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Upcoming Concerts

MARCH 28 ASO principal musicians are featured with chamber orchestra in the intimate and unique venue of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. BUY TICKETS

APR 5 Violinist YooJin Jang joins the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra for a residency and featured performance. BUY TICKETS

APR 3 The Ruth Allen Concert Series at UAMS presents a free concert featuring ASO musicians performing music from Haydn, Ibert, and Piazzolla.

APR 13 - 14 Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila, Ravel's Tzigane, Beethoven's Romance No. 2, Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, and Enesco's Romanian Rhapsody. Concert sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. BUY TICKETS

APR 16 Debussy's Violin Sonata, Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Winds. BUY TICKETS

MAY 4 - 5 Mahler's Symphony No. 5, and the world premiere of Michael Fine's Concerto for Oboe Section. BUY TICKETS

MAY 7 Ravel's Sonatine en Trio, Francaix's String Trio, Pärt's Fratres, Dillon's Multiplicity, Gardel's Por una Cabeza. BUY TICKETS

MAY 11-12 Experience all the mystery and fun of their unforgettable adventure in the beloved movie that captivated audiences around the world, complete with John Williams' Academy Award-winning score performed live by a full symphony orchestra in sync to the film projected on a huge HD screen! BUY TICKETS

MAY 23 Beethoven's powerful Triple Concerto is presented in the beautiful and resonant acoustic space of Calvary Baptist Church. BUY TICKETS

SEP 28-29 The 2019-2020 season opens in collaboration with ACANSA Arts Festival of the South, featuring American trio Time for Three with conductor JoAnn Falletta and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.

OCT 1 The 2019-2020 River Rhapsodies series opens with a concert featuring Milhaud's String Quartet No. 1 and Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15.

NOV 9-10 Explore the rich musical heritage of Arkansas with a pairing of composers with local roots – William Grant Still and Florence Price – with Beethoven's groundbreaking Symphony No. 3, “Eroica."

NOV 12 Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello, Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5

DEC 20-22 A true holiday favorite, this beloved comedy classic features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live to picture.

JAN 25-26 Ginastera, Bartók, and Copland examine the music of “home” with a program of dances honoring the folk music of their countries. Carolyn Kuan, conductor.

JAN 28 A program of works showing the power of music to capture a scene and tell a story.

FEB 8-9 Join Tony Award Winner Debbie Gravitte, Scarlett Strallen (Mary Poppins on Broadway), and Hugh Panaro (Phantom/Sweeney Todd) for an evening that features the music of two giants from the Broadway world - Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

FEB 29 - MAR 1 ASO Associate Conductor Geoffrey Robson leads your ASO in a program which explores the relationship between imagery and sound, with guest pianist Andrius Žlabys.

MAR 3 Brahms's Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Schumann's Piano Quintet.

MAR 14-15 Get your dancing shoes on, head to the concert hall, and get ready to show your R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to the Queen of Soul!

APR 18-19 Conductor Eric Jacobsen leads the ASO with music from Boulanger, guest soloist Simone Porter (violin), and Berlioz's powerful symphonic portrayal of an artist's unrequited love.

APR 21 Spohr's Grand Nonet, Fauré's Piano Quartet No. 1

MAY 2-3 Your ASO closes the 2019-2020 season with one of the greatest cello concertos played by one of the greatest cello soloists of our time: Zuill Bailey.

MAY 5 2019-2020 Richard Sheppard Arnold Artist of Distinction Zuill Bailey joins ASO musicians at the Clinton Presidential Center

MAY 9-10 The action-packed adventure of Jurassic Park pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival, with a full symphony orchestra performing John Williams’ iconic score live to picture.

Mid-Week Musician in the Spotlight: Alisa Coffey

By: Rebecca Kirkpatrick
February 22,2018

alisa.jpgEach concert week we highlight a musician with a few fun facts our patrons may not have otherwise known. This week our Musician in the Spotlight is Alisa Coffey. You may have known that Alisa is the Principal Harpist for the ASO, but here are some facts you may not know:

When is your birthday?
July 27

What is your hometown?
Great Falls, Virginia

What instrument(s) can you play?
I play the harp. I can still play the piano, but not very skillfully.

What is your favorite food?
Breakfast food, maybe? Does coffee count?

Who is your favorite composer and why?
It's hard to pick just one. For the harp, I really love Henriette Renie for the great stories she tells with the instrument. Orchestrally, I love the colors and sounds of Ravel and Debussy. I love Mahler for his pathos, and Bach for his incredible skill and beauty.

What sparked your initial interest in music?
My mom was an elementary band teacher, my dad loved singing in the choir, and we had family friends that played the harp. Music was a part of our home while growing up, and something I always responded to and found solace in. 

What other hidden talents do you have?
I've been making a lot of cheesecake recently, I can do that pretty well. Also, I'm constantly on the road with my instrument, so I've got pretty great road tripping skills.

In what store could you max out your credit card?

If you could have a super-power, what would it be?
Can I just be Wonder Woman? I'm a big fan.

What are three things still left on your bucket list? 
Take ballet, travel the world, and learn French

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Bad drivers.

Do you have any pets? 
No, but I love animals.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Pop music.

What is your favorite movie?
Roman Holiday. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Life is Beautiful, and Les Choristes are all runners-up.

How long have you played with the ASO? 
This is my seventh season.

What book are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading Phantastes by George MacDonald.

Who inspires you?
I've been really lucky to study with some really excellent harpists along the way, and each of them have been a huge inspiration to me in so many ways. But I'm still learning and gathering inspiration from so many people around me who give of themselves whole-heartedly in excellence or in love. 

What is your best childhood memory?
Simple things, like jumping in leaf piles or building blanket forts with my siblings.

Which four individuals, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
Mary Katherine Ham - because I listen to her as a podcast personality and think she's the coolest, smartest, and most fun person. Her political ideas and personal story really resonate with me.
Emmanuel Ceyesson - He's a harpist I really respect and haven't met personally yet, and I've been really entertained and fascinated with his recent Instagram posts from the pit of the Metropolitan Opera.
G.K. Chesterton - He's shaped a lot of my religious thinking, I think he's brilliant and jolly, and I'd love to meet him.
Anthony Bourdain - because he would know all about the best food. I feel like he could converse and have a good time with anyone, and I may have a little bit of a crush on him. 

Are you working on any projects outside of the ASO?
I'm continuing to grow my own personal harp studio, learning the Suzuki method, and searching for the best ways to inspire and educate young harpists. I'm also working with a wonderful group of harpists locally to create an Arkansas Chapter of the American Harp Society. We've created our governing body and have a few first events coming up this year. Right now, we're just organizing and bringing harpists together within the state. We should have a website soon. My own goals for the organization are to create some extra opportunities for young harpists, and bring in some special guest harpists to inspire and educate within the state.  

This weekend, February 24-25, you'll perform in the ASO's fifth Masterworks concert, "The Planets." Tell us a little big about the challenges you face when performing this concert. What do you most looking forward to? Is there anything in particular we should be listening for?
I'm really excited about The Planets program coming up this weekend and I've heard a lot of audience members are as well. In the orchestra we're all excited because there will be so many of us and so many interesting instruments on stage (bass oboe, alto flute, celeste, extra percussion, etc.)  to create the really beautiful colors and moods that Holst evokes for each of the planets. I'm excited because there will be two harps on stage. My good friend and colleague, Anna Cooney, will be joining me. The harp writing is really interesting in this piece. There's a lot of interplay between the parts, so sometimes it's like a really intertwined duet between the harps. In Mercury and Neptune specifically, each harp is set to a different key and the harps pass the different harmonies back and forth. Also on the program is R. Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra which also has two very involved harp parts. 

I'm also playing on the next River Rhapsodies concert on the 27th.  My quintet is playing a really gorgeous French, impressionistic work by Jean Cras.  It's been a lot of notes this month!  But also a lot of really inspiring and interesting musical ideas and a ton of fun.


That concludes this week's "Musician in the Spotlight"-- to see Alisa do her thing this weekend, join us for "The Planets!" You can purchase your tickets by visiting

ASO Day of Giving Countdown

April 18, 2019

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