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Juneau Symphony to perform Brahms in Juneau and Sitka

Posted: March 28, 2012 - 11:06pm

The Juneau Symphony will present their fourth concert of the 2011-12 season, “Brahms: The Romantic Symphony,” in both Juneau and Sitka. They will perform at the Juneau Douglas High School Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, then take the orchestra on tour for a 7:30 p.m. performance at the Sitka Performing Arts Center on April 1. The last (and only) Juneau Symphony concert in Sitka was in 1970.

The concerts will feature guest artist George Jones, a student at Sitka High School and winner of the Symphony’s 2011 Youth Solo Competition.

The program will begin with “Danzón No. 2” by contemporary Mexican composer Arturo Marquez. It is among the most popular Latin American orchestral works to emerge since the 1950s, and was made especially famous in recent years by conductor Gustavo Dudamel performing the piece with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

Youth soloist George Jones will play his winning piece from the 2011 Youth Solo Competition, Grondahl’s Concerto for Trombone. Jones is currently finishing his senior year at Sitka High School where he plays tenor trombone in the Symphonic Band and Jazz Band, and can also be seen singing bass in the Vocal Jazz Choir.

Completing the program will be Brahms’s First Symphony, a favorite of conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett because “it is the perfect combination of head and heart.” Brahms’s First Symphony is frequently compared to Beethoven’s fIfth and ninth Symphonies and was once (much to the chagrin of its composer) hailed as Beethoven’s “tenth symphony”. The Juneau Symphony has never before performed a Brahms Symphony, though they have played other Brahms works, most recently the German Requiem in 2009.

Saturday’s concert in Juneau will include a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. At these lectures Kyle Wiley Pickett leads an in-depth discussion about the music and composers of the concert, often providing anecdotes and historical details not found in the printed program notes.

Tickets for the symphony’s Juneau show are on sale at Hearthside Books, the JACC, online and at the door. Tickets for the Sitka show are on sale at Old Harbor Books and at the door.

The Juneau Student Symphony will also be performing in Sitka on April 1 for their annual spring tour, the final concert of the JSS season. The Student Symphony will reprise their favorite pieces from the 2011-12 season in a joint performance with the Sitka Youth Orchestra. The Juneau Student Symphony is led by music director Rick Trostel. Their concert will be at 4 p.m. at the Sitka Performing Arts Center. Admission is pay-as-you-can.

For more information visit www.juneausymphony.org.

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