston GuitarFest Composition Competition, Walter Beeler Memorial Prize from Ithaca College, Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association Grant, National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project, the Prix d’Été Composition Competition, and the Trio La Milpa Composition Competition. For a full bio, please visit vietcuongmusic.com.
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 a Classics Series, a 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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