The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro James Ross continues the 2019-2020 Season on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 (7 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 (2 p.m.) with an unconventional holiday concert. In his second year as ASO’s Music Director, Ross endeavors to present symphonic music in unconventional and creative ways.
The audience will experience the Nutcracker in two ways: excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s ballet and Duke Ellington’s version that swings. Attendees will enjoy visual accompaniments to Saturday’s performance from video artists Tim McLoraine and The New Live.
“Tchaikovsky is only one point along a long line of creativity starting with E.T.A. Hoffman’s original story.” Says Maestro Ross. “It continues through Ellington’s big-band re-imagining to resetting the story in Harlem through the eyes of a African-American young girl with the magic of New Live’s imagery.”
The program will open with the Prelude to Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel, an opera traditionally performed during the holiday season throughout Europe. The prelude foreshadows the drama to come later in the fairytale, including a children’s prayer and a dance-like sequence.
Joining the ASO is harpist Morgan Short, winner of the 43rd Annual Mary Graham Lasley Scholarship Competition. Ms. Short will perform Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, originally written for guitar and later rendered for harp. Ms. Short is a Classics Alive Artist, sought-after touring soloist, and enrolled at the University of North Caroline School of the Arts.
Patrons attending both performances are invited to attend a family-friendly post-concert reception, immediately following the concert. Performances will be presented with no intermission and one hour earlier than usual to accommodate families and young children. “It’s a wonder-worthy, multi-sensory concert experience for the whole family,” says Maestro Ross.