Atlantic Classical Orchestra announces 2011 Season of Concerts

VERO BEACH — The Atlantic Classical Orchestra recently announced the organization’s 2011 Concert Season; its 21st year providing world-class music to the Treasure Coast and tickets are now on sale.

“We at the ACO are extremely pleased to announce the 2011 Season,” states Larry Kopp, ACO Executive Director.  “With some of the all-time orchestral favorites paired with little-known gems of the orchestral repertoire, this is a season you won’t want to miss!”

In 2011 the ACO has put together four series performances that stretch the musical boundaries of the ACO and provide a unique and irreplaceable artistic experience for concertgoers.

The Series I Concert in Vero Beach, 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at the Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts, opens the orchestra’s 21st season with an all-British program of gems for chamber orchestra composed over the last 300+ years.

The concert opens with Henry Purcell’s Abdelazar Suite, a collection of music written by Purcell in 1695 to accompany playwright Aphra Brehn’s Restoration era drama of the same name.  We travel to the present day for the next piece on the program, Richard Rodney Bennett’s Nocturnes.  Excerpted from the composer’s 1965 opera The Mines of Sulpher, they are evocative, descriptive pieces that capture the many moods of the nighttime hours.  Maestro Robertson next takes us next to 1905 for Edward Elgar’s masterful Introduction & Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, featuring the principal orchestra players in a piece written to show off the virtuosity of the entire string section.  The concert concludes with E. J. Moeran’s little-known masterpiece, Sinfonietta.  Redolent of the English countryside, this compact, understated work is often reminiscent of Vaughn Williams, but ultimately is a unique listening experience, a masterpiece from the pen of a now forgotten British 20th Century master.

The Series II Concert, 8 p.m.Thursday, February 3, 2011, at the Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts features a program that is quintessentially ACO – a little-known work, a work by a composer that is a “classic” heard in a new way, and an immortal masterpiece.

William Boyce was an 18th Century British composer who has been unjustly ignored by contemporary audiences.  His Symphony #5 is a charming work, characteristic of the age and sure to be a hit with audiences.  Chopin’s Concerto #1 is a characteristically delightful blend of pianistic virtuosity and beautiful lyricism.  An unabashedly romantic work, the Chopin Concerto has been a favorite with audiences since its debut in 1930.

Soloist in the Chopin is the American pianist Jon Nakamatsu, one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation.  Nakamatsu is a frequent concerto soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and solo recitalist, performing throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. He enjoys a continuously expanding career based on a deeply probing and illuminating musicality as well as a quietly charismatic performing style. Nakamatsu received global recognition in June 1997 as the Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and subsequently appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops at Tanglewood and others, including the orchestras of Buffalo, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Dayton, Delaware, Detroit, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Memphis, Milwaukee, Naples, New Mexico, New World, Portland, Rochester, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Syracuse, Toledo and Utah.

The final composer and composition on the program needs no introduction – Mozart’s Symphony #29.  Mozart’s joyous, buoyant melodies and effortless grace are the perfect ending to a perfect evening of music making.

March brings with it the ACO’s Series III performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at the Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts.  Maestro Robertson has put together a concert of music from “the North”, featuring Scandinavian and Russian composers, those well-known and not so well-known, all combined into a delightful musical whole.

Two Finnish composers, Armas Järnefelt and Jean Sibelius open the concert.  Järnefelt’s Praeludium is his most popular work and enjoyed many performances throughout the mid-20th Century.  Jean Sibelius is the most famous and greatest Finnish composer and his Valse Trieste, originally written in 1905 as incidental music to the drama Kuolema, remains one of his most popular and oft-performed works.  Present day Estonian composer Arvo Pärt enjoys great popularity and many performances of his works worldwide.  His Silouans Song, an ethereal, otherworldly work, is inspired by the writings of an elder in the Russian Orthodox Church and is deeply religious and personal at the same time.  Lars-Erik Larsson’s Pastoral Suite is a charming work best described as in a “Nordic romantic” style.  Vagn Homboe was a 20th Century Danish composer whose symphonies are considered by cognoscenti as among the finest symphonic creations of the century.  And finally, what concert of composers from the North would be complete without a Russian?  Tchaikovsky’s virtuosic yet beautiful violin showpieces, Serenade Melancolique and Valse-Scherzo, will be performed by the ACO’s Russian-born Concertmaster, Leonid “Lenny” Sigal.

The ACO’s 2011 Orchestra Series Concert ends with a grouping of pieces that feature three all-time orchestral favorites.  The concert, at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31, 2011, at the Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts includes Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville; Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto; and Beethoven’s mighty Seventh Symphony.

Rossini’s The Barber of Seville is among his most popular works and one of the most popular operas ever written.  The overture is among the most performed works on orchestra concerts and perfectly portrays the light-hearted insouciance of the opera in a perfect concert opener!  Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto is rightly famous for its perfect combination of breathtaking virtuosity and heartbreaking lyricism and beauty.  The considerable demands of this “warhorse” of the concerto repertoire will be ably met by young violin virtuoso Caroline Goulding, making a triumphant return visit to the Treasure Coast and the ACO.  Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony was famously called by Richard Wagner the “apotheosis of the dance” due to its rhythmic vitality and energy.  Rightly considered one of the greatest symphonies ever, the towering work of genius is the perfect way to conclude the ACO’s 21st year of orchestra concerts for the Treasure Coast community.

Tickets are $144 for the full series subscription, $40 for individual tickets and $20 for students.

2011 Season Brochures were mailed in March to current subscribers and ACO patrons.  If you would like to receive a brochure, request one by e-mail at acomusic@bellsouth, call the toll free ACO Ticket Hotline at (866) 310-7521 or visit www.acomusic.org.

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