Louisiana Philharmonic’s 2022-23 season: John Williams tribute, Mahler, Big Freedia, Lost Bayou Ramblers

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The Louisiana Philharmonic and Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto. Photo: Louisiana Philharmonic

“The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2022-2023 season is set to launch next month, and this year everybody’s favorite local orchestra is set to expand their, and your, horizons even more, with planned performances with Big Freedia and the Lost Bayou Ramblers, as well as a tribute to ‘Star Wars’ legend composer John Williams,” writes John Stanton in Monday’s (8/1) Nola.com (New Orleans). “Opening night of the season will feature a performance of … Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, as well as … Copland’s ‘Billy the Kid’ and Zoltan Kodaly’s ‘Dances of Galanta.’ … In February, … LPO’s tribute to Williams [will feature his scores to] some of the greatest movies of all times…. In April, LPO will … team up with the bounce legend and Queen Diva herself, Big Freedia, to celebrate her 20-year-and-counting music career. The mind boggles at the mere thought of the classic music society mixin’ and minglin’ with bounce fans, but one thing’s for sure, the ensuing twerkin’ will be the stuff of legends.” Carlos Miguel Prieto is music director of the Louisiana Philharmonic; Anwar Nasir is executive director.

August 3, 2022

Rhode Island Philharmonic names Tania Miller as interim principal conductor for 2022-23 season

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“Canadian conductor Tania Miller will become interim principal conductor for the Rhode Island (RI) Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School, effective immediately,” reads an unsigned article in Tuesday’s (8/2) Violin Channel. “She will succeed Bramwell Tovey, who passed away last month at age 69…. Miller will lead … October’s season opener featuring cellist Sterling Elliott, May’s season finale presentation of Verdi’s Requiem, and a January performance of Dvo?ák’s 8th Symphony with the RI Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Additionally, she’ll help plan the orchestra’s 23-24 season, work with students from the Music School, and engage with audiences, donors, and community partners…. Previously, Miller was Music Director of Canada’s Victoria Symphony for 14 seasons… She first appeared with the RI Phil in January of 2019 and most recently appeared at the 2022 Annual Gala Concert…. The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2022-23 season will be dedicated to the memory of Bramwell Tovey and a memorial fund will be established in his name to support the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School. In other concerts that Tovey was supposed to lead, Kensho Watanabe and Sascha Goetzel will step in. Leonard Slatkin will lead Renée Fleming in the 2023 Annual Gala Concert on June 3, 2023.”

August 3, 2022

Finland’s Santtu-Matias Rouvali, on concert podiums and at home on the farm

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Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali’s garden in Finland is “just a blip in the scale of Rouvali’s … farm … on over 34 acres,” writes Joshua Barone in Sunday’s (7/31) New York Times. “It is [here] that he feels most at ease, especially compared with where he’s more often seen: inside the world’s major concert halls” as principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, with chief conductor positions at Sweden’s Gothenburg Symphony and Finland’s Tampere Philharmonic; his guest conducting includes dates with the New York Philharmonic in the upcoming season. “Rouvali, 36, [spends] as many weekends as possible on his farm … ‘to kind of rest and have a mental break and not really think about music,’ he says. When he is at work, Rouvali has developed a reputation as a lively conductor, one who revels in experimentation and fluid interpretations, and who has a gift—befitting his background as a percussionist—for internal rhythms and harmonies…. His style today [is] one in which he retains some of a drummer’s gestures, but also in which that physicality is an expressive vessel for open, sometimes trial-and-error interpretations with a liberal use of rubato.”

August 3, 2022

Pittsburgh Symphony to perform with Sting in January 2023

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“When legendary British singer Sting visits Pittsburgh, he’ll be playing with local talent,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Tuesday’s (8/2) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “For two nights in January, the 9th and 10th, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will welcome the former singer of The Police to Heinz Hall for a pair of concerts celebrating his greatest hits, ranging from ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Next To You’ to ‘Every Breath You Take’ and ‘Fields of Gold.’ … Sting has been experimenting with orchestra reimaginings of his catalog since a 2008 collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has toured since 2010 with these symphonic interpretations of his hits. January will mark his first collaboration with the PSO. ‘Sting’s charisma and utterly unforgettable hits reimagined with symphonic orchestrations will make for an irresistible combination with the brilliant musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,’ said Melia Tourangeau, symphony president and CEO, in a release.”

August 3, 2022

Obituary: William Hudson, longtime Fairfax Symphony music director, 89

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“William Hudson, a pianist and conductor who led the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra for 36 years, establishing it as a leading regional orchestra in the capital area, died July 12 at his home in Vienna, Va. He was 89,” writes Tim Page in Tuesday’s (8/2) Washington Post. “In 1971, Mr. Hudson, then a new member of the conducting faculty at the University of Maryland, won an audition to take over a struggling, unpaid, 60-piece occasional orchestra … founded 14 years earlier…. The appointment of Mr. Hudson turned things around quickly. For the first time, auditions were held to select the musicians in the orchestra. By 1977, the FSO was made up of 110 musicians … and players were paid for every concert…. In 1990, the FSO moved to the 1,850-seat Center for the Arts at George Mason University, where it remains today, under the direction of Christopher Zimmerman. William Lee Hudson … received a bachelor’s degree in 1957 from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Yale School of Music and did conducting studies at the Tanglewood music festival in Massachusetts. In 1970, he joined the University of Maryland faculty, where he remained until his retirement from teaching in 1999. He has no immediate survivors.”

August 3, 2022

Wilmington Symphony to perform with The Queen’s Cartoonists

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On October 22, North Carolina’s Wilmington Symphony Orchestra will present a concert at Cape Fear Community College’s Wilson Center with The Queen’s Cartoonists, who perform music from classic cartoons and contemporary animation, with performances synchronized to projections of the original films. The Wilmington Symphony concert will be guest conducted by Dominic Talanca. The Queen’s Cartoonists are a touring comedy-themed troupe of professional musicians, based in Queens, New York, who perform with orchestras and at events including this month’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. The group’s six members are listed on their website as Joel “Sweet Sauce McKinley” Pierson (piano), Rossen “Chock Full” Nedelchev (percussion), Drew “Dranka” Pitcher (woodwinds), Greg “Eggs and” Hammontree (brass), Mark “Dingo” Phillips (woodwinds), and Malik “M” McLaurine (bass).

August 3, 2022