NC Symphony Brings Chopin & Tchaikovsky to Three NC Communities


Maestro William Henry Curry brings the North Carolina Symphony to three North Carolina communities next month for masterworks by Chopin and Tchaikovsky.

The performances, featuring North Carolina-native John Noel on piano, begin at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford on Thursday, Feb. 2, followed by weekend concerts at Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center in Henderson on Friday, Feb. 3 and Kenan Auditorium, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, on Saturday, Feb. 4. All three concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.

Noel grew up in Henderson and studied piano at the North Carolina School of the Arts, now UNCSA, in Winston-Salem. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, The Juilliard School and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he spent three years in Paris as a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, among other awards, and has been featured in performances in Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Jordan, as well as the United States.

He takes the stage with the Symphony for Chopin’s final composition for piano with orchestral accompaniment, the Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante. 

North Carolina concertgoers will not miss out on Chopin’s characteristic keyboard fireworks, however. The piece’s dramatic finish, the grand polonaise, shows off the virtuoso style that made Chopin one of music’s most revered pianists, featuring buoyant, nationalistic themes and a rousing finale.

Perfectly balancing this solo is a unique masterwork from Hungary, Kodály’s lively Dances of Galánta, based on melodies from a Gypsy dance known as the verbunkos. Audiences will also be treated an all-time favorite in Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Fifth Symphony.

Regular tickets to the Sanford performance of “Chopin & Tchaikovsky” on Thursday, Feb. 2 are $23. The Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center is located at 1801 Nash St. in Sanford.

Single tickets to the Wilmington Series performance on Saturday, Feb. 4 range from $33 to $48. Kenan Auditorium is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 601 S. College Road.

For tickets to the above concerts, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at or call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.

The Henderson performance on Friday, Feb. 3 is offered in partnership with the Henderson Community Concert Association as part of its 2011/12 concert series. For more, visit or call 252.430.8640 or 252.492.2954.

Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center is located at 200 Community College Road in Henderson.

Pre-concert talks and “Meet the Artist” events are held before Symphony concerts across the state. These engaging conversations offer a unique perspective on the evening’s featured composers, as well as the chance to ask questions and hear the inside story on what to listen for.

For “Chopin & Tchaikovsky,” Dr. Barry Salwen of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington will present a free pre-concert talk inside Kenan Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 4, beginning at 1:50 p.m.

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks.

Based in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington—as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year—and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.