From the community

Augusta Symphony Orchestra Announces April Concert

Posted April 18, 2013, at 10:02 a.m.

The Augusta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is excited to invite the community to a special concert featuring pianist Virginia Eskin on Saturday, April 27th at High Street Congregational Church in Auburn at 7 PM, and Sunday, April 28th at Hope Baptist Church in Manchester at 7 PM.

Focusing on pieces from the 18th and 19th century, the April concert will include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and von Weber’s overture to the opera, Oberon.

With the ink still drying on several orchestral parts, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart premiered his Concerto No. 20 in 1785 at the Mehlgrube Casino in Vienna, performing the demanding piano solos himself. Though at times Mozart’s audiences were less than enamored with the former child prodigy’s compositions, Concerto No. 20 was a favorite. Often tense and tumultuous, the 3 movement masterpiece features swirling syncopations and sudden explosions, moments of calm and challenging piano runs requiring the skill of a true virtuoso.

Moving into the 19th century, the ASO will also perform Ludwig von Beethoven’s Symphony No.8, or as the great composer often called it, his “little Symphony in F.” In stark contrast to the storminess of Mozart’s Concerto No. 20, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 is primarily light-hearted and cheerful. In true Beethoven fashion, the symphony strays from Classical tradition with the fourth movement bearing the most gravitas.

The ASO is honored to be performing with pianist Virginia Eskin, featured soloist for Mozart’s Concerto No. 20. Virginia has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Annapolis, Buffalo, Louisville, New Hampshire, Rochester, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Utah Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Classical, the Israel Sinfonietta, and the Boston Pops. She has also performed as a soloist with the New York City and Boston Ballet Companies, at Morgan Library in New York and Jordan Hall in Boston, and in concert halls and museums throughout the United States and Europe.

She is a California native and long-time Boston resident and is an extremely versatile solo pianist, chamber player and lecturer, known for both standard classical repertoire and ragtime, and a long-time champion of the works of American and European women composers.

ASO music director, Paul Ross, conducts. Mr. Ross has been principal cellist with the Winnipeg, Orlando, Quebec, Portland, Boston Ballet and the Boston Opera orchestras. He has also performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony. He was conductor of the University of Southern Maine Symphony, the Bowdoin Symphony Orchestra, and the founder of the Mid-Coast Symphony. He has also guest conducted the Venezuelan National Youth Orchestra, the Portsmouth Youth Orchestra and the University of New Hampshire Symphony. Mr. Ross is the founding cellist of the Portland String Quartet and current music director of the Maine Youth Orchestra.

Founded shortly after World War I, the ASO has had the privilege of sharing great classic and modern works of symphonic music with the central Maine region for nearly 90 years. The ASO is dedicated to enriching the arts scene of the community by delivering the music of talented local musicians to the public. This vibrant community orchestra includes individuals spanning all age groups and walks of life, from high school students to doctors and active retirees.

The 2012-2013 season will wrap up with the annual joint ASO and Maine Youth Orchestra (MYO) concert. The ASO and MYO will perform such pieces as “Pops” Hoe Down and selections from Les Miserables at the Freeport Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 11th at 3 PM.

If you are interested in finding out more about the ASO or auditioning to join the orchestra, visit www.augustasymphonymaine.org or email estherpearl67@gmail.com.

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