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American Classics with the North Carolina Symphony | May 13-18

William Henry Curry

Bernstein, Copland, Williams, Mizesko and Curry: Celebrate “American Classics” with the North Carolina Symphony, May 13-18

Maestro William Henry Curry leads the North Carolina Symphony and guest soprano Shana Blake Hill in a statewide celebration of “American Classics,” May 13-18. The homegrown concert features works by three masters—Bernstein, Copland and John Williams—beside evocative compositions by two of the Symphony’s own: bass trombonist Terry Mizesko’s haunting Appalachian Lament from Highland Suite and Curry’s Holiday Songs, including the world premiere of a new movement.

“American Classics” takes place as part of the Symphony’s popular Friday Favorites series at downtown Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, on Friday, May 14, at 11:30 a.m.

The Symphony also performs the concert in Memorial Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday, May 13, at 8:00 p.m.;
in Lee Auditorium at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines on Saturday, May 15, at 8:00 p.m.; in the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern on Sunday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m.; and in Kenan Auditorium on the campus of UNC-Wilmington on Tuesday, May 18, at 8:00 p.m.

The concert begins with Bernstein’s boisterous Overture to Candide and includes John Williams’s celebrated Overture to The Cowboys and the Four Dance Episodes from Copland’s Rodeo.

“It’s a program of music by some of my musical heroes, friends and colleagues,” says Curry. He was Copland’s understudy for a week of concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and he has worked with Williams on several occasions. Of Bernstein, Curry says “he was one of my heroes growing up. I was influenced by his desire to be an all-around musician: composer, conductor, teacher. He was tremendously influential in my life, a role model and an idol of a sort.”

Curry showcases these broad and accomplished skills by leading the Symphony in Holiday Songs, his song cycle for soprano and orchestra based, he says, on the powerful human need to connect with other people. The final movement “Carnival: Mardi Gras 2006,” inspired by the six years Curry lived in New Orleans and the strength and vitality of its people following Hurricane Katrina, receives its world premiere during these performances.

Also on the program is North Carolina-native Terry Mizesko, whose Highland Suite has been a popular favorite since it was first performed by the North Carolina Symphony in May 2004.

“I’m very fond of many of Terry’s pieces,” says Curry. “My favorite is his Appalachian Lament, which I believe is one of the most beautiful adagios in American musical history. A masterpiece.”

Regular tickets to the Friday Favorites performance of “American Classics” on May 14 are $20. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, NC 27601.

Regular tickets to the Classical Series performance in Chapel Hill range from $30 to $45. Memorial Hall is located on E. Cameron Ave, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

Tickets to the performances in Southern Pines and New Bern range from $25 to $40. Lee Auditorium is located in Pinecrest High School, 250 Voit Gilmore Lane, Southern Pines, NC 28387. New Bern Riverfront Convention Center is located at 203 S. Front St., New Bern, NC 28560.

Regular tickets to the performance in Wilmington range from $25 to $45. Kenan Auditorium is on the campus of the University of North Carolina atWilmington at 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403.

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

Concert/Event Listing:

North Carolina Symphony
American Classics

William Henry Curry, Resident Conductor
Shana Blake Hill, soprano

May 13, 2010, 8pm
Memorial Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill

May 14, 2010, 11:30am
Meymandi Concert Hall, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh

May 15, 2010, 8pm
Lee Auditorium, Pinecrest High School, Southern Pines

May 16, 2020, 7:30pm
New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, New Bern

May 18, 2010, 8pm
Kenan Auditorium, UNC-Wilmington, Wilmington

Program Listing:

North Carolina Symphony
American Classics

William Henry Curry, Resident Conductor
May 13-18, 2010

Overture to Candide
Leonard Bernstein

Holiday Songs for Soprano and Orchestra
William Henry Curry
I. Kwanzaa: “Karamu”
II. Christmas: “Snow Is Falling Here”
III. Carnival: “Mardi Gras 2006”
Shana Blake Hill, soprano

The Cowboys Overture*
John Williams

Appalachian Lament from Highland Suite
Terry Mizesko

Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Aaron Copland
I. Buckaroo Holiday
II. Corral Nocturne
III. Saturday Night Waltz*
IV. Hoe Down

* will not be performed during the May 14 concert.

The May 14 concert will be performed without an intermission.

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