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Upcoming Concerts

SEP 29 - 30 Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20, featuring David Fung, and Stravinsky's Petrushka. BUY TICKETS

OCT 2 Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K. 581, Schmann's String Quartet in A minor, Bunch 26.2 BUY TICKETS

OCT 20-21 Music from the epic Star Wars saga, composed by the legendary John Williams. BUY TICKETS

NOV 10 - 11 Guest Conductor Sarah Ionannides and the ASO present Tower's Made in America, Smetana's Vltava, and Elgar's Enigma Variations. BUY TICKETS

NOV 13 Brahms's Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major and Piano Quartet in G minor, featuring ASO Concertmaster Kiril Laskarov. BUY TICKETS

DEC 14-16 Your Arkansas Symphony invites you to bring family and friends to the Robinson Center for a fun-packed holiday music extravaganza! Kids aged one to one hundred should put on a holiday sweater, grab your favorite holiday candy, and settle in to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! BUY TICKETS

JAN 26 - 27 Verdi's Overture to La forza del destino, Chopin's Piano Concerto No., with Artist of Distinction Andrew von Oeyen, and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, "Scottish." Concert Sponsored by Metal Recycling Corporation. BUY TICKETS

JAN 29 Haydn's String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 4, Chopin's Selections for Solo Piano, and Shostakovich's Piano Qiuntet in G minor, Op. 57, featuring Andrew von Oeyen. BUY TICKETS

FEB 9-10 Oscar "Andy" Hammerstein III, grandson of the beloved librettist and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, hosts a celebration of some of America's most cherished music from the stage. BUY TICKETS

FEB 23 - 24 Beethoven's Symphony No. 9: Ode to Joy. BUY TICKETS

FEB 26 Janáček's String Quartet No. 1, Puccini's String Quartet in D Major, Verdi's String Quartet. BUY TICKETS

MAR 9-10 Beatlemania is back with Classical Mystery Tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band! BUY TICKETS

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 UA Little Rock and 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 Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Fine's Concerto for Oboe Section, Brahms' Hungarian Dances, and Liszt's Les Préludes. 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

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?
Anthropologie

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 https://www.arkansassymphony.org/planets.

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