“Our exciting “American Idol™”-like season-long search for your Winston-Salem Symphony’s next Music Director continues in early November,” said E. Merritt Vale, Winston-Salem Symphony President & CEO. “We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities to interact with our candidates and see them on the podium during their visit to Winston-Salem. We really want your feedback. It will be invaluable in helping us make a well-informed decision about your next Music Director. You can find out more about all the ways to meet the candidates on our website and on facebook.”
Under the baton of Myers, the concerts will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 3 p.m. and Tuesday, November 6 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 begin at $20 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 event, will occur the Friday before each 2018–2019 Classics Concert and will give attendees a chance to get to know the five Music Director finalists and the renowned guest artists. The Music Lovers’ Luncheons will take place at Forsyth Country Club at 3101 Country Club Road in Winston-Salem. The next luncheon is Friday, November 2 from 12–1:30 p.m. This intimate afternoon event will include an enlightening discussion led by the Music Director candidate Timothy Myers and Symphony Concertmaster Corine Brouwer. Music Lovers’ Luncheons are an opportunity to gain insights on the music presented and learn more about the performers personally. Advanced registration is required and can be made by calling 336.464.0145. The luncheon is $25 per person.
For their Classics Concert series, each Music Director candidate was assigned two main pieces to conduct and given the opportunity to pick an overture of their choice. Myers opted to open the concert series with two short pieces by contemporary female composers: Machine, by Jennifer Higdon and These Worlds in Us, by Missy Mazzoli. Myers chose these pieces because exposing audiences to new and diverse composers is high on his list of priorities. In addition, he felt that the energy of both Higdon’s and Mazzoli’s pieces would be an excellent contrast to the other pieces on the program.
Higdon is one of the most acclaimed and most frequently commissioned living composers in America. Machine was written as an encore tribute with Tchaikovsky in mind, making it an appropriate companion piece for the program. Washington Post music critic Ronald Broun described Machine as follows “It is one long, loud, freight-train crescendo with hellishly snapping winds and jumping-bean rhythms, and it sweeps relentlessly forward for just under three minutes, then stops on a dime. For sheer unpretentious fun it was just the ticket.”
Missy Mazzoli’s These Worlds in Us is a nine-minute piece composed in 2006. Mazzoli describes the piece as follows “This piece is dedicated to my father, who was a soldier during the Vietnam War. In talking to him it occurred to me that, as we grow older, we accumulate worlds of intense memory within us, and that grief is often not far from joy. I like the idea that music can reflect painful and blissful sentiments in a single note or gesture and sought to create a sound palette that I hope is at once completely new and strangely familiar to the listener.”
The concerts continue with Maurice Ravel’s engaging Concerto for Piano in G Major, which will highlight the artistry of guest pianist Dmitri Vorobiev. This Concerto is gregarious, outgoing and full of life. As David B. Levy, Professor of Music at Wake Forest University writes in his program notes for this concert: “Ravel remarked that the Concerto for Piano in G Major was conceived in the spirit of Mozart and Camille Saint-Saëns… Further influences—most notably those of Stravinsky and of jazz—figure prominently in the piece whose effervescence derives from a piquant harmonic language, brilliant orchestration, and virtuosic passagework for the soloist.”
Closing out this concert series is Tchaikovsky’s passionate and emotional Symphony No. 6 in B minor, op. 74, also called Pathétique. A popular favorite with audiences and considered by most to be his crowning achievement, Tchaikovsky composed his sixth symphony in the final year of his life. Ingenious, brilliant, and dramatic, it is a moving piece that is profoundly eloquent and beautiful.
In the 2018–2019 season, Timothy Myers makes his Santa Fe Opera debut conducting The Pearl Fishers, conducts the world premiere of The Fix (Joel Puckett/Eric Simonson) for his debut at Minnesota Opera, leads Silent Night for his debut at Austin Opera where he also acts as artistic advisor, debuts at Opera Omaha conducting I Pagliacci, and leads the Winston-Salem Symphony as a Music Director candidate. In 2016, Myers made his European debut with a highly acclaimed production of Barber’s Vanessa at Wexford Festival Opera, where he returned in 2017 to lead a highly anticipated new production of Jacopo Foroni’s rediscovered Margherita, the first performances since 1852. Also in the 2017–2018 season, Myers continued his long affiliation with Houston Grand Opera conducting a new production of Bernstein’s West Side Story for the Bernstein centennial; debuted with Florida Grand Opera leading his first Salome; conducted Samson et Dalila in concert for his return as a guest conductor at North Carolina Opera; led a double-bill of I Pagliacci and Gianni Schicchi for his debut with Utah Symphony & Opera; and conducted Sweeney Todd for his debut at Atlanta Opera. Highlights from Myers’ tenure as the Artistic & Music Director of North Carolina Opera include Das Rheingold, Act II of Tristan und Isolde and Act I of Die Walküre, Eugene Onegin, and Rusalka. An experienced collaborator in the creation of new works, Timothy has conducted world premieres at Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and Opera Africa.
Guest artist Dmitri Vorobiev first came to international attention after winning the Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy in 1994, followed by performances at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto and numerous recitals throughout Italy. He has been a major prize-winner in the Busoni, Cincinnati World, Ibla Grand Prize, A.M.A. Calabria, Iowa, and Alabama international piano competitions. In 2000, he placed first and also took three special prizes at the UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa, and in 2003, he won the first prize in the New Orleans International Piano Competition. Vorobiev maintains a dynamic concert schedule. As a frequent recording artist with the Blue Griffin label, his most recent production is a double CD set with selected works by Franz Liszt. An acclaimed soloist, he is also an active chamber music player. A native of Moscow, Russia, Vorobiev began his piano studies when he was five. He attended the School of Music and the Music College of the Moscow State Conservatory where he studied with Nina Levitzkaya and Victor Bunin. In 1992, he was invited by Eric Larsen to study at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he received his bachelor’s degree. Vorobiev completed his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music and earned his Doctor of Music Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music. Vorobiev is an Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music where he is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Midwest International Piano Competition. In the fall of 2017, he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as an Associate Professor of Piano. For full artist biographies, please visit WSsymphony.org.
This concert is part of the Winston-Salem Symphony’s annual Toy Drive partnership with The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem. Concert goers to all Symphony concerts during the month of November 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 of Greater Winston-Salem’s annual Christmas Program.
This concert and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsors Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A. and BB&T; Music Director Search Presenting Sponsor Mrs. Charles M. Howell; Music Director Candidate Sponsor Chris & Mike Morykwas; Guest Artist Sponsor Bill & Judy Watson; Classics Media Sponsors Fox 8 WGHP and 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, begins its 72nd season in October 2018. The season will include performances featuring the five finalists for the Music Director position. Each candidate will conduct a pair of Classics Series concerts, and attendees will have a chance to play a role in the selection process. In addition, the 2018–2019 season will include a Plugged-In Pops series, Discovery Concerts for Kids series, an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, the Concert for Community featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth
orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs, including the newest offering, the P.L.A.Y. (Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth) Music program providing, primarily to under-served youth, instrumental music instruction and more. The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as 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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