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Saturday, December 22, 2012

New series for the ASO

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra introduces a new three-concert chamber orchestra series in Little Rock. ASO’s Stella Boyle Smith Intimate Neighborhood Concert Series features an opportunity for concertgoers to hear works in unique acoustical settings just like the composers intended.

“We are very excited to be able launch the new Stella Boyle Smith I.N.C. Intimate Neighborhood Concert Series. Our mission is to engage, inspire, connect, and advance Arkansas through the power of music. These concerts achieve each point. Performing in churches will allow the audience to hear the music of Mozart, Rossini and Vaughan Williams in intimate spaces that allow the music to be felt, absorbed, and experienced. To accommodate busy work weeks, these concerts will be short. For those that want to socialize, the musicians will stay after the performance to connect with the audience over refreshments,” said Christina Littlejohn, Executive Director. 

Capacity is limited. There will be two general admission seating sections. Premium section subscriptions are $52.50 and Regular section subscriptions are $37.50 for all three concerts. Single tickets are $35 and $25. Tickets for students and active military are $10. Tickets can be purchased online starting January 1, 2013 at, over the phone at (501) 666-1761, or at the door.

2013 Stella Boyle Smith Intimate Neighborhood Concert Series
January 17, at 7 p.m. Pulaski Heights Methodist Church
Featuring Justin Bischof, organ
     ROSSINI: Barber of Seville: Overture
     POULENC: Concerto for Organ
     IVES: The Unanswered Question
     MOZART: Symphony No. 35 in D, “Haffner”

March 14, at 7 p.m. Christ Church
Featuring Quapaw Quartet, Rockefeller Quartet, and Beth Wheeler, English horn
     ELGAR: Introduction and Allegro, op. 47
     HIGDON: Soliloquy
     VAUGHN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
     BARTOK: Romanian Folk Dances

Mozart Requiem with Arkansas Chamber Singers: May 16, at 7 p.m. First United Methodist Church
Featuring Arkansas Chamber Singers with John Erwin, ACS Music Director
     MOZART: Requiem

Philip Mann, Music Director

Hailed by the BBC as a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” American conductor Philip Mann is quickly gaining a worldwide reputation as an “expressively graceful yet passionate” artist with a range spanning opera, symphonic repertoire, new music, and experimental collaborations.  Philip is in his third season as Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which has seen audience and artistic growth, new energy, and financial health under his tenure.  Formerly as the San Diego Symphony’s Associate Conductor, he conducted hundreds of performances of Jacobs Subscription Masterworks, Symphony Exposed, family, young people’s concerts, Kinder Konzert, pops, and other special programs and projects.  As an American Conducting Fellow, the San Diego Union Tribune raved, “Mann was masterful… a skilled musical architect, designing and executing a beautifully paced interpretation, which seemed to spring from somewhere deep within the music rather than superimposed upon it.”

As winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, Mann has relationships with orchestras and operas worldwide: including the Cleveland Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Opera, and the National Symphony of Cyprus. His recent Beethoven 9 was described as “Titanic” and his Canadian debut with the OSQ was dubbed by Le Soleil as a “Tour de Force” and led to an immediate reengagement in 2013.  Other upcoming engagements include the Grand Rapids Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society of NY, and the Georgian State Opera. Previously, the music director of the Oxford City Opera and Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, he has also held conducting positions with the Music in the Mountains Festival and Indianapolis Symphony. Mann has worked with leading artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Dmitri Alexeev, Midori,  and Marvin Hamlisch and has given premiers of major composers including John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Torke, Lucas Richman, and many others.   He maintains a lively schedule as a guest conductor having conducted at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall and London’s Barbican Center.

Elected a Rhodes Scholar, Mann studied and taught at Oxford, and has served as assistant conductor to Franz Welser-Möst, Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Jaime Laredo, Mario Venzago, Bramwell Tovey, Pinchas Zukerman, and many others. At Oxford, he won the annual competition to become principal conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia. Under his leadership, the Philharmonia’s performances and tours received international press and acclaim. Mann studied with Alan Hazeldine of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music, and Marios Papadopolous of the Oxford Philomusica. He worked with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center’s National Conducting Institute and Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. Mentorship with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jorma Panula followed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Conducting Masterclasses, and Robert Spano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s international Mozart Requiem masterclass for the League of American Orchestras annual conference. He has also worked under Imre Pallo, David Effron, John Poole, and Thomas Baldner at Indiana University, where he was appointed visiting lecturer in orchestral conducting, and worked as assistant conductor at the IU Opera Theater. Additional studies came under the Bolshoi Theater’s music director, Alexander Vedernikov at the Moscow State Conservatory, Gustav Meir, Kenneth Keisler, and with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward. He is the recipient of numerous awards including commendations from several cities, and the state of California.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 47th season in 2012-2013 under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than thirty concerts each year for more than 42,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series and River Rhapsodies Chamber Series, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 24,000 school children and over 200 schools.

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