The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro James Ross continues the 2019-2020 Season on Saturday, November 16, 2019 and Sunday, November 17, 2019 presenting music by Dvořák, Elgar and Boulanger. In his second year as ASO’s Music Director, Ross is revitalizing the symphonic music canon for an unexpected and unconventional concert experience.
“Although the ASO is dead serious about orchestral music and its much-needed humanizing impact in today’s world, we’re not afraid of surprises and presenting concerts that are both fun and moving,” says Ross. One way Ross is changing the traditional symphonic narrative is by re-introducing to the concert hall forgotten and underrepresented voices, like Lili Boulanger.
Opening the November performances, singers from the Alexandria Choral Society and Fairfax Choral Society will join the ASO for Boulanger’s Old Buddhist Prayer. Lili was sister to the more famous Nadia Boulanger, known for her influential pedagogy instruction. Lili composed prolifically to great acclaim in her short life, and she was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome for composition in 1913.
Following the choral opening, cellist Wolfgang Schmidt headlines with Elgar’s melancholy, soulful Concerto Cello in E minor. Schmidt is internationally sought-after as a touring and recording artist as well as conductor. “Wolfgang exudes joy and musical sensitivity,” says Maestro Ross. “He is deeply attracted to nostalgic pieces that require inward reflection. The audience will be drawn in by his intensity.”
The program culminates with Dvořák’s sunny Symphony No. 8 in G major. Composed before his epic move to the new world, the Eighth Symphony is fearlessly optimistic. “Dvořák’s Eighth is full of sunshine, parables, folk dance, forest and perfectly-orchestrated storytelling,” observes Ross.
All patrons attending Saturday’s performance are encouraged to arrive early for a pre-concert chat with Maestro Ross and Wolfgang Schmidt at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium. The ASO will also be collecting food donations from attendees at both performances to contribute to the ALIVE! food bank, benefiting those in need for the approaching holidays.
For tickets and more information, visit www.alexsym.org or call 703-548-0885.