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The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's Symphonic Series opens with a whirlwind world tour.
KALAMAZOO, MI, September 03, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For their opening concert of the 2014-2015 Symphonic Series, The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra presents Invitation to the Dance - a musical world tour exploring Australian landscapes, Spanish dances, interpretations of an Italian composer, and Argentine country life.
The program opens with White Ghost Dancing, a rhythmic, one-movement work by Australian composer Ross Edward. The piece, in part, gives a depiction of an historical case of mistaken identity - Australia's indigenous Aboriginal People's mistaken belief that early European visitors to the country were the ghosts of their ancestors. Edwards' ethereal piece also includes allusions to sounds from the natural world as well as dance and chant rhythms.
Manuel de Falla's Suite No. 1 and Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat lead the audience, next, on a voyage to Spain. Composed for his ballet, El sombrero de tres picos - based on the novel El corrgidor y la molinera (The Magistrate and the Miller's Wife) - de Falla's full premiere of the work featured sets and costumes by the renowned Picasso. The ballet itself featured several styles of Spanish dance, from flamenco (stomping feet and whirling skirts) to fandango (a couples' contradance, which also incorporates techniques from the seguidilla dance style that was condemned by the Church in Spain for its inappropriate, lustful moves) - the musical styles of which can be heard in de Falla's Suites.
In its second-ever performance, composer, trumpeter, and Kalamazoo native Brandon Ridenour performs his own work, Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Niccolo Paganini, with the KSO. The Italian violinist and composer Paganini created an expanse of works, most famously 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, to specifically highlight the expansive ability of his instrument, as well as his own virtuosity. Paganini's work has inspired countless musicians since, including Brandon Ridenour, whose work featuring the trumpet similarly showcases both the facility of the instrument and the vast talent and technique of the musician.
Invitation to the Dance concludes its intercontinental journey in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Alberto Ginastera composed his Suite from the Ballet Estancia, Op. 8a. Commissioned to compose the ballet's score, Ginastera based his Estancia on the theme of Argentine culture (as was characteristic of all his music), but specifically an Argentinian cattle ranch and its cowboys. Ginastera's suite offers an appropriately lively end to a season-opening performance.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
With an immediately noticeable style that has been described as "elegant, but suffused with energy," Raymond Harvey (conductor) has garnered critical acclaim on symphonic podiums throughout the United States. Maestro Raymond Harvey has served as Music Director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and recently renewed his commitment to the KSO for an additional four years. Mr. Harvey was previously Music Director of the Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts and the Fresno Philharmonic in California.
Equally at home in the world of opera, Mr. Harvey served as Artistic Director of the El Paso Opera in Texas. Among the many productions he has conducted are Carmen, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, Turandot, Aida, La Traviata, The Tales of Hoffman, The Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi Fan Tutte.
Recognized as an outstanding pianist, choral conductor and teacher, Raymond Harvey holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. He has been a frequent guest teacher for the Conductors Institute at Bard College, and for the American Symphony Orchestra League's Conducting Workshops. This year he will also serve as an adjunct faculty conductor with the University of Houston's opera department.
Brandon Ridenour, Trumpet
As a virtuoso trumpeter, composer, arranger, and educator, Brandon Ridenour is widely recognized as one of the most multi-talented artists of his generation. Through his wide-ranging activities as a soloist and chamber musician, combined with his passion for composing, Brandon enjoys performing and recording a unique array of repertoire that includes many of his own arrangements and compositions.
In 2006, at the age of 20, Brandon became the youngest member to ever join the prestigious Canadian Brass; a position he held for 7 years. The same year, he won the International Trumpet Guild solo competition playing his own composition, Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, and made his solo orchestral debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center with Marvin Hamlisch conducting. Brandon is a recipient of several composition awards, including the Morton Gould ASCAP Young Composer's Award and the Reveille Collective Composition Prize.
Brandon is a graduate of the Juilliard School and an alumnus of The Academy, a two year fellowship program with Carnegie Hall, Juilliard and the Weill Music Institute. Brandon began playing piano at the age of 5 under the tutelage of his father, Rich Ridenour. The two perform regularly now as a father-son duo and have created their own repertoire of arrangements for trumpet and piano. Brandon currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan's premier musical organization, providing musical enrichment to over 80,000 adults and youth per year. The third-largest professional orchestra in the state, the KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, the National Endowment for the Arts for its extensive education programs, and a major Ford Foundation grant to found its innovative Artist-in-Residence program.
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