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Park Avenue Chamber Symphony Announces 20th Anniversary Season

Park Avenue Chamber Symphony Announces 20th Anniversary Season

The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony (PACS) is riding high these days, its Music Director David Bernard and musicians alike so full of energy and vigour that it comes perhaps as a mild shock to learn that this beloved New York orchestra marks its twentieth year with the 2019/20 season. At a time when some orchestras have settled into a routine, a "that's the way we've always done it" attitude, PACS seems to be reinventing - if not the wheel, then themselves - almost with every season.
Recent years have seen - and continue - a partnership with the pioneering InsideOut Concerts with their immersive orchestra experiences (to feature in two programs this PACS season - see below), the launching of a series of recordings on Recursive Classics that have been applauded by critics in Gramophone, The Arts Desk and elsewhere, and compelling stand-alone events such as their Tribute to Veterans (an event that saw more than 300 musicians on the Carnegie Hall stage, and the New York premiere of Dreams Of The Fallen by Jake Runestad and poet and military veteran Brian Turner). There are more, many more, achievements one could cite, but the coming anniversary season has its own share of fascinations:

'The Sounds Of America' - 23rd November, 2019 (DiMenna Centre for Music, Jon Manasse clarinet, cond. David Bernard) - Barber's Adagio For Strings, Copland's Appalachian Spring and Clarinet Concerto, Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

Jon Manasse played the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at PACS's Avery Fisher Hall debut in 2005 (a performance the New York Times called, "absolutely first-rate"). He returns with the Copland concerto as part of an American-themed program. The Copland will also be recorded (in separate sessions) for future release with Recursive Classics, produced by Grammy-winner Adam Abeshouse.

Enhancing the event, WQXR presenter and stage director Elliott Forrest will be specially creating a visual montage to accompany Copland's Appalachian Spring in this concert.
Please note, this will be an experiential InsideOut Concerts event, with the audience seated amongst the musicians; the family event (young children welcome) is at 2pm, the full works event at 5pm.

'Wolfgang's World' - 8th February, 2020 (DiMenna Centre for Music, New Amsterdam Singers, cond. David Bernard)

A musical narrative through Mozart's life, including selections from chamber music, concerti and symphonies and culminating with several movements from the Requiem featuring the New Amsterdam Singers - who last performed Mozart's Requiem with PACS at their 2005 Avery Fisher Hall debut!

Please note, this will be an experiential InsideOut Concerts event, with the audience seated amongst the musicians; the family event (young children welcome) is at 2pm, the full works event at 5pm.

PACS 20th Anniversary Gala - 17th May, 2020 (Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P.Rose Hall, Mischa Dichter piano, cond. David Bernard) - Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5, Brahms's Symphony No.3

PACS returns to one of its favourite venues for its 20th anniversary gala, the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, where they performed the Wagner/Maazel Ring Without Words - to which the same composer's Prelude and Liebestod in this concert is a nod. Beethoven, whose Fifth Piano Concerto is performed here by the great Mischa Dichter, is an important part of the PACS history - David Bernard and the orchestra recorded a complete cycle of his symphonies.

Special Music School Concerto Concert - 14th June, 2020 (DiMenna Center for Music, cond. David Bernard)

Continuing PACS's collaboration with Special Music School, the school's competition winners will be offered the valuable opportunity to perform movements of concertos with the full orchestra.

The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1999 as a chamber-music group at a festival in Cape Cod. Over time, as the intensity of their commitment grew, so did the membership, from just five people to a full symphony orchestra. By 2001, the group gave its first concert as the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony - to an enthusiastic audience in New York City. Over 20 years, PACS grew and thrived under the leadership of Music Director David Bernard - performing in Carnegie Hall five times, giving multiple performances at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Rose Theater, a nine-city tour of China, and making multiple recordings released on the Recursive Classics label.

Over the years they have collaborated with leading musicians and presenters, including Jon Manasse, Jeffrey Biegel, Whoopi Goldberg, the West Point Glee Club, Anthony McGill, Stanley Drucker, Elliott Forrest and (leading astrophysicist) Jackie Faherty. Among the many fine reviews, their recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony under Bernard was lauded by Gramophone - "Bernard and his musicians frequently shed new and valuable light on a thrice-familiar emerge like newly scrubbed details in a restored painting".

Photo Credit: Matt Dine

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