How do you finish a milestone 40th season? If you’re the Central Ohio Symphony, you do it in spectacular fashion, with a finale concert featuring five artists with Delaware connections.
“Local Focus Presented by PNC Arts Alive,” the final performance of the Symphony’s 40th subscription season, will feature a piano soloist, a world renown photographer, and three composers, all with Delaware ties, all under the direction of conductor Jaime Morales-Matos. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Gray Chapel on the Ohio Wesleyan campus in downtown Delaware.
“This is our fourth PNC Arts Alive grant,” said Symphony Executive Director Warren W. Hyer. “PNC’s generous support underscores its commitment to supporting a strong local arts community. We are grateful for their recognition of what the Symphony brings to this area.”
The Symphony also received a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for this program and community events in conjunction with this event.
The concert is unique in that it features two world premieres of compositions, a world premiere of an orchestral version of a third composition, the professional debut of the concert pianist, and a world premiere film featuring America’s national parks. Hyer explained that while the Symphony has premiered numerous works over its 40 years, this will the first time where almost every work and artist, from photographer to composers to soloist, are experiencing firsts.
As has been the case for every subscription concert this season, the concert will open with a 40-second fanfare commissioned by the Symphony, this one by composer Danny Clay, who grew up in Delaware County and graduated from Buckeye Valley High School. Clay’s work, “Four Seconds,” was composed in collaboration with the fourth-graders of Buckeye Valley West Elementary. The first half of the program will feature Delaware native Jacob Miller, a doctoral student at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, making his professional debut as soloist on George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, and the world premiere of the film “Expedition” by Frank Ruggles, the first-ever artist ambassador to the National Parks Trust and a graduate of Delaware Hayes High School. The film will play to the music of two original compositions, “Blue Glacier Decoy” by former Ohio Wesleyan composition professor Jennifer Jolley, and “Kéyah,” by composer and OWU graduate Lauren Spavelko. After the intermission, the orchestra will perform Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”
“‘Local Focus’ shows the amazing amount of talent that is available even in smaller communities, and how different artists — composers, photographers, musicians — can come together to create amazing art,” Hyer said. “This concert is an event to celebrate Delaware and those who contribute to it in so many ways.”
Asked what the audience could expect, Hyer said, “Concertgoers will hear two major works of the classical repertoire. Gershwin remains one of the most popular American composers some 80 years after his death, and we are excited to have Jacob Miller perform this demanding work. With his ‘New World Symphony,’ Dvořák captured the unique flavor and sounds of American music as he interpreted it from his European viewpoint. It is one of the most popular symphonies, performed the world over.
“As for the film and the two compositions, this is a visual and musical painting of our land, of the grandeur and beauty of America. Frank Ruggles through his unique talent captures dramatic and stunning imagery that few of us ever have the opportunity to see. The compositions complement the film and the film complements the music in return, giving the audience a unique exposure to America’s natural beauty,” Hyer added.
Community activities will take place in Delaware County during the concert week at the Symphony’s website, www.centralohiosymphony.org.
More information about the concert and ticket availability is available on the Symphony website, www.centralohiosymphony.org, at the Symphony office at 24 E. Winter St., Delaware, or by calling the Symphony at 740-362-1799.
PNC Arts Alive is a multi-million dollar initiative through the PNC Foundation designed to support the visual and performing arts. This has helped central Ohio arts organizations achieve the goal of increasing access to arts and culture for all in the 14-county Central Ohio region. For more information, visit www.PNCartsalive.com.
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