Allentown Symphony Gershwin/Copland program, with local dancers, pianist Simon Mulligan

Posted on: February 8, 2019

“It’s quite possible that no music evokes the American landscape as strongly as that of George Gershwin and Aaron Copland,” writes Steve Siegel in last Friday’s (2/1) Morning Call (Allentown, PA). “The Allentown Symphony Orchestra pays tribute to both home-grown composers Feb. 9 and 10…. Pianist Simon Mulligan is soloist in Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm Variations’ and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ in a program that also features Gershwin’s colorful ‘American in Paris’ and Copland’s beloved ‘Appalachian Spring Suite,’ featuring dancers from the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley…. Copland’s ballet ‘Appalachian Spring’ … cemented [Martha] Graham’s reputation as a leader in modern dance choreography…. ‘She’s considered the mother of modern dance, and I’m definitely paying homage to her,’ says Karen Knerr, artistic director of the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley/Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. ‘But this version is our own, with my own choreography.’ … Seventeen dancers, ages 13 to 17, will perform on stage in front of the orchestra … ‘I think when we do pieces like this, it’s great that the audience can see both the dancers and the musicians. There’s movement in the orchestra, too, so hopefully the audience can see the relationship between the music and the dance,’ Knerr says.”

Posted February 8, 2019