Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Wraps Up 2017-2018 Season

Pictured L-R: Marty Read (former MSO Board Member), Jeffrey Parker (MSO Board President), and Andrea Barnes (Former MSO Board President).

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO) celebrated the culmination of its 2017-2018  season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD with a post-concert gourmet dinner in the Atrium of the Todd Performing Arts Center created in the college’s teaching kitchen by Easton’s chef Hugo Ruesgas from Mason’s Redux 2017.

The MSO, whose mission is “to enrich life in the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of live classical music,” is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc. For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

MSO Brings Pianist Leon Fleisher and Soprano Brandie Sutton to Shore

The culmination of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD, will occur in April on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. On Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD and on Sunday, April 22, at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m. at the Convention Center in Ocean City, MD, the MSO will present, “Heavenly Music: Mahler and Leon Fleisher.”  The concerts will feature Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, followed by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, performed by Leon Fleisher. The concert will conclude with Gustav Mahler’s heavenly Symphony No. 4.

Leon Fleisher began playing the piano at the age of 4 and gave his first recital at the age of 6. After winning the Queen Elizabeth competition in Belgium in 1952, he achieved international acclaim over the next decade and made many recordings, some considered “definitive.” In the mid 1960’s, however, Fleisher was stricken with a debilitating condition of his right hand which forced him to withdraw from public performance and concentrate on conducting. In 1970 he was appointed Music Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and in 1973 became Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

His condition was final diagnosed as focal distonia and eventually treated with Botox, with considerable relief. He was able to return to Carnegie Hall for a historic recital in 2003. His disc, “Two Hands,” was well received and extensively praised by the critics. In 2007, he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honors award and has continued his long association with many prestigious institutions, including the Tanglewood Music Center, Peabody Conservatory, the Curtis Institute and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada.

Hailed by The New York times for her “warm, ample voice” and “distinctive earthy coloring,” and by Opera News for her “sumptuous, mid-weight soprano,” Brandie Sutton began her professional career with a solo recital in the province of St. Maarten and many presentations of Handel’s Messiah around the United States. She later made her debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in a solo recital in Washington, DC, and her Manhattan recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall in Lincoln Center.

Sutton has toured and soloed with the internationally-acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey and with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the baton of Damien Sneed. Most recently, she was one of Aretha Franklin’s picks in her national competition to find the next opera star to sign to her label. Sutton believes that she was blessed with a gift from God. She continues to work hard to develop and perfect this gift and share it with the world.

The MSO will host two optional post-concert gourmet dinners after the April concerts. The dinner in Wye Mills, which will be served in the Atrium of the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College, is being created in the college’s teaching kitchen by Easton’s chef Erin O’Shea from Mason’s – Redux 2017. The dinner in Ocean City will be served at the Clarion Hotel. The cost for both dinners is in addition to the concert ticket price and reservations are required.

​The MSO, whose mission is “to enrich life in the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of live classical music,” is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc. Tickets to the concerts and post-concert dinners are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Offers Thematic Approach to Winter Concerts

Dan Visconti

The only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is celebrating “Reaching Ever Higher,” 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD. On Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, and on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m., the MSO will present “A Roaring Movies Valentine” at Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD. The concerts will celebrate romance with silent movies and the music of the Roaring Twenties.

On Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Easton Church of God in Easton, MD; on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at2:15 p.m. at Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, DE; and on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m. at Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD, the MSO will present “In Their Twenties.” The first half of the concerts will feature Phil Munds on the French Horn performing Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, in conjunction with a composition titled “Black Bend” (2005) by composer Dan Visconti, which was originally commissioned by the Cleveland Museum of Art and first presented in a version for string quartet. The piece, which takes its inspiration from an old ghost story about a train derailment and a supposedly haunted stretch of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, features many special techniques in order for the unamplified stringed instruments to produce a raw, distorted tone more typical of electric guitars. “In Their Twenties,” will also feature George Bizet’s “Symphony No. 1” on the second half, who along with Mozart, both composed when they were in their twenties.

The MSO, whose mission is “to enrich life in the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of live classical music,” is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc. Tickets to the concerts are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Holiday Season

The only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is celebrating 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD.

Audiences can ring in the holiday season with “Holiday Joy,” in early December celebrating the spirit of the holidays with traditional seasonal favorites. The concerts will be held on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Avalon Theater in Easton, MD; Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 3 p.m. at the Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, DE; and Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 3 p.m. at the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD. The concerts will feature such favorites as “Sleighride,” selections from Handel’s “Messiah,” Wendel’s “Hanukah Overture,” and selections from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” as well as familiar carols and hymns. Soloists include Leah Hawkins, Soprano; Joe Burgstaller, Trumpet; and Chaz’man Williams-Ali, Tenor.

Pictured are soloists for the Mid-Atlantic Symphony’s “Toast to the New Year” concerts: Sharin Apostolou, Soprano and Ryan McPherson, Tenor.

The orchestra’s “Toast to the New Year” will celebrate the New Year with revelry and music on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The concerts will be held on Sunday, December 31, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Christ Church in Easton, MD; Monday, January 1, 2018 at 1 p.m. at the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD. The concerts will feature such compositions as Fledermaus Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – Second Movement, 2nd; a duet from “West Side Story,”  “Nocturne from a Midsummer Night’s Dream,” along with an “Auld Lang Syne” sing-along. Soloists include Sharin Apostolou, Soprano and Ryan McPherson, Tenor.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.

Tickets to the MSO concerts are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra 20th Anniversary Fall Concerts

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), the only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, continues its 20th anniversary season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” with performances at the Easton Church of God in Easton, MD on Thursday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m.; at Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, DE on Saturday, November 4 at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m.; and at the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD on Sunday, November 5 at 3 p.m. with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m. The fall concert program, “Autumn Legends,” will feature “Symphony No. 45” by Joseph Haydn, “Autumn Legend” by William Alwyn, and “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi,.

Franz Joseph Haydn (Austrian, 1732-1809) was born in poverty, but had the gift of music and a beautiful voice.  These gifts won him a position in the boys’ choir at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, with the additional benefits of room and board, music lessons and general education. He worked as a street musician and was asked to write a comic opera. He experimented endlessly with variations to the classical architecture of music, like the sonata form, and added new instruments to his orchestra as they were developed.  Donald Francis Tovey, in his Essays in Musical Analysis, writes about Haydn’s “…dramatic surprise… (where) almost everything is unexpected…”.  This commentary applies well to Symphony No. 45, the most popular of Haydn’s early symphonies.  Haydn gave young Beethoven music lessons, was very fond of Mozart and distraught by his early death.  Haydn was recognized in his lifetime throughout Europe as a master and a legend.

William Alwyn (British, 1905-1985) entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1920 and studied flute and composition.  He played with the London Symphony Orchestra and was Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy.  Alwyn, a poet, artist and leader of musicians’ organizations, was knighted in 1978.  He wrote several operas and symphonies, concertos, quartets, piano music and more than seventy film scores.  His music is often played by the John Wilson orchestra.  Although he experimented with new tonalities, he never quite abandoned the classical harmonies. Autumn Legend, a short work for English horn and orchestra, was written in 1954.  Alwyn said that he was inspired by his love of pre-Raphaelite paintings and the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Antonio Vivaldi (Venetian, 1678-1741) became a priest in 1703, but could not say mass because of asthma.  The following year, he was appointed violinist at the Ospedale della Pieta, one of several organizations in the city that took in orphan girls and gave them a musical education.  Vivaldi became Music Director of La Pieta in 1716.  His contract specified writing two concerti a month for the girls’ orchestra; over his lifetime, he wrote more than five hundred!  Undoubtedly, his most famous work is the collection of violin concerti known as The Four Seasons, written in the early 1720’s, and published in Amsterdam in 1725.  This piece is the most overtly programmatic work written to date, in which the music tries to evoke definite items, situations and experiences.  The Four Seasons is consistently one of the favorite works of the general public and regularly played in Venice’s churches by professional groups.

Featured musicians in the concert include violinist Amos Fayette and Carl Oswald on English Horn. Fayette began his studies with his mother at the age of two.  He continued lessons with various teachers and graduated from The Juilliard School of Music’s Pre-College Division as well as the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been guest concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and has performed various leadership roles in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.

Oswald is a Baltimore native whose performances have spanned the globe.  A graduate of the Yale School of Music, he has appeared as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia and the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly in the Baltimore area with the Annapolis Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony and the Concert Artists of Baltimore, and has appeared with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Princeton Symphony, Hartford Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.

Tickets are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone (888) 846-8600 or at the door. For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 20th Anniversary Season

The only symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is celebrating 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD. This year, in celebration of its 20th year, the MSO will also host a special performance at the French Embassy in Washington, DC and at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD. In addition, the orchestra will perform across the Eastern Shore at the Historic Avalon Theatre, Christ Church and Church of God, all in Easton, MD; the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD; the Mariner’s Bethel Church in Ocean View, DE; and the Ocean City Performing Arts Center within the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD.

Maestro Julien Benichou

According to Maestro Julien Benichou, “The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is on the move and we are proud of the program we have developed for our 20th Anniversary, ‘Reaching Ever Higher!’ season. Our fall program kicks off with ‘East and West of the Rhine’ concerts in late September and early October, featuring the music of Ernest Chausson, Camille Saint-Saéns, Maurice Ravel, and Johannes Brahms.”

Highlights throughout the year include an “Autumn Legends” concert in early November showcasing the works of Vivaldi, Haydn, and Alwyn. Audiences can ring in the holiday season with “Holiday Joy,” in early December celebrating the spirit of the holidays with traditional seasonal favorites. The orchestra’s “Toast to the New Year” will celebrate the New Year with revelry and music on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. For the first year, the MSO will present a February concert, “A Roaring Movies Valentine,” featuring music from the Roaring Twenties and silent pictures. In March, the orchestra will premiere a commission from composer Camila Agosto, a highly inspiring and creative young artist whose music blends acoustic and multimedia elements, in “In Their Twenties,” along with the music of Mozart and Bizet composed when they were also in their twenties. The season finale in April, “Heavenly Music: Mahler, Janice Chandler, and Leon Fleisher,” is a concert not to be missed, including a culminating performance featuring pianist Leon Fleisher.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra

Jeffrey Parker, President of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, comments, “Few communities our size can boast, or sustain, such a cultural undertaking, and although very challenging, we have managed throughout the years with the continuous support of our dedicated and growing audience.”

The MSO’s mission is “to enrich life in the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of live classical music.”  The orchestra performed its first concert, under the direction of founder and Music Director Donald Buxton, at the Ocean City Convention Center on November 21, 1997.  Maestro Buxton conducted the orchestra until June 2005.  Under his tutelage, the MSO established itself as the provider of quality symphonic music throughout the multistate peninsula.  In September 2005, Maestro Julien Benichou assumed the role of MSO Music Director. Benichou, a native of France, has been thrilling audiences with his innovative programming, graceful and expressive style of conducting, and spontaneous communications from the podium.  As a testament to the caliber of the orchestra today, in June 2008, the MSO was invited to perform a pops concert sponsored by the Freeman Foundations.  Since then, the MSO has opened the Freeman Stage’s performance season every year in June and performed the closing concert of the Freeman Stage season on Labor Day weekend. 

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.

Season subscriptions for the 2017 – 2018 season of the MSO are now available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Nice: Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Adds Near $200,000 to Endowment

The Board of Directors of the Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra are pleased to announce that through the very generous gift from the estate of Elizabeth Loker, the Board has been able to add $190,000 to their endowment fund at the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

The recent establishment of this endowment fund and the organization’s ability to continue growing the endowment will further help to secure the healthy financial future of the orchestra. As the orchestra prepares for its 2017-2018 20th Anniversary season, the board of directors hopes to also further increase the endowment fund.

During the 20th anniversary season, the MSO will expand the number of performances to seven concerts in our area. The MSO has also been invited to perform at the French Embassy in Washington, DC as part of their 2017-2018 concert series on Friday, 29th September. The Gala season finale concert will be held at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College on Friday 20th April 2018 and will feature guest pianist Leon Fleisher.

 

Distinguished Soloists to Join Mid Atlantic Symphony

International bassoonist Terry Ewell and acclaimed soprano Jessica Belchicha will join the Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra on March 9, 11 and 12 for concerts to be held at the Church of God in Easton, starting at 7:30 PM, Mariner’s Bethel Church in Ocean View, Delaware at 3:00 PM and Community Church in Ocean Pines, Maryland, at 3:00 PM respectively.

Terry Ewell

Terry Ewell

Mr. Ewell is a recognized performer, scholar, author and pedagogue, who is currently Chairman of the Department of Music at Towson University. Mr. Ewell will be the soloist in Weber’s Andante and Rondo Ungaresco for bassoon and orchestra.

Ms. Belchicha is an established soprano and composer who has sung for the late Pope John Paul II in private audience and made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012. The Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will accompany her in a selection of arias.

Maestro Julien Benichou will lead the orchestra in Franz Schubert’s youthful Symphony No. 5 to conclude the program.

Admission is $38 per person. Tickets may be purchase at Crackerjack’s in Easton, by phone at (888) 846-8600 or electronically by visiting midatlanticsymphony.org.

The Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.– 4 –

 

International Soloists to Perform with MidAtlantic Symphony

baritone-ron-loyd

Baritone Ron Loyd

Acclaimed soprano Colleen Daly and New York baritone Ron Loyd will join Music Director Julien Benichou and the MidAtlantic Symphony Orchestra in a “Holiday Joy” concert on Thursday, December 8, 2016, to be held at the Avalon Theater in Easton, starting at 7:00 P. M.

Ms. Daly holds a Master’s Degree from the Opera Studio at the University of Maryland in College Park and an Artist’s Diploma from the Academy of Vocal Arts. She has sung the roles of Micaela in Carmen, Musetta in La Boheme and Violetta in La Traviata, among others. Her concert appearances include the Verdi, Brahms and Mozart Requiems, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Messiah. She will sing the title role in Baltimore Concert Opera’s 2017 production of Susannah.

A graduate of Texas A & M and currently a resident of New York, Mr. Loyd has been termed “a robust baritone” by the New York Times. He has sung the classic baritone roles of Scarpia, Rigoletto and Macbeth, in addition to Tonio and Leporello, and has an extensive experience in stage musicals such as South Pacific, My Fair Lady and Candide.

soprano-colleen-daly

Soprano Colleen Daly

The program will include selections from Messiah, The Nutcracker, Symphony of Carols, and several traditional holiday tunes like Silent Night, White Christmas and Oh Holy Night.

Tickets for this concert ($45) are available at Crackerjack’s in Easton. Additional information is available at www.midatlanticsymphony.org.

The concert will be repeated at Mariner’s Bethel Church in Ocean View, Delaware on December 9, 2016 at 7 P. M., and at the Community Church in Berlin, Maryland on December 10, 2016 at 3:00 P. M.

On New Year’s Eve, Spanish tenor Israel Lozano will be the guest artist for the Orchestra’s special “First Night with the MSO” concert, which will be held at Christ Church in Easton, Maryland, starting at 7:00 P. M.

Mr. Lozano was born in Madrid, Spain, where he received his early musical education. He holds a degree from the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hospkins University and has collaborated on various projects with Maestro Placido Domingo, particularly after winning three prizes in the Operalia International Opera Competition in 2003. Mr. Lozano has appeared with numerous opera companies, including Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Baltimore Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, Bellas Artes in Mexico and Santiago, Singapore, Vienna and Bangkok. Among his many credits are the principal tenor roles in La Boheme, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly and the legendary Spanish zarzuela, Luisa Fernanda.

tenor-israel-lozano

Tenor Israel Lozano

Maestro Benichou and the MidAtlantic Symphony will accompany Mr. Lozano in a number of arias from the operatic, classical and popular repertoire. The Orchestra will also play various waltzes and other orchestral selections.

This MidAtlantic Symphony Orchestra’s First Night concert is an extraordinary event, not part of the regular subscription series, to be offered only on New Year’s eve in Easton. Admission tickets ($60 general admission, $85 premium seats) may be purchased at Crackerjacks’ or through the MSO website, or by phone (888) 846-8600.

The MidAtlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Season Premiere: ‘Of Tragedy, Love and Victory’ with Felix Hell, Organist

The program showcases three Romantic pieces: Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture, Guilmant’s Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

The concert opens with Tannhäuser Overture, followed by charismatic, Felix Hell who created a sensation here several years ago, and returns to play a lesser known piece on his Touring Organ: Guilmant’s marvelous work for organ and orchestra with its joyous lyricism and virtuosic intensity. A native of Germany, he is one of the most sought after concert organists in the world and, like Guilmant, is an avid supporter of music for the instrument. His concert with the MSO is part of his project, “Music Across America”, which brings the grandeur and majesty of the “King of the Instruments” to spaces without pipe organs.

Felix Hell studied at Juilliard School in New York, Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (BM) and Peabody Institute in Baltimore (AD, MM, DMA). In 2007, he received Johns Hopkins University’s prestigious Outstanding Graduate Award. With a discography of ten recordings, he is known for his marathon performances of the complete organ works of Bach, which he has presented worldwide.

To complete the evening, Maestro Benichou has chosen Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, the highlight of all his symphonies due to the way it continuously builds and spotlights the strengths of each musical section of the orchestra. “All of the musical statements are layers piling up, gaining strength for the last moment of the symphony that is nothing short of brilliant,” states Mary Zerbe.

You can hear this concert, September 29, 2016, 7:30 PM , Easton Church of God, 1009 N. Washington Street. Tickets: Adult $38, retirement home patrons $25, under 18 admitted free with reservations. For additional information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org or call: 1-888-846-8600. Tickets also available at Crackerjacks Toy Store for check or cash.

Other performances: Friday, September 30, 7:30 PM Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD; Sunday October 2 2016 at 3:00 PM Ocean City Performing Arts Center at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center 4001 Coastal Higjway, Ocean City, Maryland.