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North Carolina Symphony Announce Stravinsky, Shostokovitch & More for 2012/13 Season

The North Carolina Symphony's 80th Anniversary Season will include classical music favorites, multimedia programming and new collaborations with artists from across the country and the world.

"As always," says Music Director Grant Llewellyn, "there is an overall structure to the season, anchored by significant programs with powerful themes running through them. The works we will perform are chosen from the very core of our orchestral catalogue."

A Gala Event on June 7 will kick off the orchestra's 80th anniversary season.

In the coming season, Grant Llewellyn's examination of the works of Gustav Mahler contunues with the Song of the Earth (Das Lied von der Erde).

"Mounting a cycle of all of Mahler's major orchestral works is at the height of any conductor and orchestra's ambition, and of course we here in North Carolina are no exception," says Llewellyn. "Our journey began in my first year here with Mahler's First Symphony, and has led us through both the briar patches and glorious vistas of his Second, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Symphonies together. Song of the Earth is every bit their musical equal, although it is a slightly different animal – it reminds us again that at his core Mahler was first and foremost a writer of songs."

Concerts in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, Nov. 16-18, 2012, featuring Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad," will explore the significance of this important work with a week of activities and events. While experts still disagree on the composer's underlying message, pre- and post-concert discussions, chamber music performances, symposia and other ancillary opportunities will add to the richness of our investigation into this powerful masterpiece.

The Symphony will honor the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with concerts in Fayetteville and Raleigh, Feb. 21-23, 2013. The performance features noted photochoreographer James Westwater's evocative, multi-image photo essay "The Eternal Struggle," set to Aaron Copland's moving Lincoln Portrait and narrated by Symphony radio broadcast voice and former Good Morning America host David Hartman.

Additional events during the week will supplement our understanding of the Civil War, the Lincoln presidency and the civil rights movement, including a program designed specifically for middle and high school students.

The 2012/13 Raleigh Classical Series begins and ends with 100th anniversary celebrations. In opening concerts on Sept. 13-15, 2012, we mark the centenary of Ravel's passionate Daphnis et Chloe and cap the season May 16-18, 2013, with the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky's ground-breaking ballet, The Rite of Spring.

With its innovative, jagged rhythmic structures and use of alien harmonies, The Rite of Spring signaled, some say, the birth of modern music. The work, and the eponymous Nijinsky choreography, famously caused a riot during the Paris premiere 100 years ago, beginning with shouted arguments among concertgoers, escalating to fistfights in the aisles and finally ending, more or less, with the arrival of the Paris police at intermission. North Carolina concertgoers will have multiple opportunities to learn more about this work and how it influenced the composition of new music throughout the 20th century.

Other highlights from the season's repertoire include some of the most inspiring and best-loved works of the orchestral canon, including Handel's Messiah; Mozart's Symphonies No. 25 and No. 35, "Haffner;" Brahms' Requiem and Symphony No. 2; Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade; Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 and Elgar's Enigma Variations.

Audiences will hear piano works by Rachmaninoff, Bartók, Stravinsky, Mozart and Mendelssohn, compositions for violin by Kabalevsky, Vivaldi and Piazzolla and a cello concerto by Britten, as well as the two above-mentioned choral works by Handel and Brahms.

North Carolina Symphony musicians Brian Reagin, concertmaster, and Paul Randall, principal trumpet, will be featured soloists this season.

For information about subscription options, dates, times and ticket prices, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at or call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.

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