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North Carolina Symphony Presents World Premiere, Honors New Bern’s 300th Anniversary, Sept. 17-19

The North Carolina Symphony presents the world premiere of a new work by celebrated Welsh composer Gareth Glyn during the 2010-11 season’s opening concert, “Ceremonial Splendor.” Along the way, Music Director Grant Llewellyn takes audiences in New Bern, Wilmington and Chapel Hill on a triumphant symphonic journey from Handel to Tchaikovsky.

The concert debuts outdoors at New Bern’s historic Tryon Palace as part of the city’s 300th anniversary celebrations on Friday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m. The Symphony then presents encore performances in Kenan Auditorium on the UNC-Wilmington campus on Saturday, Sept. 18, and in Memorial Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus on Sunday, Sept. 19. Both weekend concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.

Headlining all three evenings are the world premiere performances of Gareth Glyn’s Enduring City: Portrait of New Bern. One of Britain’s most respected and celebrated living composers, Glyn was commissioned by the New Bern 300th Anniversary Committee and the City of New Bern to mark this year’s 300th anniversary with a symphonic nod to New Bern’s unique history and optimism for the future. The piece, played in one continuous movement, remembers the adventurers who established the city and the places and roles that allowed it to flourish.

“He is a fantastically sincere and genuine and inspired composer,” says Llewellyn of fellow Welshman Glyn, with whom Llewellyn has frequently collaborated. “Just a fantastic craftsman. I can’t wait to see this. It’s sure to be wonderful.”

Evoking within its first three sections fife and drum music, classical minuets, street masquerades, celebratory fanfares and fireworks, among other influences, Enduring City ends with “a steady, lively rhythm,” writes the composer, that “underpins the final section, Confidence, in the present and for the future.”

Mirroring the piece within the concert lineup are two celebratory British anthems. Sir William Walton’s colorful “Orb and Scepter,” written for the coronation of Elizabeth II, evokes New Bern’s legacy as a colonial capital. Then the musical reimagining of the Thames in Handel’s Suite from Water Music perfectly translates to this celebration of New Bern, evoking the vital role North Carolina’s waterways have played in the city’s distinguished history.

The Symphony also presents two American favorites in Copland’s inventive An Outdoor Overture and North Carolina native and Symphony member Terry Mizesko’s Sundays at Shackleford Banks, which paints a vivid portrait of the Outer Banks as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy. Finally, Tchaikovsky’s exhilarating 1812 Overture brings a grand valediction to an evening of powerhouse compositions.

The outdoor concert in Tryon Palace on Friday, Sept. 17, is free and open to the public. Tryon Palace is located at 610 Pollock St. in New Bern

Regular tickets to the Wilmington Series performance on Saturday, Sept. 18, range from $25 to $50. Kenan Auditorium is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington at 601 S. College Road.

Regular tickets to the Duke Medicine Classical Series Chapel Hill performance on Sunday, Sept. 19, range from $30 to $45. Memorial Hall is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on E. Cameron Ave.

For tickets and more information, visit the North Carolina Symphony Web site at www.ncsymphony.org or call 919.733.2750.

Concert/Event Listing:

North Carolina Symphony

Ceremonial Splendor

Grant Llewellyn, Music Director

September 17, 2010, 6:30pm

  • Tryon Palace, New Bern

September 18, 2010, 8pm

  • Kenan Auditorium, UNC-Wilmington

September 19, 2010, 8pm

  • Memorial Hall, UNC- Chapel Hill

Program Listing:

The Star-Spangled Banner
John Stafford Smith/arr. Damrosch/Sousa

Schweizer Psalm (The Swiss Psalm)*
Leonhard Widmer

Orb and Scepter (1953)
Sir William Walton (1902–1983)

Suite No. 2 in D Major from Water Music (1717)
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Enduring City: Portrait of New Bern (2010, World Premiere)
Gareth Glyn (b. 1951)
Founding – Tryon Palace – Conflict and Reconciliation – Confidence

An Outdoor Overture (1938)
Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

Sundays at Shackleford Banks (2006)
Terry Mizesko (b. 1946)

Overture 1812, Op. 49 (1880)
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)

* September 17 concert only.

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1 Response

  1. Great to see you performed the Damrosch-Sousa ‘Star Spangled Banner.” I wasn’t aware it had been arranged for orchestra, having played it in band arrangements for years.

    Have you ever heard the Toscanini arrangement? It is the only one that rivals the Sousa, to me.

    David Hughes
    Solo Clarinet
    Loudoun (Virginia) Symphony Orchestra