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This Week in Classical Music 

For the Week of April 19 through April 25

The Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra will observe two anniversaries in April--the 100th anniversary of composer Dmitri Shostakovich's birth and the 10th anniversary of Music Director Randolph Foy's leadership of the orchestras. Concerts by both ensembles celebrate Shostakovich's work and influences. On April 23, the Symphony Orchestra's program includes music by fellow Russian Aram Khachaturian and one of Shostakovich's undisputed masterworks, the Symphony No. 5. On April 30, the Chamber Orchestra will perform two of Shostakovich's less well-known scores.

After Foy took the artistic reins of the Raleigh Civic Symphony Association, he strengthened the full orchestra and created a new chamber orchestra. He has increased the number of performances and the reach of the music making. The two "town and gown" orchestras are approximately half NCSU students and half community members. Foy has challenged the musicians--and the audiences--with adventurous classical repertoire, including works by Charles Ives, Witold Lutoslawski, Ernest Bloch, John Harbison and Philip Glass. He has also programmed works by composers living and working in North Carolina, including Steven Jaffe of Duke University, the late Roger Hannay of UNC-Chapel Hill, J. Mark Scearce (now director of the Department of Music at NCSU) and Dan Locklair of Wake Forest University.

As an educator, Foy has been innovative and energetic about bringing classical music into the community well beyond the nominal confines of NCSU. His thematic programming has been a vehicle for reaching out to the community. His mini-festivals have included "Voices of Asia and the Pacific," featuring exotic orchestral music from China, and "African-American Heritage Concerts," with Daniel Bernard Roumain, a young African-American composer and violinist known for his fusions of classical music with jazz and hip hop.

Audience members will have opportunities to learn about the April selections and talk to the musicians at the April 23 concert. A lecture on the program will be given at 3:30 p.m. in Stewart Theatre, and audience members may meet the musicians and support the RCSA at a barbecue after the concert.

Sunday, April 23

Raleigh Civic Symphony Orchestra, Randolph Foy, conductor. "Shostakovich and His World--A Centennial Celebration: Part 1": Khachaturian: Gayaneh: selections from Ballet Suites 1 and 3; and Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5. Stewart Theatre, NCSU, Raleigh. 4 p.m. $8, students $5, children under 12 free. 515-1100 or ncsu.edu/music. Lecture by David Green--"Shostakovich and the Common Good"--at 3:30 p.m. Post-concert barbeque with the musicians: $8, students $5; for reservations, call 782-1628.

Sunday, April 30

Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra, Randolph Foy, conductor. "Shostakovich and His World--A Centennial Celebration: Part 2": Shostakovich: Hypothetically Murdered: Suite; and Chamber Symphony, Op. 83a. Stewart Theatre, NCSU, Raleigh. 4 p.m. $8, students $5, children under 12 free. 515-1100 or ncsu.edu/music.

There are other college/university ensembles at work this week, including Meredith's String Orchestra, featuring pianist Karen Allred, and the more-than-full-sized UNC Symphony Orchestra, appearing in Memorial Hall in a "4-Rs" program.

Monday, April 24

Karen Allred, piano, and Meredith String Orchestra, Jack Roller, conductor. The program includes Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K.466. Carswell Concert Hall, Meredith College, Raleigh.
8 p.m. Free. 760-8536.

Tuesday, April 25

Mayron Tsong, piano, and the UNC Symphony Orchestra, Tonu Kalam, conductor. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2; Rautavaara: Isle of Bliss; Respighi: The Fountains of Rome; and Ravel: Bolero. Memorial Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill. 8 p.m. $10. 962-1039 or music.unc.edu.

Recommended Reviews

Davidson and Duke Symphony Pull Off Another Operatic Triumph, by Elizabeth Kahn
www.cvnc.org/reviews/2006/042006/Figaro.html

Terence Blanchard Tears It Up at Duke, by Jeffrey Rossman
www.cvnc.org/reviews/2006/042006/Blanchard.html

  • A look at classical concerts and events courtesy of our friends at Classical Voice of North Carolina.

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