Under the baton of internationally renowned guest conductor Mark Stringer, the concerts will take place on Sunday, November 13 at 3 p.m., and Tuesday, November 15 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 $20 – $67 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online at WSSymphony.org.
Several pre-concert programs will take place and will give attendees an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming concerts:
Musical Morning, a lively and informative pre-concert program with featured guests from the Symphony, will take place on Saturday, November 5 at 10 a.m. at Salemtowne Retirement Community, located at 190 Moravian Way in Winston-Salem. This event is free and open to the public and includes light refreshments. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 336. 725.1035, extension 227.
Music Lovers’ Luncheon, a fun and informative pre-concert lunch with Maestro Stringer and other guests will take place Friday, November 11 at noon at 1703 Restaurant, located at 1703 Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem. The luncheon is $20 per person and 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 336.464.0145.
The concerts will open with Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, which is perhaps his most loved work. Mystery surrounds the reason he left the piece unfinished. The result was that it was largely unknown and was not performed until 1865. Today, this work is looked upon as a great masterpiece and an early work in the Romantic style due to use of expressive melody, vivid harmony and creative combinations of orchestral tone color.
Benjamin Britten composed his Concerto, Violin & Viola (Double Concerto) when he was just 18 years old. As described by David Levy, Professor of Music at Wake Forest University, “Britten’s Double Concerto is filled with youthful passion, extraordinary drama, and lyricism that forecasts the future master of opera and song that he would become.”
The concerts will close with Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony (No. 41). This Symphony was the last of three symphonies that Mozart composed with amazing speed during the summer of 1788. It is known for its grand scale as well as its exuberant energy. At times jovial and at other times serious, it is his most complex symphony and highlights the great genius of this musical master.
The American conductor Mark Stringer studied at the Juilliard School of Music, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. His teachers include Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Leonard Bernstein who invited him to share concerts on two European tours with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. From 1991 to 1996, he was engaged as conductor at the Stadttheater in Bern where he conducted numerous productions. He came to international prominence in 1996 with his debut at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, conducting operas by Weill and Uhlmann. He has since returned to the Monnaie for two other new productions, and in 1998 he conducted the Spanish premiere of The Cunning Little Vixen during the inaugural season of Madrid’s Teatro Real. As a guest conductor Mark Stringer has worked extensively in Scandinavia, conducting the orchestras of Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Stockholm and Gothenburg. He has conducted orchestras and opera companies around the world. His CD of choral and orchestral works by Lili Boulanger for Timpani Records has won many awards in France, England, and America, including Gramophone’s ‘Editor’s Choice’,
‘Choc de repertoire’ from Le monde de musique and 5 ‘Diapasons’ from Diapason. A second recording for Timpani, of music by Albéric Magnard, was subsequently released.
In 2004, Stringer succeeded Leopold Hager as Professor of Conducting at the prestigious University of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna, a position formerly occupied by such luminaries as Clemens Krauss and Hans Swarowsky.
Simon Ertz is principal viola of the Winston Salem Symphony and also a member of the Greensboro Symphony. He plays as a regular substitute in Charlotte Symphony and is also a member of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. Ertz joined the Degas Quartet in June 2002; before that he was pursuing a doctoral degree in viola performance at Michigan State University where he was also a teaching assistant. He grew up in the north west of Scotland and moved to Manchester to study at Chethams and to have regular lessons at the age of seventeen. After two years there, he studied viola at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) with Roger Raphael and Simon Rowland-Jones. He was a member of several chamber music groups, which won prizes including the Terrence Weil and Leonard Hirsch competitions. He also was awarded the Thomas Barret memorial prize for viola. By the time Ertz graduated from the RNCM he was working with orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, Northern Chamber, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. After two years working in the UK, Ertz moved to Michigan to continue his education. As well as completing his Master’s degree at Michigan State University, he served as Assistant Principal Viola of the Greater Lansing Symphony and played in the orchestra’s string quartet.
Daniel Skidmore was raised in Morgantown, West Virginia where he began violin studies with Mary Wilson. In 2006, he acquired a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in violin performance. His primary teachers in college include John Fadial, Blair Milton, and Charles Castleman. Currently Skidmore performs regularly as Concertmaster of the Salisbury Symphony, and this season he is serving as Concertmaster of the Winston-Salem Symphony. He has taught violin at Appalachian State University, Wake Forest University, Elon University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and he currently teaches violin privately and at the Salvation Army’s After School Strings program. In the summer, he serves on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival.
For a listing of full artist biographies, please visit WSsymphony.org.
This concert and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsor Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A.; Classics Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo The Private Bank; 89.9 FM WDAV Classical Public Radio 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, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras, began its 70th anniversary performance season in September 2016. Under the baton of Music Director Robert Moody, the season includes a special 70th anniversary opening gala concert, 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. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsor, Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A. and generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit WSsymphony.org.
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