The North Carolina Symphony, under the baton of Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, honors a pair of remarkable milestones late next month, as the orchestra's 80th Anniversary Season includes a concert to commemorate Beaufort County's 300th year. The free performance, held in Festival Park in Washington, N.C., tonight, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m., features an energetic concert program inspired by Symphony milestones.
The evening recognizes the orchestra's tradition of performing American works, including Percy Grainger's Spoon River, a favorite in the Symphony's earliest days. Also featured in the performance is a movement from Terry Mizesko's Sketches from Pinehurst, a major commission and world premiere by the Symphony in 2005 that honored the U.S. Open held at the famous North Carolina golf resort. Mizesko, a native of Morehead City, N.C., is also the orchestra's bass trombonist.
Beaufort County concertgoers will delight in Johann Strauss's irresistible Accelerations Waltz, a work often featured on the Symphony's Education Concerts. Those free performances, the cornerstone of one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra, have been an unforgettable introduction to live classical music for countless North Carolina students over the past 80 years.
Also included is music by American composers Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Scott Joplin, as well as the Largo and Molto vivace movements from Antonín Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World." The Symphony's performance of the immensely popular "New World" Symphony in February 2012 was hailed as an "unforgettable" presentation by "THE cultural treasure of our state" in Classical Voice North Carolina.
"The Largo was taken very slowly," the review continued, "as slowly as possible, perhaps, and the result was absolutely sublime – a vast and moving expanse, a deep spiritual journey."
The concert is a highlight of the orchestra's 2012/13 concert season, which includes four performances in New Bern's Riverfront Convention Center. This year's New Bern Series features a visit by world-renowned violinist Lara St. John in an inventive new take on Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
The orchestra's 2012/13 New Bern appearances also include its popular Holiday Pops performance, as well as classical music masterworks such as Brahms's First Symphony, Mozart's Overture to The Marriage of Figaro and Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" Symphony.
Subscriptions to the Symphony's 2012/13 New Bern Series and its concert series in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, Southern Pines and Wilmington are currently available online at www.ncsymphony.org/subscriptions or by calling the North Carolina Symphony Box Office at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724. Individual concert tickets are also on sale.
Festival Park is located at 119 E. Water St. in Washington, N.C. The performance is presented in partnership with Beaufort County's 300th Anniversary Committee and in conjunction with Beaufort County's tercentennial celebrations. Commemorative events in Festival Park today, Sept. 22 begin at 4:00 p.m.