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A donation to ASO puts instruments in the hands of children, makes live symphonic music accessible to all Arkansans, and makes it possible for world-class musicians to call Arkansas home. 

Every dollar counts, and each donation helps ensure a sustainable, thriving future for ASO.

ASO plans to honor the financial commitment made to the musicians as the musicians have always been there for the ASO and the community and now we want to be there for them.

Upcoming Concerts

NOV 6-7 Conductor Roderick Cox leads ASO in a concert featuring piano sensation Conrad Tao and music from Beethoven, Ravel, and Brahms. GET TICKETS

NOV 9 ASO musicians perform music from Martinů, Haydn, Dohnányi, and Shostakovich in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center. GET TICKETS

DEC 17-19 Kris Allen is home for the holidays! Arkansas' own Kris Allen joins the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra for a program of holiday favorites and selections from the American Idol-winner's own music. GET TICKETS

JAN 29-30 Conductor Andrew Crust leads ASO in a concert featuring violinist Shannon Lee and music from Borodin, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky. GET TICKETS

FEB 1 ASO musicians perform music from Shaw, Ligeti, and Brahms in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center. GET TICKETS

FEB 26-27 Violin superstar Gil Shaham joins Geoffrey Robson and ASO for a program featuring Barber's Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky, and Little Rock's own Florence Price. GET TICKETS

MAR 1 ASO musicians perform music from Dempster, Jalbert, Renié, and Schubert in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center. GET TICKETS

MAR 12-13 Celebrate the Queen of Soul with your ASO! This rocking program explores the career of one of the greatest entertainers in American history: Aretha Franklin! GET TICKETS

MAR 26-27 Marvel at the extraordinary showmanship of world-renowned pianist Joseph Joubert and veteran Broadway singers featuring the timeless music of the Gershwin Brothers! GET TICKETS

APR 9-10 Conductor Akiko Fujimoto and pianist Martina Filjak join ASO for a program featuring Mozart, Strauss, and a world premiere from Tania Leon. GET TICKETS

APR 12 ASO musicians perform music from Montgomery, Wiancko, and León in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center. GET TICKETS

MAY 7-8 Cirque de la Symphonie brings the magic of cirque to the music hall with an exciting adaptation of exceptional cirque programs choreographed to classical masterpieces and popular contemporary music. GET TICKETS

MAY 14-15 Conductor Matthew Kraemer and violinist Tessa Lark join ASO for a program featuring Dvorak's New World Symphony and music from Torke and Jeremy Crosmer. GET TICKETS

MAY 17 ASO musicians and 2021-2022 Artist of Distinction Tessa Lark perform music from Chevalier St. George, Mozart, and Mendelssohn in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center. GET TICKETS

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 .

WE'RE BACK!

We're back in the concert hall for all subscription concerts! All ASO musicians, guest artists and staff, venue staff, and patrons are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or recent (within 72 hours) negative test for all ASO indoor concerts.

Click here for full details.

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A donation to ASO puts instruments in the hands of children, makes live symphonic music accessible to all Arkansans, and makes it possible for world-class musicians to call Arkansas home. 

Every dollar counts, and each donation helps ensure a sustainable, thriving future for ASO.

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