The Daily Courier
By Jason Wheeler
April 15, 2016
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Phoenix Symphony concert in Prescott features Bernstein’s Serenade

The Phoenix Symphony returns to Prescott to continue its season with a concert at 3 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St. Orchestra Music Director Tito Munoz will conduct all three sessions and the concert will include “Serenade (After Plato’s ‘Symposium’),” Missy Mazzoli’s “River Rogue Transfiguration” and Jean Sibelius’ “Symphony No. 2,” with violinist Jennifer Koh joining the orchestra in her Arizona debut.

An American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist, Leonard Bernstein was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States to receive worldwide acclaim, according to a press release from Sue Bray, member of the Yavapai Symphony Association Board of Directors.

“His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic; from his conducting of concerts with most of the world’s leading orchestras, and from his music for ‘West Side Story, ‘Peter Pan, ‘Wonderful Town, ‘Candide’ and other compositions including three shymphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works,” the release stated. “Bernstein was the first conductor to give numerous television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death.”

Bernstein’s “Serenade” features a solo violin, strings and percussion and was written in 1954 with inspiration by Plato’s “symposium,” which was a dialogue of related statements in praise of love made by distinguished speakers in Plato’s time, the release stated.

Mazzoli’s “River Rogue Transfiguration” was composed in 2013 as a tribute to her home town of Detroit and Sibelius’ “Symphony No. 2” was written in 190, the release stated. Sibelius commented that his second symphony was a confession of the soul.

Koh is performing with the orchestra in her Arizona debut, the release stated. The winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Koh is known for her virtuosity and ability to relate old and new compositions to one another, the release stated.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Jennifer Koh to Prescott, and are delighted that she’ll be performing such a popular piece by Leonard Bernstein,” said Virginia Rayner, president of the Yavapai Symphony Association in the release.

Tickets for the performance are priced from $28 to $39 and are available only from the Yavapai Symphony Association. The office, at 228 N. Alarcon St., is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and the Friday before each Sunday concert. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 928-776-4255 for will call and picked up at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center on the day of the concert. Full time college students can purchase any available ticket for $10.

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