Featuring Internationally Acclaimed British Pianist Simon Mulligan on Novevember 16 at Walton Arts Center
The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) kicks off its 2013-14 Season under the baton of renowned Music Director Paul Haas at 7:30p.m. on Saturday, November 16 at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.
The first of a five-concert season, the Masterworks I Saturday evening performance will include Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C major, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major featuring internationally acclaimed and award-winning British pianist Simon Mulligan.
Described by The Times of London as “the most abundantly gifted of pianists,” Simon Mulligan performs and records internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in many diverse genres. He has performed at every major international venue as well as the Grammy Awards, for Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family, and for President Barack Obama.
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major is an explosive work that both intimidates pianists and captivates audiences. “I’m thrilled to be working with an artist of Simon’s caliber,” says Haas. “He’s an astonishingly gifted musician, and he’s collaborated with some of today’s biggest names in the industry, including touring with violinist Joshua Bell … he is also a wonderful human being, and I can’t wait to introduce him to Northwest Arkansas.”
Barber’s Adagio for Strings is one of those pieces that absolutely everyone knows, but maybe they don’t know they know. It was featured in Oliver Stone’s Platoon, as well as some other movie soundtracks, and it was played at JFK’s funeral. One of the reasons why it’s so compelling (and so tragic!) is that it follows the course of a human life. “It’s an extended inhale building to a peak,” Haas explains, “followed by a receding exhale, and then utter peace — it’s the peace afterward that comforts us, makes us want to hear it again.”
Schubert’s “Great” Symphony is one of the most popular pieces of all time. “It has everything,” Haas adds, “from extraordinary beauty to thrills and blinding momentum—it’s also a colorful showcase for SoNA, Northwest Arkansas’ polished professional orchestra.”
The Masterworks I concert begins at 7:30p.m., and is sponsored by The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. A Creative conversation with Maestro Paul Haas will be held at 6:45p.m. in Starr Theater.
To purchase single tickets ($28, $38, $48), please call the Walton Arts Center box office at 479.443.5600 or visit www.sonamusic.org for online ticketing options. Season subscriptions ($115, $165, $215) include all five concerts and a savings of $5 per ticket, per concert. Children age 7-17 tickets are also available for $5 each with the purchase of an adult ticket, and college student tickets are available for $10 each with a valid student ID. Groups of 10 or more receive a 10 percent discount.
For more information, including the full season concert lineup, visit www.sonamusic.org.