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Dylan is Inspiration for ASO Concert and Art Exhibition

ASO Finale

Where Does the Music Take You,? the theme of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s (ASO) 2003-2004 Season, has provided a stimulating question for its audiences to consider.

Under the baton of Maestro Kim Allen Kluge, ASO has motivated its audiences from Passion, Adventure, and Dreams to Transcendence and, now, Rebirth: Freedom and the Common Man. The Orchestra has challenged its patrons to stretch their imaginations to grasp the combined expressions of visual and performing arts.

In the season finale on Saturday, May 22, 8 p.m., at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, Maestro Kluge and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will conclude the series with a concert exploring the American ideals of freedom and the common man.

This performance will feature the Washington metropolitan premiere of Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan, by Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize winning composer, John Corigliano.

“I had always heard of the high regard accorded the folk-ballad singer/songwriter Bob Dylan,” Corigliano writes of his initial inspiration for the work. “So I bought a collection of his texts, and found many of them to be every bit as beautiful and as immediate as I heard – and surprisingly well-suited to my own musical language.  I wanted to make poetry I knew to be strongly associated with popular art and readdress it in terms of concert art – crossover in the opposite direction, one might say.”

SOPRANO Sharon Christman, will sing Corigliano’s song cycle, based on Dylan’s texts, in this regional premiere performance. The soprano is noted for her role as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute, for which she made her Metropolitan Opera debut.

The Rebirth: Freedom and the Common Man concert also includes the much acclaimed National Men’s Chorus who will perform in Testament to Freedom by Randall Thompson. The words of Thomas Jefferson provide the text for this patriotic piece written during WWII.

Since their founding by Artistic Director Thomas Beveridge, the chorus is known for its performances of classical literature arranged for men’s voices. Rounding out this musical tribute to American ideals, the orchestra will perform Aaron Copland’s stimulating Fanfare for the Common Man and conclude with his Appalachian Spring.

WETA’s Around Town Peter Fay will explore the meaning of rebirth, freedom, and the common man at his Concert Conversations at 7 p.m. In the Schlesinger Concert Hall lobby at 6:30 p.m., artists from The Art League and Torpedo Factory Art Center will exhibit their work inspired by the music and theme of Rebirth: Freedom and the Common Man.