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Musings from the MAESTRO

Winter Heats Up with the ASO and violin duo MarcOlivia

Whether you love Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons," enjoy the music of tango king Astor Piazzolla, or can hum the tunes to Malcolm Arnold’s score to "The Bridge on the River Kwai," the ASO has a concert for you on Saturday, Nov. 14.

The ASO’s 2009-2010 "Inspired by Nature" season continues on the 14th at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. This varied programs spans the centuries from the Baroque (Vivaldi) to the 20th Century (Arnold). Vivaldi’s incredibly depictive "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" was originally meant to accompany sonnets and paintings, marrying the visual arts, poetry and music.

Piazzolla did not just give new life to the popular tango genre, he re-imagined Vivaldi’s work as "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires." The ASO is pleased to present Piazzolla’s "Winter" on Nov. 14 as well, offering a direct comparison of the two composers’ musical portrayals of different parts of the globe.

Composer Malcolm Arnold, often celebrated for his nine symphonies and film scores, also wrote several concertos, including one for clarinetist Benny Goodman! The Double Violin Concerto to be played by the ASO on Nov. 14 was commissioned by none other than legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Brahms’ glorious "Symphony No. 2" closes the program. As Brahms’ warmest, sunniest symphony, the work has often drawn comparisons to Beethoven’s "Symphony No. 6," which the ASO will play over Valentine’s Day 2010.

Guest violinists Marc Ramirez and Olivia Hajioff are a husband and wife team who together form the string duo MarcOlivia. They will share the soloist responsibilities on Nov. 14. You can listen to them at www.marcolivia.com.

They have been guests twice on NPR’s "Performance Today." They are regular guest artists at the Tokyo College of Music, and have performed for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., and at The Kennedy Center. The couple teaches privately at their home studio in Vienna, Va. The duo performed at music festivals in Japan, Italy, Spain and England. MarcOlivia is planning recording projects with Centaur Records.

See you at the Concert!

<tgl>— Kim Allen Kluge

Music Director, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra

<ro>Where & When

<lst>The ASO performs music of Vivaldi, Piazzolla, and Gershwin Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. The concert takes place at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center (NOVA Alexandria Campus, 3001 Beauregard St.). Tickets start at $5 for youth (8-18), $20 for students, $35 for seniors, and $40 for adults. Free parking. Visit www.alexsym.org. or call 703-547-0885.