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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.

OCT 2 Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F major, Schmann's String Quartet in A minor

OCT 20-21 Music from the epic Star Wars saga, composed by the legendary John Williams. Tickets go on sale September 4!

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

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

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!

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.

JAN 29 Haydn's String Quartet, Op. 20, No. 4, Chopin's Selections for Solo Piano, and Enesco's Piano Quintet in A minor.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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!

MAY 4 - 5 Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Fine's Concerto for Oboe Section, Brahms' Hungarian Dances, and Liszt's Les Préludes.

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

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!

Mid-Week Musician in the Spotlight: Michael Underwood

 

By: Rebecca Kirkpatrick
November 1, 2017

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Mid-Week Musician in the Spotlight: Michael Underwood
Each week we will highlight a musician with a few fun facts our patrons may not have otherwise known. This week our Musician in the Spotlight is Michael Underwood. Dr. Underwood holds the William "Bill" Vickery, Jr. Memorial Chair as the ASO's Principal Trombonist. Here are a few fun facts about Dr. Underwood:

What is your birthday?
First day of summer. (*That's June 21 to those of you not in the know)

What is your home state?
Wisconsin. 

What instrument(s) can you play?
Trombone and Euphonium

Who is your favorite composer and why?
Gustav Mahler. His passion and total dedication to the art of music. I wrote my Master's Thesis on the first movement of his Third Symphony. 

What sparked your initial interest in music?
Our high school jazz ensemble went to the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in 1985. What I remember most was not our performance, but the master classes afterwards. We heard drummer Bunky Green, trumpeter Warren Kime, composer Frank Mantooth, and drummer Louis Bellson. They were the happiest people I had ever seen because they were musicians; I thought, "I want to do that! I want to be that happy in my life."

What are three things still left on your bucket list?
My bucket list includes a lot of pieces that I have yet to perform. There are more than three. I want to perform Mahler's Symphony Nos. 9 and 10, Das Lied von der Eerde, Stravinsky's Petrouchka, Nielsen's Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, and 3, Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra and Lulu Suite, Schumann's Symphony No. 3, and Mozart's Mass in C minor. 

What is the last book you read?
Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Who inspires you?
Joe Alessi, Principal Trombonist NYPO; Christian Lindberg, International Trombone Soloist, Composer, and Conductor; Giannis Antetokuonmpo, Forward, Milwaukee Bucks; Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback, Greenbay Packers; Bill Maher, Comedian; Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont; basically anybody who has dedicated their lives to being the best people they can be, no matter what they do. 

This weekend, the orchestra will perform the third concert in the Masterworks series, "Romeo and Juliet," which includes compositions by Rachmaninoff, Kabelevsky, and Prokofiev. What excites you most about this concert?
I am very excited to play the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances this weekend, as I will be able to cross that off my "bucket list." I love the colors that he brings out of the orchestra, especially in the strings and winds. There are great harmonies with muted brass in the second movement, and exciting parts at the end of the first and last movements for all the brass. 

I have played the band transcription of Kabelevsky's Colas Breugnon only, so this should be fun to play the full orchestra version.

Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet has a number of tacet movements, but of course the first movement has strong writing for the bass trombone and tuba. There's a version of an orchestra rehearsing the first movement, and when the trombones come in with the melody, they play the Darth vader theme instead, which completely cracks up the orchestra. So, maybe we'll do that... maybe not!

 

That concludes this week's "Musician in the Spotlight"-- to see Dr. Underwood live, join us for "Romeo and Juliet" this weekend! You can still purchase your tickets by visiting https://www.arkansassymphony.org/romeo-juliet .

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