@WEKU: Lexington Philharmonic 2010-11 season

Scott Terrell, photographed in September by Mark Cornelison for the Herald-Leader.

Scott Terrell, photographed in September by Mark Cornelison for the Herald-Leader.

Before Lexington Philharmonic music director Scott Terrell announced his 2010-11 season to the audience at Friday’s MasterClassics concert, he sat down to talk with me about it for the Herald-Leader and WEKU-FM 88.9.

Click here to see Saturday’s story for the paper.

Click here to listen to the report for WEKU, and the transcript of the radio version is below:

When the Lexington Philharmonic takes the stage for 2010-11, it will be a notably different season from previous years. New Philharmonic music director Scott Terrell has put together a program that in many ways breaks the mold of the LPO and other orchestras.

Terrell:“…the board is very much on board with the idea of the LPO reaching out a little more into the community, and the real goal for next year, I’m going to be really honest, is putting more people into the seats, to engage the public more, to reach out to constituency groups that have maybe never interacted with the Philharmonic.”

The 2010-11 schedule includes six Classics concerts, two premium concerts, three family concerts and a season opener that will be part of the Alltech-FEI World Equestrian Games programming. Terrell says that after partnering with Alltech for a Ronan Tynan concert last October, they wanted to work with the Philharmonic again during the games …

“… they agreed to bring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy here, which is a seven-to-nine member, I would call them hot swing. They’re probably one of the best groups you can get your hands on. They play at the Hollywood Bowl, and they’re the real McCoy.”

After getting the season off to a swinging start, the Classics Series will start Oct. 22 with a Romeo & Juliet-themed program. In addition to music from Wagner and Tchaikovsky, the concert will feature selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story with the chorus from Lexington’s Lafayette High School.

The Lafayette Chorus is one of several area artists Terrell is pulling onto the 2010-11schedule. The Jan. 22 concert will feature the Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble performing spirituals. The Dec. 10 Holiday Spectacular will boast artists from around Central Kentucky.

“That will be as many humans as I can cram on the stage as possible whether it be vocal, instrumental, dance, whatever. But it will be very much a community spectacular of holiday music.”

Both the Holiday Spectacular and January concert, which will include popular vocal group Take 6, are billed as “premium concerts.”

The weekend before the Holiday Spectacular, Terrell will introduce one of the most radical changes to the Philharmonic season. The annual performance of Handel’s Messiah will be presented December second and third at Lexington’s Cathedral of Christ the King with the Lexington Chamber Chorale.

“I am really looking forward to doing it in an acoustically, what I would call a very aesthetically appropriate venue for it … The chorus will be about 40, the cast will all be imported, but very much in the Baroque, no intermission, 75 minutes, very pared down … “

Highlights in two-thousand-eleven will include the World Premier of the Orchestral version of Daniel Thomas Davis’ Book of Songs and Visions. Davis was originally commissioned to write the piece for the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington in 2008. That version, for piano quintet, won the prestigious Morton Gould prize for composition.

The season will conclude with a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich’s massive Symphony Number Ten. Throughout the season, Terrell has engaged a variety of award-winning, up and coming soloists. A couple of them will be involved in another new initiative, “kickback classics.” The hour-long programs will be held at the Lexington Downtown Arts Center the night before the November nineteenth and March twenty-fifth concerts.

“It’s going to be an hour-long interactive program with the guest artist and me, and we’re going to do excerpts. It won’t be the whole program as heard Friday at Singletary, but it will be an hour-long program highlighting things from the full program – much more interactive, much more casual.”

The Philharmonic also announced a three-concert family series.  It includes a sports-themed concert October 24, the annual Candy Cane concert December 12 and a concert of Appalachian music March 20.

Terrell acknowledges that few if any of the concerts on the upcoming season fall into the overture-concerto-symphony formula for most orchestral concerts.

“There’s nothing I like worse than routine. You constantly always want to be keeping it fresh … We can’t underestimate the public that maybe wants things to look different.”

The 2010-11 season is the first one Terrell says he has had time to fully plan and think through. He says it will be indicative of upcoming seasons, including two-thousand-eleven-and-twelve, which will be a celebration of the Philharmonic’s fiftieth anniversary.

“We’re working toward what I think the community can support and the orchestra can support as an ideal scenario. This is a step in that scenario.”

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