Arizona Philharmonic kicks off its second season with the “American Sources” Sunday August 25, 3:00 PM, at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E Sheldon St, Prescott, AZ. This exciting concert is conducted by Peter Bay, Music Director of the Austin Symphony and features a local favorite, baritone Philip Dixon. A pre-concert lecture, free to ticket-holders, begins at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $25-$46 at azphil.simpletix.com.
“It's an honor to work with the fantastic Arizona Philharmonic once again, leading them in music that is instantaneously recognizable as American,” says conductor Peter Bay. “Copland, Bernstein and Walker mined the rich folk and jazz roots of this country's music to create their own remarkable sounds. This is a program that is sure to please an audience of any age!”
On the program are On the Town: Three Dance Episodes by Leonard Bernstein; Old American Songs and Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland and Lyric for Strings by George Theophilus Walker. Arizona Philharmonic is Prescott's professional orchestra, where musicians from across Arizona join local professionals to create transformative artistic experiences. Visit the website at azphil.org
On The Town: Three Dance Episodes is a set of pieces which Leonard Bernstein extracted from his score for the musical, On the Town. The musical is based on the Jerome Robbins ballet, Fancy Free, which tells the story of three U.S. Navy sailors searching for love while on leave for a single day in New York City.
Lyric for Strings by George Theophilus Walker has been compared to Barber’s Adagio for Strings because of its lyrical beauty. George Walker, a prolific composer hailed as “one of the greatest composers of our time" by Fanfare Magazine was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Aaron Copland arranged two sets of traditional songs in 1950 and 1952 after researching in the Sheet Music Collection of the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays, in the John Hay Library at Brown University. The works were originally scored for voice and piano and then reworked for baritone and orchestra and titled Old American Songs. Soloist is Philip Dixon, baritone.
Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite containing, as it does, the familiar and beloved shaker tune, “Simple Gifts.” The original ballet was scored for a 13-member chamber orchestra. This arrangement for symphony orchestra was made by Copland in the spring of 1945.