RI Philharmonic to Present WEST SIDE STORY SYMPHONIC DANCES, 11/14

10/29/15 - East Providence, RI ? On Saturday, November 14, Music Director LARRY RACHLEFF and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Leonard Bernstein's beloved West Side Story Symphonic Dances. Electric violinist TRACY SILVERMAN will make his Philharmonic debut with Seeing is Believing by Nico Muhly, a Providence native. The program also features Ravel'sAlborada del Gracioso and Debussy's La Mer, all beginning at 8:00 pm at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence. The concert is endowed by the Collis family, and Guest Artist Sponsors are Marjorie and Robert Catanzaro. Tickets (starting at $15) are available at tickets.riphil.org, and the RIPO box office at 401.248.7000.

An Amica Rush Hour concert takes place Friday November 13 at 6:30pm. Perfect for families and adults with busy schedules, Amica Rush Hour concerts are relaxed, short and informal featuring selected works from the Saturday Classical concerts.

"This remarkable program of American and French composers begins with a piece by the great Leonard Bernstein: the glorious Symphonic Dances of West Side Story," says music director LARRY RACHLEFF. "West Side Story redefined American musical theater in 1957, and this piece puts together all of the dance music: the mambo and the cha-cha. Next we'll hear from Rhode Island's own Nico Muhly, whose compositions have earned him international fame. This concerto for electric violin and orchestra is an impressionistic work, finding in its essence Nico's view of science and landscape and the sky and the universe. Also impressionistic are the concert's two works by Ravel and Debussy, both written in 1905. Ravel's Alborada del Gracioso is a high-energy festival. We close with Debussy's most famous choreographic-cinematographic work, La Mer, a symphonic voyage into the ocean and its relationship with the sky. These pieces demonstrate how Debussy and Ravel were the fathers of impressionistic composing, sharing much with the paintings of Monet and Van Gogh. Full of sounds, colors and impressions, this concert is a tour de force for the orchestra."


The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School is the largest fully integrated orchestra and music school in the United States. It enriches and transforms Rhode Island and Southern New England through great music performance and education.


2015-2016 is the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's 71st Season and Music Director Larry Rachleff's 20th anniversary with the Orchestra. The eight-concert Saturday TACO Classical Series features world-renowned guest artists including pianists Lilya Zilberstein, Lukas Vondracek and Alexander Toradze, violinists Benjamin Beilman, Angelo Xiang Yu and Tracy Silverman, and cellist Julie Albers. The four-concert Friday Amica Rush Hour Series offers an earlier start time and shorter program with full performances of select repertoire from the Saturday Classical concerts and musical discussion provided by Larry Rachleff and Host Cathy Fuller of WCRB Classical Radio. Four Friday Open Rehearsals offer audience members insight into the collaboration between the conductor, guest artists and Orchestra musicians in an informal environment that is perfect for families. Special Concerts include the perennial holiday favorite Handel's Messiah with The Providence Singers on Saturday, December 12 and a special Gala Evening with Sir James Galway on Wednesday, March 23. Resident Conductor Francisco Noya conducts Link Up Education Concerts that serve over 13,000 elementary school children annually, as well as Summer Pops Concerts in parks across the state. With adult tickets starting at $15 for most concerts, and even better deals for children and students, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra offers affordable cultural entertainment for all.


Now in its 28th year, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School serves approximately 1,500 children, youth and adults every week with lessons, classes and ensembles, and an additional 25,000 students annually through community partnerships, residencies, education concerts and in-school performances. Five youth orchestras, two wind ensembles, eleven jazz ensembles and many chamber music ensembles, in addition to weekly private lessons for many instruments, provide a musical education customized for each student. Graduates of the Philharmonic's Music School and Youth Ensembles have gone on to succeed in many endeavors. Alumni include principal players in the nation's finest orchestras, skilled music educators, esteemed composers and conductors, corporate CEOs, doctors, lawyers, mathematicians, academicians, and a former Miss Universe. As one of the largest community music schools in the nation, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School offers an extensive faculty and one of the finest music education facilities in the Northeast - the Carter Center for Music Education and Performance in East Providence - in addition to a branch in East Greenwich and partner locations throughout the state. A Westerly branch is slated to open in 2016.


Lauded by the BBC as "the greatest living exponent of the electric violin", Tracy Silverman'sgroundbreaking work with the 6-string electric violin defies musical boundaries. The world's foremost concert electric violinist, Silverman has been the subject of several major orchestral commissions composed specifically for and with Tracy: Pulitzer winner John Adams' "The Dharma at Big Sur", premiered with the LA Philharmonic at the gala opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003 and recorded with the BBC Symphony on Nonesuch Records with Adams conducting; legendary "Father of Minimalism" Terry Riley's "The Palmian Chord Ryddle" which Silverman premiered with the Nashville Symphony in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and recorded for Naxos Records; Kenji Bunch's "Embrace", premiered at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall; and Nico Muhly's "Seeing Is Believing", premiered in Carnegie Hall on October 16, 2015.

Formerly first violinist with the innovative Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman was named one of 100 distinguished alumni by The Juilliard School. Shortly after graduating in 1980, Silverman built one of the first-ever 6-string violins and set his own course as a musical pioneer, designing and performing on an instrument that did not previously exist. Silverman's eclectic career has spanned work with the world's finest symphonies and conductors, including Marin Alsop, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Neemi Jarvi; the rock band Guster; jazz legend Billy Taylor; Brazilian percussionist Airto and many others.

While developing this new instrument, Silverman discovered that he had also developed a new approach to string playing. "The additional 2 lower strings open up a door not just to an additional lower register but also, surprisingly, to a new approach to using the bow. The possibility of playing the violin as a chordal instrument like the guitar forced me to imagine a more rhythmic way of using the bow which I call 'Strum Bowing'... My voice as an electric violinist comes from the fact that I have always been interested in non-classical music-rock, jazz, music from India, Africa and Brazil. I entered Juilliard wanting to be the next Jasha Heifetz but I left wanting to be the next Jimi Hendrix. It was actually fortuitous that I couldn't play guitar or saxophone and was limited to finding a way to get all those sounds out of a violin instead. My musical odyssey has brought me full circle-from classical roots to rock and jazz and Brazilian and Indian music and now back to the classical world again with these concertos by John Adams and Terry Riley and Nico Muhly-made all the more sweet for the long journey I took. It took me years to forget everything I learned at Juilliard."

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