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Mendelssohn, April 30, 2011

Ilya Kaler, violin

Described as a “magician, bewitching our ears,” Russian-born violinist Ilya Kaler is the only violinist to have won gold medals at the Tchaikovsky (1986), Sibelius (1985), and Paganini (1981) Competitions. Currently professor of violin at DePaul University School of Music (Chicago, IL), he performs on a 1785 “Sennhauser” Giuseppe Guarnerius del Gesu violin on loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Violin Concerto, Op. 64 Mendelssohn
Midsummernight’s Dream Mendelssohn

 

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MENDELSSOHN!

By Thomas Consolo

Join The Ohio Valley Symphony on April 30 for the final concert of the 2010-11 season.

For the finale of its 21st season, the orchestra offers a portrait of composer Felix Mendelssohn. On the program, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre in downtown Gallipolis, are excerpts from Mendelssohn’s incidental music to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and his beloved violin concerto.

Mendelssohn, who lived from 1809–47, was a child prodigy who went on to be one of the most cosmopolitan composers of his era. In his short life, he wrote symphonies, concertos, oratorios and chamber music famed for their elegance and beautiful melodies. As a performer, he was a pianist of renown, and as a conductor, he helped many young composers and led to a revival of the works of Bach.

He was still only 17 when he scored one of his first great hits, the sparkling overture to Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He returned to that magical story in 1842 to write more music for a production of the play, which includes the “Wedding March” still used by couples the world over. The OVS, under music director Ray Fowler, performs a suite of the overture and three other movements.

The OVS welcomes violinist Ilya Kaler to the stage of the Ariel’s Morris and Dorothy Haskins Theatre as guest soloist in the concerto, one of the best-known and best-loved works for violin and orchestra. A classic since its debut in 1844, Mendelssohn’s violin concerto earned fame more recently as the piece Jack Benny never quite mastered. The piece features a brooding, romantic opening, a soulful slow movement, and a joyful, bubbly finale. Together, they give the soloist a chance to shine.

The Russian-born Kaler is the only violinist to have won gold medals at the Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Paganini violin competitions. He earned rave reviews for solo appearances with orchestras around the world, including in Leningrad, Moscow, Montreal, Berlin, Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle and Zurich. His recordings of the Paganini Caprices have been deemed by American Record Guide to be “in a class by themselves.” Kaler is a violin professor at DePaul University in Chicago. He performs on a Giuseppe Guarnerius del Gesu violin, made in 1735, on generous loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Showcasing the masterworks of orchestral music like Mendelssohn’s is part of the Ohio Valley Symphony’s mission to bring live, professional, orchestral music to the region and to instill a love of music — especially in children — through education and exposure to great music. As part of that commitment, the public is encouraged to attend OVS rehearsals for free at 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 29, and 1-4 p.m. April 30 at the Ariel. Open rehearsals are an excellent way for young and old alike to grow comfortable with symphonic music, and they offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse at the preparation of an orchestral performance.

Beginning with April’s Mendelssohn program, concert-goers will have another unique opportunity to make a personal connection with the music, too. That’s when the OVS inaugurates its series of pre-concert talks in the newly-restored Ariel Chamber Theatre. Thomas Consolo, the orchestra’s assistant conductor and program annotator, hosts the casual get-together to help put a more personal face on the night’s music, as well as to answer questions about the program, the OVS or the orchestral experience in general. The talk begins at 7:15 p.m. April 30.

Single tickets to The Ohio Valley Symphony’s “Mendelssohn” cost $22, $20 (senior) and $10 (students). Tickets and more information are available at the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre box office, 428 Second Ave., Gallipolis; by phone, (740) 446-2787 (ARTS); and through the OVS Web site, www.ohiovalleysymphony.org. Further funding for The Ohio Valley Symphony is provided by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment.

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Broadway!, March 12, 2011

Margaret Carlson, Soprano

Margaret Carlson, Soprano

Often compared to Julie Andrews and Maureen McGovern, Margaret Carlson is an exciting new voice in the contemporary music. Her eclectic career has taken her from life “on the road” with the band, Summer, to ten years as a stay-at-home mom. Re-establishing her music career in 1986, Carlson’s second CD, This Christmas…my favorite things, received a Grammy nomination in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category.

The Sound of Music Rodgers/Hammerstein
My Favorite Things Rodgers/Hammerstein
Somewhere Over the Rainbow Arlen/Harburg
A Sleepin’ Bee Arlen/Capote
Tip Toe Through the Tulips Burke/Dubin
Anyone Can Whistle Sondheim
Guess Who I saw Today Boyd/Grand
My Fair Lady Over. Lerner/Loewe
On the Street Where You Live Lerner/Loewe
My Romance Rodgers/Hart
Night and Day Porter/Matta
I Get A Kick Out of You Porter/Matta

 

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THE OHIO VALLEY SYMPHONY BROADWAY!

By Thomas Consolo

Melt away the last of winter’s chill in March with The Ohio Valley Symphony.

Southeast Ohio’s only professional orchestra welcomes singer Margaret Carlson to the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre for a heartwarming program of classic songs by a parade of America’s greatest songwriters. OVS music director Ray Fowler returns to conduct the program at 8 p.m. March 12.

Carlson, a Grammy nominee, has selected a line-up by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim — all backed by the lush support only a full orchestra can provide. Concert-goers can look forward to excerpts from favorite Broadway shows and films including “Anyone Can Whistle,” “My Fair Lady,” “The Sound of Music” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Fowler counts these classic songs as important American music — and music that is slipping through the cultural cracks as schools and community companies move on to more contemporary shows. Carlson, he said, brings a freshness to these standards which will win the audience’s heart.

Carlson’s elegant musical style and onstage presence have been compared to Julie Andrews and Maureen McGovern. In her early years, Margaret toured the United States singing in resorts and clubs, and she was featured on numerous television and radio commercials.

In 1985 Carlson left the music  business to focus on raising her two children. When she returned 10 years later, she recorded her first CD, “Once in a Blue Moon,” with pianist-arranger Frank Mantooth. Her second CD, “This Christmas … My Favorite Things,” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category. Today, Carlson performs to beautifully orchestrated arrangements by Mantooth with orchestras all around the country. She can be heard at music festivals and as a performer and clinician at schools.

Showcasing America’s living legacy of song is part of The Ohio Valley Symphony’s mission to bring live, professional, orchestral music to the region and to instill a love of music — especially in children — through education and exposure to great music. As part of that commitment, the public is encouraged to attend OVS rehearsals for free at 7-10 p.m. Friday, March 11, and 1-4 p.m. March 12 at the Ariel. Open rehearsals are an excellent way for young and old alike to grow comfortable with symphonic music, and they offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what goes into preparing an orchestral performance.

Single tickets to The Ohio Valley Symphony’s “Broadway!” are $22, $20 (senior) and $10 (students). Tickets and more information are available through the Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre box office, (740) 446-2787 (ARTS), at 428 Second Ave., Gallipolis, and through the OVS Web site, www.ohiovalleysymphony.org. The concert is sponsored by the Gallia County Medical Society. Further funding for The Ohio Valley Symphony is provided by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment.

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The Christmas Show!, December 4, 2010

Sponsored by Holzer Clinic

Arrangements by Leroy Anderson, Carmon Dragon and Jeff Tyzik of seasonal favorites.

Canadian Brass Christmas Henderson/Custer
Lo, How a Rose e’er Blooming Anderson
There is a Rose in Flower Brahms/Leinsdorf
A Carol Symphony Hely-Hutchinson
Men of Goodwill Britten
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Dragon
O Tannenbaum Dragon
Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella Anderson
The Snow Maiden Rimsky-Korsakov
The Christmas Song Torme
White Christmas Berlin
The Toy Trumpet Scott/Wendel
A Christmas Overture Tyzik
Sleigh Ride Anderson

 

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DVORAK, November 7, 2010

Joseph Johnson, cello

Principal cellist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and principal cellist-designate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (2010-2011 season), Joseph Johnson is one of the most exciting solo artists of his generation. Since 1997 he has nurtured a special relationship with Russian culture and people, a relationship that was spawned during his tgour with the American Russian Youth Orchestra. Johnson performs on a 1747 Juan Guillami cello.

Cello Concerto, Op. 104 Dvorak
String Serenade, Op. 22 Dvorak
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 and 72 Dvorak

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