The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra has announced its 2013-14 season, which will continue its efforts to bring new music and emerging artists to Lexington.
The season will start Sept. 20 with a concert including Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony and include the world premier of a new work by Schoenberg April 11. Schoenberg is the second composer in the Philharmonic’s Saykaly-Garbulinska composer-in-residence program with the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington. He is also composing a new work for the festival, Aug. 20-25.
The Philharmonic season will also include a screening of the 1925 silent classic The Gold Rush with the musical score by Charlie Chaplin and, for the traditionalists out there, a season-ending performance of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 9.
Guest soloists will start with violin phenom Caroline Goulding playing the Violin Concerto by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky in September and a return visit by classical guitarist Pablo Sainz Villegas, whose last performance with the Philharmonic was the very first concert in the orchestra’s search for a new music music director that resulted in the hiring of Scott Terrell. His October 2007 performance was with then-Philharmonic candidate Kayoko Dan who ended up being hired by the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and served two seasons as their music director before going on to lead the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.
Terrell is entering his fifth season as the Philharmonic’s music director. Here’s the lineup of works and soloists.
Sept. 20, Revolution: Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring Caroline Goulding, Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
Nov. 15, Fantasy: Engelbert Humperdinck’s excerpts from Hansel and Gretel; Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals featuring piano soloists Sonya and Elizabeth Schumann, and Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka.
Dec. 7: George Frideric Handel’s Messiah at the Cathedral of Christ the King featuring guest soloists and the Lexington Chamber Chorale.
Feb. 14, Tainted Love: Dominick Argento’s Valentino Dances, Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez featuring guitar soloist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Felix Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring soloists and a combined womens’ choir from Asbury University and the University of Kentucky.
March 14, The Gold Rush. Full-length silent film featuring music score by Charles Chaplin.
April 11: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, world premiere by Adam Schoenberg, and Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto featuring cello soloist Narek Hakhnazaryan.
May 16: Claude Debussy’s Claire de Lune, Osvaldo Golijov’s Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra (soloist to be announced), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 featuring soloists to be announced and a combined chorus from the Kentucky Bach Choir, Lexington Chamber Chorale and the Lexington Singers.
The season was announced at the Philharmonic’s March 1 concert featuring the contemporary ensemble Eighth Blackbird.
All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center for the Arts, except Messiah.
Subscriptions are currently available to only current subscribers. Subscriptions will ne available to the general public beginning May 1, ranging in price from $130-$350. Single concert tickets will go on sale at a later date.
For more information, visit lexphil.org or call (859) 2334226.
The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Music Festival of Lexington have tapped Adam Schoenberg, whose credits already include commissions for the Atlanta and Kansas City symphonies, as the 2013-14 Saykaly Garbulinska Composer-in-Residence.
Schoenberg, 32, is the second composer in the commissioning collaboration between the orchestra and chamber festival. He will write an original work to be premiered at the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington in August at the Fasig-Tipton Pavilion, and then he will return in early 2014 with a new commission for the Philharmonic.
In a statement released by the Philharmonic, Schoenberg said, “It will be an honor to work with these organizations and share my music with the community for the first time. On a side note, I’m also excited to experience the bourbon trail.”
Schoenberg was born in Northhampton, Mass., studied at The Juilliard School with composers John Corigliano and Robert Beaser, and now teaches composition and orchestration at the University of California Los Angeles. He has won ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Juilliard’s Palmer-Dixon Prize for most outstanding composition, and the 2006 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is in the midst of a year as composer-in-residence with the Kansas City Symphony, which will premiere his latest work the first weekend in February.
Philharmonic music director Scott Terrell and Schoenberg met as students at the Aspen Music Festival.
The Saykaly Garbulinska partnership, created by Dr. Ronald Saykaly and his wife Teresa Garbulinska, who died last year, was announced in 2010. The first composer, Daniel Kellogg, worked with the 2011 festival and the Philharmonic in 2012.
The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra announced today that it has extended music director Scott Terrell’s contract five years, through 2018-19 season.
“Scott has ushered in a new era for LexPhil which has raised the bar for all of us who love music,” Gregory Jenkins, president of the Philharmonic’s board of directors, said in a statement. “This will provide the opportunity for Scott to further hone the core values of artistic excellence, innovation, collaboration and accessibility for our orchestra and will provide the time horizon to solidify the improvements made in Scott’s first several years.”
Terrell is currently in the midst of his fourth season as the Philharmonic’s music director. He was selected after a two-year, 10-candidate search for a successor to George Zack, who wielded the baton for the Philharmonic for 37 years.
During his tenure, Terrell led the Philharmonic through its 50th anniversary season and has introduced programming innovations including presenting the annual holiday season performances of Handel’s Messiah at area churches, initiating a commissioning partnership with the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington and bringing numerous works never previously heard in Lexington to the stage. He has also broadened the auditioning pool for Philharmonic musicians to include more regional and national candidates and initiated new partnerships with a variety of area arts groups. Reviews of concerts have cited a steady improvement in the orchestra’s playing.
Announcing the current season, Philharmonic executive director Allison Kaiser said the Philharmonic had seen a 43 percent growth in its subscription base over the previous two years.
“My mission since arriving in Lexington has been to create a culture of curiosity surrounding music,” Terrell said in a statement. “I want people to be excited about what LexPhil is doing, and eagerly look forward to each of our musical adventures – because that is what the arts are at their best, an inspiring process of learning something new about our world, ourselves and each other.”
The Philharmonic’s current season continues in December with its annual Candy Cane Concert Dec. 9 at the Singletary Center for the Arts and Messiah Dec. 15 at the Cathedral of Christ the King.
During his 21 years in Lexington, University of Kentucky associate cello professor Benjamin Karp has become one of Lexington’s most recognizable musicians through his fluid playing style and a distinctive shock of curly hair. But until now, he hasn’t been a regular presence in the city’s leading arts group, the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
Most of his orchestral work has been 80 miles up Interstate 75, as principal cello for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, a post he left 10 years ago, and with regular work with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
“A couple years ago, I went on the European tour with the Cincinnati Symphony and played the fabulous halls in Paris and Amsterdam and all over Germany and Spain, and nobody here knows,” Karp says.
Over the years, Karp has played as a soloist with the Philharmonic and occasionally as a substitute. But audiences are about to get to know him a lot better this week as he debuts as the Philharmonic’s principal cellist. He is one of nine new members of the orchestra and four new principal players who will debut at the Nov. 16 classics concert.
The longtime holder of that seat, Suanne Blair, is retiring after three decades. The opening had Karp, 56, sharpening his auditioning skills.
“I think it’s been 15 years since I have taken on an audition,” says Karp, who holds degrees from Indiana University and Yale. “So I had to make sure I could get back into audition shape and do it.
“I was practicing the excerpts five hours a day for a couple of weeks to bring them back up. And after that, I played for a number of people, because you can’t simulate an audition experience in the studio. You have to just play in front of people and see what that does for you.”
One musician for whom he often played while preparing for the audition was his wife, Margie Karp, a violinist and the Philharmonic’s assistant concertmaster.
“She’s a wonderful listener and critic,” Karp says.
When he was in St. Louis recently, he also arranged to be heard by three cellists in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to get their feedback.
“I got very nervous playing for them,” he says. “They all had good things to say, but the process of playing for them told me a great deal about what would happen to me in the audition.”
Overall, he says, the process of preparing for the audition made him more detail-oriented and a closer listener, all things he hopes to carry into his new post.
It was a job he says he really wanted, which is why he was willing to put himself on the line to get it. After all, before this audition, he enjoyed a profile in the music community as a gifted artist swimming in bigger ponds.
In the online competition for votes, groups that maintain a ranking of 196 or more out of 7,000 through Wednesday night will be in line to receive a $10,000 reward. Higher rankings could mean even larger prizes of $20,000 or $250,000, according to an LASC release. At this writing, the Arts and Science Center is ranked 141 with just under 1,000 votes.`
In 2009, the Lexington Children’s Theatre won $25,000 in the same competition.
The Living Arts and Science Center is an institution providing educational and artistic opportunities in the arts and sciences through classes, exhibits, performances and public events. Late last year, the LASC announced a $5 million campaign to renovate and expand its facility in the Kinkead House on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard doubling its size and programming capacity.
All voters have two votes, but they cannot be used on the same organization. Chase Bank Customers have two more votes, and Facebook members can get additional votes through posting Chase Community Giving links on their pages and friends using the link to go vote in the competition. Those votes can be used on groups the voter previously voted for.
Late Monday afternoon, the Lexington Philharmonic sent out a release announcing it is also in the competition, though at just over 30 votes at this writing, it is well off the leaderboard where the lowest vote-getter has more than 800 votes. Click here for the Philharmonic’s competition page.
Project SEE Theatre has announced a second season, albeit an abbreviated one after bowing with a four-show schedule in 2011-12, plus a collaboration with Transylvania University. Within the two upcoming shows are several ties to Actors Theatre of Louisville, where two of Project SEE’s directors, Sullivan Canaday White and Ellie Clark, have worked.
The shows are:
Big Love by Charles L. Mee, February 14 to 17, 22 to 24 and March 1 to 3 at the Downtown Arts Center. Project SEE directors White, Clark and Evan Bergman have a history with this show, which premiered at the 2000 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre. They first collaborated on this show in a 2009 workshop production with the Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory, which brought Bergman to Kentucky, and have since wanted to present a fully-realized production. Tickets will be available at a later date through the Downtown Arts Center Ticket Office.
Ellis Island: A Dream of America by Peter Boyer, presented in collaboration with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra May 10 at the Singletary Center for the Arts. This presentation is part of the season finale for the Philharmonic. Project SEE’s performance will be directed by Transylvania University’s new associate theater professor, Michael Bigelow Dixon, former literary manager at Actors Theatre. Tickets are available through the Philharmonic.
Asked about the shortened season, Clark wrote, “Project SEE Theatre will take the fall of 2012 to focus on long term planning as well as gearing themselves up for the production of Big Love by Charles Mee. Big Love is a production that Project SEE has been eager to produce and they will start rehearsals as early as November.”
The centerpiece of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary is Saturday night’s (Jan. 14, 2012) concert of movie music at the Lexington Opera House. Leading up to the show, we have run two articles:
Click the play button, below, to hear our entire chat with Maestro Terrell about movie music:
Before Friday’s Human Spirit concert, the Lexington Philharmonic Guild will honor the spirit that guided the orchestra for 37 years: Maestro George Zack.
Zack, who led the orchestra from 1972 until his retirement in 2008, will be honored with bronze plaque by Amanda Mathhews and Brad Connell of Prometheus Foundry that will be hung in the Singletary Center for the Arts. It will be unveiled at a reception and ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Singletary Center.
The Ceremony will be followed at 7:30 p.m. with Zack’s successor Scott Terrell, now in his third season as music director, leading the orchestra, Lexington Singers and University of Kentucky Chorale in a performance of works that celebrate the human spirit. They will include Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations, op. 36, and Ralph Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem. The latter work will feature soloists Esther Heideman, soprano, and Chad Sloan, baritone.
Jul21Filed under: Balagula Theatre, ballet, Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, dance, Film, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Children's Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic, Lexington Singers, Music, Opera, Photography, Theater, UK, Visual arts; Tagged as: allocations, Balagula Theatre, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Central Kentucky Concert Band, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, grants, Kentucky Ballet Theatre, Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Kremena Todorova, Kurt Gohde, LexArts, Lexington Art League, Lexington Bach Choir, Lexington Children's Theatre, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Lexington Singers, Living Arts and Science Center, The African American Forum, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre
LexArts has announced its recipients of general operating support and community arts grants.
The general operating support funds are unrestricted grants, generally to larger organizations in Lexington.
This year’s recipients are:
■ Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, $20,000
■ Lexington Art League, $62,000
■ Lexington Children’s Theatre, $120,000
■ Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, $165,000
■ Lexington Singers, $9,000
■ Living Arts and Science Center, $102,000
Community Arts Grants are given at two levels: Program grants to groups for operating support and specific endeavors and project grants to groups or individuals for specific projects.
Program grants go to:
■ Balagula Theatre Company, $8,600 – for its 2011-12 theater season
■ Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, $8,600 – for the Kentucky Great Writers Series, which brings 12 Kentucky authors to the center to work with writers
■ Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, $4,000 – for the 2011 festival
■ Kentucky Ballet Theatre, $8,400 – for the 2011-2012 season of performances
■ Kentucky Craft History and Education Association, $3,000 – for Stringed Instruments, The Art of the Luthier, a documentary film about stringed instrument-making in Kentucky
■ Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Inc., $7,500 – for the 2011 event
■ University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, $5,000 -for the Academy for Creative Excellence, which provides theater and music training for first through eight graders
Project grants go to:
■ The African American Forum, $1,500 – for The Smooth Jazz Fest
■ Artists Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, $2,500 – for 1000 Dolls, a project to create and install 1000 local-designed dolls along Limestone
■ Central Kentucky Concert Band, $1,750 – for the closing concert of the 2011-2012 season
■ Lexington Bach Choir, $1,000 – for the 2nd Annual Lexington Bach Choir Vocal Competition in which students age 30 or younger compete for cash and a solo opportunity with the Bach Choir
May9Filed under: Actors Guild of Lexington, Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, Downtown Arts Center, Eastern Kentucky University, Lexington Opera House, Lexington Philharmonic, Music, Musicals, New York, Paragon Music Theatre; Tagged as: Actors Guild of Lexington, Berea College, Diana Evans Pulliam, Eastern Kentucky University, Gypsy, Katie Owen, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Paragon Music Theatre, Robyn Peterman-Zahn, Ryan Shirar, She Loves Me, The King and I, The Sound of Music, Tracey Bonner, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Coming Thursday on LexGo: Mama Rose came at the right time for Katie Owen, though at first it did not seem that way.
For years, Lexington musical theater artists have wondered how long Central Kentucky could keep Ryan Shirar.
A multitalented musician, Shirar played in a wide variety of formats and locations, wrote orchestrations that enhanced productions of some of the great musicals of the American stage, and showed songs in new lights. He ultimately brought Lexington something it had not had for years: a theater company dedicated to presenting traditional Broadway-style musicals.
But with Paragon Music Theatre‘s presentation of Gypsy next weekend, the question has been answered. Shirar, 29, will leave his posts as executive and music director of the theater to pursue a master’s degree in orchestral conducting, specializing in theater, at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
The prestigious music school scouted out Shirar and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“It’s a free degree,” Shirar said Monday over lunch. “It’s a full-tuition scholarship, plus stipend. So it’s very hard to turn down an offer to a conservatory for that.
“Ultimately, I love what I do now in Lexington, but even if I stay here and do what I’m doing, I need a graduate degree in order to have a little more stable job. It was the perfect time and perfect opportunity. Things had lined up, and it was almost like … ‘I put it all together for you. You’ve just got to go.’”
Robyn Peterman-Zahn, Paragon’s stage director, says, “Ever since I came here to work with Ryan — and I came because I am so blown away by his talent — I’ve been telling him he needs to leave.”
Peterman-Zahn, who has national stage and film work on her résumé, says Shirar’s talent rivals that of musicians she has worked with across the nation, including New York and Los Angeles.
“Ryan has a musicality you just can’t learn,” she says. “It’s a really special gift.”
Along with choreographer Diana Evans Pulliam, Peterman-Zahn and Shirar formed a trio that helped drive Paragon to some great heights, including a spring 2009 production of The King and I and last summer’s presentation of The Sound of Music.
The company started in 2004 with a production of State Fair, with Tracey Bonner as stage director. Read the rest of this entry »
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich