2018–2019 | Season 69
Charles Latshaw, conductor and music director
All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on the campus of Northern Arizona University.
Concerts are preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a Conversation with the Conductor, giving the audience the opportunity to speak with the conductor and guest soloist(s) about the evening’s program.
Masterworks I – September 28, 2018
Jeffrey Biegel, piano soloist
Leonard Bernstein – Overture to Candide
Lucas Richman – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: In Truth
Mason Bates – Mothership
Leonard Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
With two works by Leonard Bernstein, this concert commemorates his 100th birthday. In 1985 Bernstein said of pianist Jeffrey Biegel, “He is a splendid musician and a brilliant performer.” Biegel will perform a piano concerto by Lucas Richman (b. 1964), an American composer who studied composition and conducting with Bernstein. Introducing electronic elements to the symphony, Mothership by Mason Bates (b. 1977) imagines a space station that is “docked” by several visiting soloists. Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (1957) illuminates the clash of New York gang cultures and the exhilaration and anguish of the love between Tony and Maria, a deliberate nod to the doomed lovers Romeo and Juliet.
Masterworks II – October 26, 2018
Jung-min Amy Lee, violin soloist
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons
Peter Tchaikovsky – Serenade for Strings in C major, op. 48
This program features the FSO’s strings, with Jung-min Amy Lee, Associate Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, in The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia borrows the English Renaissance music of Tallis. Of his Serenade, Tchaikovsky wrote, “The larger number of players in the string orchestra, the more this shall be in accordance with the author’s wishes.” Student string players from Flagstaff schools will join FSO to create the lush sound of an expanded string ensemble.
Special: The Nutcracker – November 30, 2018 & December 1, 2018
NAU Community Music and Dance Academy Troupe
Peter Tchaikovsky – The Nutcracker
Enjoy the magic of a holiday tradition in Tchaikovsky’s classic adventure. A sparkling party, a dramatic battle, and whimsical journey to the Land of Sweets are all experienced through one of the greatest symphonic scores ever written. The NAU Community Music and Dance Academy Ballet Troupe brings the story to life through captivating choreography. A Flagstaff
Masterworks III – January 25, 2019
Broadway Pops International presents “Broadway by Request!”
Flagstaff favorites! Best-loved music from Broadway, selected by the FSO audience at the April 20, 2018 concert! Enjoy musical theater’s greatest hits, including songs from Phantom of the Opera, “Seasons of Love” from Rent, “Memory” from Cats, and “Mack the Knife” from The Threepenny Opera.
Masterworks IV – February 15, 2019
Jonathan Bergeron, alto saxophone soloist
Johann Sebastian Bach – Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537 tr. by Sir Edward Elgar (1922)
Alexander Glazunov – Saxophone Concerto in E flat major, op 109
Ottorino Respighi – Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite #2
Paul Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber
Bach’s organ Fantasia and Fugue was transcribed for orchestra by British composer Elgar “to show how gorgeous and great and brilliant he would have made himself sound if he had had our means.” Similarly, Respighi transformed songs that were written for lute into his suite for the orchestra. The saxophone concerto by Glazunov, described as “a free rhapsody,” is played by Flagstaff’s Jonathan Bergeron, Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University. Hindemith arranged piano music by Weber for a ballet; it was later choreographed as the well-known “Metamorphoses” by George Balanchine for the New York City Ballet.
Masterworks V – March 15, 2019
NAU Shrine of the Ages Choir and Master Chorale of Flagstaff
Johann Strauss, Jr. – Blue Danube Waltz with male chorus
Morten Lauridsen – Lux Aeterna
Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 3 in F major, op. 90
Made popular by its spectacular use in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Blue Danube Waltz opens this concert. Lux Aeterna (“Eternal Light”), by American composer Morten Lauridsen, combines references to Gregorian chants with contemporary sounds. The concert closes with the third of Brahms’s four symphonies, celebrating the love and friendship of his closest companions.
Masterworks VI – April 26, 2019
NAU Elden Brass Quintet
Clint Needham – The Body Electric
Eric Ewazen – Shadowcatcher
Dmitri Shostakovich – Suite from The Gadfly, op. 97a
Clint Needham’s driving rhythm and eclectic sounds create a tribute to Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday in The Body Electric. Flagstaff’s own Elden Brass Quintet are featured as soloists in Eric Ewazen’s Shadowcatcher concerto, written to celebrate historic photographs of the Tewa, Chippewa, Navajo and Kwakiutl taken by Edward Curtis in the early 1900s. And Shostakovich’s joyful and massive score for the Soviet film The Gadfly brings the season to a thrilling conclusion.