Symphony kicks off 53rd season

Published 6:56 am Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Austin Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 53rd season Sunday.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra (ASO) performs Enchanted Russia, a concert featuring pieces from classical Russian music literature, Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Knowlton Auditorium in Austin High School.

The concert features David Hays, violinist and Austin-native. Hays is a 1986 Austin High School graduate and is currently a professor at Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo.

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Opening number Sunday is Mussorgsky’ Night on Bald Mountain, which is a spooky piece written in the mid-1800s, based on Russian folklore of the Witches Sabbath. Hays displays his talents with the Kabalevsky Violin Concerto and Debussy’s Girl with the Flaxen Hair. The concert concludes with Kalinikov’s Symphony No. 1.

“The orchestra is one of the truly unique things about Austin. There are very few cities our size that have a symphony, so it’s a pretty special part of living and working in Austin,” said Danielle Heiny, ASO Board Member.

The Austin Symphony Orchestra is made up of about 65 musicians who live and work in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Some musicians travel more than 100 miles to be part of the orchestra. ASO presents four public concerts a year plus special children’s concerts for elementary students during the school day.

ASO’s season continues with Christmas Magic Dec. 13, 2009 at 2 p.m. at Austin High School. The Austin Symphony Chorus performs holiday favorites with the Symphony Orchestra, including master works and nostalgic sing along tunes. The Repertoires includes Bach’s Magnificat, Berlin’s White Christmas and a medley of sacred and secular Holiday songs.

The third concert of the season One Hand, One Heart is Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. at Austin High School. The Valentine’s Day performance showcases piano virtuoso and Austin resident, Ian Shapinsky. Shapinsky has performed world-wide.

The final concert of the season features area young musicians in New Voices: Young Artisit Competitions Winners. This innovative project is the culmination of a Concerto Competition for students in grades 7-12. The candidates will audition before a panel of judges and winners will perform with the Austin Symphony.

The mission of the Austin Symphony Orchestras is to bring live symphonic music to the people of the Austin area through the community orchestra concerts, providing enjoyment and enhancing musical appreciation and knowledge; to provide an avenue of artistic growth for regional performers and to encourage continual musical study for area musicians. The ASO recognizes the need to educate, inform, and invite audience development through traditional and special children’s concerts, supplemented with informative and attractive program notes at every concert.

Season tickets are available at Austin’s Hy-Vee and will also be available at the door Oct. 25. Single concert tickets are available in advance at $8 for adults and $4 for college students. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for college students at the door.

The ASO concert season is provided in cooperation with the Southeastern Minnesotat Arts Council, Inc. through funding from the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota State Legislature.

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