WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (October 24, 2013) – As part of its Classics Series, the Winston-Salem Symphony, Robert Moody, Music Director, is presenting a concert series featuring Siegfried Idyll, by Richard Wagner; Concerto for Piano No. 19 in F Major, k. 459, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with guest pianist Dr. Myron D. Brown of Winston-Salem State University; and Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, op. 60, by Ludwig van Beethoven. The concert series will be conducted by guest conductor Philip Mann, Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
The concerts will take place on Saturday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 17 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts at 405 W. Fourth Street. Tickets range from $15 – $62 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at WSsymphony.org. “Music Lovers’ Luncheon,” a fun and informative pre-concert lunch with Maestro Mann, guest artist Myron Brown, and Beethoven scholar Dr. David Levy, will take place Friday, November 15, 2013 at noon at The Piedmont Club at 200 West Second Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Reservations are required for the Music Lovers’ Luncheon and can be made by calling 336.724.7077
The Saturday, November 16 performance is part of the Kicked-Back Classics Series. This year, in response to popular demand, Kicked-Back Classics concerts are now full-length but they retain the more informal atmosphere of previous years and include educational insights from the conductor. After each Kicked-Back concert, concert-goers can join the Maestro, guest artists and members of the orchestra for Brews with Bob at WS Prime across Cherry Street in the Marriott.
This concert is part of the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Angel Tree partnership with the Salvation Army. Concert goers are encouraged to donate new unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 at the concerts. The toys will be distributed through The Salvation Army’s Christmas Program.
Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll blends themes and motives from his epic opera cycle, The Ring of the Nibelung, into a touching tribute to the domestic happiness he shared with his wife and family. Siegfried Idyll was written as a birthday gift to his wife and was first performed in the Wagner home on Christmas Day in 1870.
Concerto for Piano No. 19 in F Major, k. 459, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is sometimes referred to as the “Second Coronation Concerto” because Mozart performed it at the coronation of Leopold II in October 1790 in Frankfurt am Main. The piece opens quietly and is joined by the piano as the piece progresses. Mozart’s interest in the piano began at the age of 12 and this work, like his other piano concertos, highlights this versatile instrument, allowing the pianist to shine while moving and delighting audiences with the power and beauty of his compositions.
The Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, op. 60, which was first performed in 1807, was composed during a highly prolific and creative time for Beethoven. This symphony, in the words of David B. Levy, Professor of Music at Wake Forest University, “is filled with astonishing athleticism and innovation…As was the case in the Second Symphony, virtuosity abounds. Listen carefully to the first bassoon, which is called upon to exhibit a dexterity of fingers and tongue unprecedented up to this time in symphonic music.” This sophisticated and magnificent symphony will thrill concert goers.
Guest artist Dr. Myron D. Brown is on the faculty at Winston-Salem State University. Some of his recent accolades include winning the Alys Stephens Piano Competition at Birmingham-Southern College for three consecutive years, from 2002 to 2004. He was also a three-time winner of the Frances & Dorsey Whittington Concerto/Aria Competition at Birmingham-Southern College from 2001 to 2003. In 2004, he received the Trotter Award for “Most Outstanding Performance” from the Alabama Music Teachers’ Association and the Theodore Presser Scholarship from the Presser Music Foundation.
In June 2008, Dr. Brown performed in “A Celebration of Black Music 2008,” held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. That same year, he was selected as the winner of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s “Piano Idol” competition. Shortly afterward, he made his debut as a soloist with the late Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. In addition to the classical art form, Dr. Brown also has a passion for gospel music and has had the opportunity to share the stage with gospel recording artists such as Tramaine Hawkins, BeBe & CeCe Winans and BET’s “Sunday Best” winner, Crystal Aikin.
Dr. Brown was a recipient of the Sarah & Robert Flemister Scholarship from Birmingham Southern-College, where he studied with William DeVan. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, under the instruction of Ruth Tomfohrde. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Elisabeth and Eugene Pridonoff. For a full artist biography please visit WSsymphony.org.
Hailed by the BBC as a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” guest conductor Philip Mann is quickly gaining a worldwide reputation as an “expressively graceful yet passionate” artist with a range spanning opera, symphonic repertoire, new music and experimental collaborations. He is in his third season as Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Formerly, as the San Diego Symphony’s Associate Conductor, he conducted hundreds of performances of Jacobs Subscription Masterworks, Symphony Exposed, family, young people’s concerts, Kinder Konzert, pops, and other special programs and projects. As an American Conducting Fellow, the San Diego Union Tribune raved, “Mann was masterful…a skilled musical architect, designing and executing a beautifully paced interpretation, which seemed to spring from somewhere deep within the music rather than superimposed upon it.”
As winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, Mann has relationships with orchestras and operas worldwide: including The Cleveland Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Opera, and the National Symphony of Cyprus. Previously, the music director of the Oxford City Opera and Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, he also has held conducting positions with the Music in the Mountains Festival and Indianapolis Symphony. Mann has worked with leading artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Dmitri Alexeev, Midori, and Marvin Hamlisch and given premiers of major composers including John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Torke, Lucas Richman, and many others. He maintains a lively schedule as a guest conductor having conducted at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall and London’s Barbican Center. For a full artist biography please visit WSsymphony.org.
This concert and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo; Classics Series Presenting Sponsor Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; Kicked-Back Classics Series Underwriters Chris and Mike Morykwas; Concert Sponsor, Carolina Hearing Doctors; as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council and Piedmont Music Center.