Maestro William Henry Curry brings the North Carolina Symphony to three North Carolina communities next month for masterworks by Chopin and Tchaikovsky.
The performances, featuring North Carolina-native John Noel on piano, begin at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford on Thursday, Feb. 2, followed by weekend concerts at Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center in Henderson on Friday, Feb. 3 and Kenan Auditorium, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, on Saturday, Feb. 4. All three concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.
Noel grew up in Henderson and studied piano at the North Carolina School of the Arts, now UNCSA, in Winston-Salem. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, The Juilliard School and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he spent three years in Paris as a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, among other awards, and has been featured in performances in Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Jordan, as well as the United States.
He takes the stage with the Symphony for Chopin’s final composition for piano with orchestral accompaniment, the Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante.
North Carolina concertgoers will not miss out on Chopin’s characteristic keyboard fireworks, however. The piece’s dramatic finish, the grand polonaise, shows off the virtuoso style that made Chopin one of music’s most revered pianists, featuring buoyant, nationalistic themes and a rousing finale.
Perfectly balancing this solo is a unique masterwork from Hungary, Kodály’s lively Dances of Galánta, based on melodies from a Gypsy dance known as the verbunkos. Audiences will also be treated an all-time favorite in Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Fifth Symphony.
Regular tickets to the Sanford performance of “Chopin & Tchaikovsky” on Thursday, Feb. 2 are $23. The Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center is located at 1801 Nash St. in Sanford.
Single tickets to the Wilmington Series performance on Saturday, Feb. 4 range from $33 to $48. Kenan Auditorium is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 601 S. College Road.