Canton Symphony Opens 76th Season with 'Scottish Fantasy' Tonight
What do a world-renowned violinist, a bagpipe band, an inspiration by the Palace of Holyrood in Scotland, and the Canton Symphony Orchestra have in common? They will share the stage tonight, October 6 to open the orchestra's 76th season. The night has been tabbed as the "Scottish Fantasy."
Continuing its legacy as one of the premiere orchestras in the country, performing world-class music with world-class guest artists, this opening concert features guest violinist William Preucil, Concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. The program will feature Preucil performing the Scottish Fantasy by Bruch. The concert will also include two other "Scottish" themed pieces by Mendelssohn and Benjamin.
Preucil was appointed Concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1994. He has appeared regularly as a soloist with the orchestra in concerto performances at both Severance Hall and Blossom. He also has made solo appearances with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Hong Kong, Minnesota, Rochester, and Taipei.
To ensure the concert has the most rich, authentic Scottish flair, the orchestra also invited the Celtic Eagle Pipe Band to perform. Under the direction of Pipe Major Timothy Wiley, members BrIan McElhinney, Kate Wiley, and Rick Schwenning are a local bagpipe band who have performed across the United States and competed at many Highland Games. Ranked the best pipe band in the Ohio Valley and in the top 20 nationally, they will perform on Marches and Airs, which was composed in 1999 by local composer and previous Canton Youth Symphony director Eric Benjamin. "For much of this piece, I imagined what it would be like to score a Scots-themed movie," noted Benjamin. "The challenge was in contriving music for orchestral instruments that is audible against the sound of even one piper."
The Mendelssohn symphony to be performed is referred to as the "Scotch Symphony," which was inspired by his visit to the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh. He wrote of its broken-down chapel in 1829, "I believe I found in that old chapel the beginning of my Scotch symphony." While Mendelssohn denied writing a "Scottish" national theme, some have heard recollections of Scottish bagpipe tunes in this symphony; others have found its dark-colored first movement to be a depiction of Scotland's desolate moors and mist-enshrouded highlands; still others have taken the final movement to represent the gathering of the clans.
Opening night will prove to be an amazing collection of talent gathered to perform some highly anticipated music. "We really have a world-class orchestra - really an amazing gift for small town America," noted Mr. Adrian Allison, Superintendent of The Canton City School District. With musicians from across the globe, many who study at the Cleveland Institute of Music (where Preucil also instructs), the Canton Symphony Orchestra boasts one of the best small town orchestras in the country.
Tickets for the concert range from $25-$45. There are senior, student and group discounts available. Dress is casual and the concert is appropriate for ages 8 and older. Tickets and the full concert season schedule are available online atwww.CantonSymphony.org, by calling 330-452-2094, at the box office window located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts (weekdays 10am-2pm), or by walk-up. Some concerts do sell out in advance.
The orchestra has also implemented "Student Rush" pricing this year. Beginning one hour prior to any MasterWorks concert, students may purchase any available ticket for only $10 when they show a valid student ID at the Box Office.
Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (at McKinley High School across from C.T. Branin Natatorium). Parking at McKinley High School is free. For more information, please visitwww.CantonSymphony.org.