Orchestra prepares for new season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 17, 2002

The Austin Symphony Orchestra is getting ready for its 46th season and Marge Dunlap, manager of the orchestra, says "it's going to be a fun and exciting year.

The symphony's first concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Oct. 26. Billed as "An Evening in Scandinavia," the concert will feature music by composers Edvard Grieg and John Williams. Pianist Roberto Plano, an Italian w ho won the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition will perform.

Plano has performed all over the world and Dunlap is very excited about having him play with the ASO. "He has a Web site (www.robertoplano.com) and when you look at … what the newspapers have said about him, you'll see it's quite an honor to have him," Dunlap says.

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The second concert of the season will be performed at 2 p.m. Dec. 15.

Called, "A Family Christmas," the ASO, Austin Symphony Children's and Adult Choruses and the Rick Penning family will perform "Amahl and the Night Visitors" and a selection of traditional Christmas music.

Penning and his family will perform the lead roles in "Amahl and the Night Visitors" and Dunlap says the concert should be entertaining for everyone. "Rick is from here, he graduated in 1973 and he's always fun to have, but this year he's bringing his whole family," Dunlap says.

Penning's wife, Sandy, has appeared in more than 35 performances by the Minnesota Opera and also has appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Their two sons, Andrew, 16 and Christopher, 10, also have performed with the Minnesota Opera. In addition to singing, Andrew plays violin and Christopher plays cello. "These kids are something else," Dunlap says.

The ASO's next concert will be "A Mozart Festival" and will be at 2 p.m., Feb. 9. The Austin High School Concert Choir will perform with the ASO in their presentation of several Mozart selections. Dunlap says it should be an excellent show. "Everyone knows what the high school choir is capable of. They've won many accolades at the Minnesota Education Musical Association's competition," she says.

The ASO's final concert of its 2002-03 season will be at 2 p.m., April 6. Megan Walters, an AHS senior who plays viola and Mark Woeste, an AHS alumnus, who plays tuba, will perform a selection of classical pieces with the ASO.

Dunlap says Walters "was selected as the first violist at the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra" during her sophomore year and she hopes to become a professional violist. Woeste has taken lessons from a tuba player at the Minnesota Orchestra for years and last year, had the chance to play with the Minnesota Orchestra when they needed another tuba player. "Tuba solos are a rarity and you won't want to miss this instrument and its player," the ASO's brochure says.

All performances are held in the Knowlton Auditorium at AHS. Tickets will go on sale for the first concert Oct. 10. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door for adults. College students pay $4 in advance and $5 at the door. Children in kindergarten through the 12th grade are free. Tickets are available at Hy-Vee and Nemitz's/Black Bart's.

Season tickets also are available via a form on the ASO's brochure. Season ticket prices are $26 for adults, $23 for seniors and $15 for college students.

For more information about any concert, regular tickets or season tickets, contact Marge Dunlap at 433-5647.

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at :mailto:amanda.rohde@austindailyherald.com