Friday, 16 August 2013 10:48

Philadelphia Orchestra Readies for Final Week at SPAC

By Staff Report | Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Philadelphia Orchestra moves into its second week at Saratoga Performing Arts Center to continue its extraordinary season of classical and contemporary programs.

Highlights of upcoming performances include: the 100th Anniversary performance of The Rite of Spring, a Saratoga premiere by banjo master Béla Fleck, foremost soloists including Sarah Chang and Johannes Moser, and a multi-media concert featuring Disney’s Fantasia. The Orchestra’s Saratoga residency culminates with the Saturday, August 24 “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” with fireworks, the traditional finale to the season. 

100th Anniversary of The Rite of Spring, August 17

In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s tradition-shattering masterpiece, The Rite of Spring, the Orchestra will present a performance of the work on August 17 with Gianandrea Noseda on the podium. Originally written by Stravinsky for Sergei Diaghilev’s groundbreaking Ballets Russes, the premiere of the piece in Paris in 1913 provoked outrage and riotous protests from the audience. Yet less than a year later at its performance as an orchestral concert piece, the same composition elicited rapturous response. Since that time, it has been generally recognized as one of the seminal works of the 20th century. 

Béla Fleck Premieres Concerto for Banjo & Orchestra, August 21

Béla Fleck, widely considered to be the premiere banjo player in the world, makes his debut appearance with The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC on Wednesday, August 21, performing the Saratoga premiere of his Concerto for Banjo—one of the first written for the instrument. Fleck performed the world premiere of the work in September 2011 to critical acclaim including one reviewer who called the work, “beautifully idiomatic and breathtakingly virtuosic…”

Johannes Moser with The Philadelphia Orchestra, August 22 

German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, who impressed SPAC audiences last season with his virtuosity, returns as the soloist for a program led by Giancarlo Guerrero. Hailed by Gramophone as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists,” Moser’s reputation for exquisite performances of lesser-known repertoire and an affinity for new music have given him the opportunity to perform world premieres of several works for the cello and electric cello.

Disney’s Fantasia, August 23 

The magic of Disney’s FANTASIA, the 1940 groundbreaking marriage of symphonic music and animation that has evolved into a classic, comes to SPAC’s Amphitheatre on Friday, August 23. Musical excerpts will be performed as corresponding film sequences are projected onto SPAC’s cinema screens. 

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