I am so pleased and honored to be named Music Director of the Adrian Symphony Orchestra. During my week there in April, it was clear that this is a special organization made up of outstanding and passionate musicians and a dedicated and skilled staff. I was also struck by the fantastic and invested board of directors and the passionate community support the orchestra enjoys. I look forward to making music with the orchestra and continuing the work of making deep connections between the orchestra and the greater community.
We have a thrilling season planned and I’m particularly excited about the opening concert where we will showcase this great orchestra. With music selected to give every single member of the orchestra their opportunity to shine, our concert makes its way through some of the most popular and most beloved American works for orchestra. Even the tuba player gets his moment, with two short solos in “An American in Paris!” .
Our orchestra season in Adrian closes with two works that we’re inspired by visual works of art. Bernstein’s 2nd Symphony was inspired both by Auden’s long form poem “The Age of Anxiety,” which wrestles with the struggles of loneliness in the modern age. Bernstein felt the work was also inspired by Hopper’s “Nighthawks” painting, depicting three lonely souls in an otherwise deserted New York City bar, late in the evening. Scored for piano and orchestra, this work has everything, wandering and lost opening in the clarinets, a jazzy, relentless middle section for combo and percussion, which finally leads to solace and resolution in a glorious finale.
Act 2 brings out the big guns, with the orchestra showpiece, “Pictures at an Exhibition” in the dazzlingly colorful and evocative orchestration by Maurice Ravel. This cross-cultural collection of shorts wraps up with one of the most famous melodies in classical music, with “The Great Gate of Kiev” ringing in the end of the orchestra’s 2019-2020 season.
Adrian Symphony Orchestra
Bruce Anthony Kiesling, conductor
Andrew Tyson, piano