June 13, 2011

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-2012 season will be particularly meaningful as the ASO celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing orchestral music in the Annapolis community.  The ASO will highlight the past, present and future of the organization throughout the season with a full series of concerts led by Music Director José-Luis Novo.  The season will conclude with a gala anniversary weekend of concerts at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts featuring pianist Rachel Franklin and at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Maryland College Park featuring world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.

As part of the festivities, the ASO will be pleased to welcome Latin Grammy Award winner, Gabriela Lena Frank, as Composer-in-Residence.  Through a grant from Music Alive awarded to the ASO, Ms. Frank will create two new works to help the ASO celebrate its 50th anniversary over the 2011-2013 seasons.  She will also be deeply integrated into the Annapolis community through multiple engagements such as educational activities and collaborative partnerships.

Concertgoers can purchase a variety of packages from a full Lexus Classic Concert Series or flexible three or four-concert packages.  Special student rates are also available.  Special for the 50th anniversary season, first-time subscribers receive a 50% discount on Classic Series subscriptions.  As the premiere performing arts organization in Anne Arundel County, the ASO’s orchestra members include some of the finest musicians throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, and regularly features internationally acclaimed guest artists.


The ASO is excited to announce that the 2011 Lexus Summer Series, Pops in the Park, will return on Labor Day Weekend with a concert to kick off the 50th Anniversary Season of the ASO.  This concert is presented free of charge on September 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm at the Quiet Waters Park amphitheater.  A rain date is scheduled for September 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm.  Food concessions will be available at the park.  Feel free to bring a picnic but alcohol is prohibited.


September 23 and 24 8 PM

The season opens at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts with Narong Prangcharoen’s Phenomenon, Richard Strauss’ Don Juan and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.  Mr. Prangcharoen was the winner of the ASO’s first Composer Competition and the orchestra recorded his piece Tri-Sattawat on their first professionally produced CD.

November 18 and 19 at 8:00 PM

This concert features renowned violist, Roberto Diaz performing Gabriela Frank’s, La Llorona.  In addition to being an active chamber musician and soloist, Mr. Diaz holds the prestigious position of President and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music.  The program also includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 2 and the Maurice Ravel orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

February 17 and 18 at 8:00 PM

This program features Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un Faune (Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun), Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes and Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 4.

March 23 and 24 at 8:00 PM

The ASO will start the program with Theophanis Dymiotis’s Suite for Strings.  A musician who excelled both as a composer and violinist, Dymiotis was born in Cyprus in 1965 and was graduated with honors from Cambridge University and from Princeton with a PhD in music composition.  Dr. Dymiotis played in many orchestras, including the ASO, before a tragic car accident in 2007 took his life.  The remainder of the program includes Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds featuring members of the ASO, and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, Scottish.


The ASO will end its 50th Anniversary Season with two very special concerts.  On Friday May 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm, pianist Rachel Franklin will join the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts to perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.  British-born pianist Rachel Franklin is much in demand as performer, music lecturer and teacher.  As a Pro Musicis International Award winner, she gave her solo debuts in Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, and Jordan Hall, Boston.  The program will also feature a World Premiere performance of Gabriela Frank’s Concerto for Orchestra.  This piece was specially commissioned by the ASO to commemorate the 50th Anniversary.  Rounding out the program will be Antonin Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé, Suite No. 2.

Sunday May 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm, the ASO concludes the 50th Season at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland College Park for their Gala Concert celebration.  The ASO is pleased to welcome world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. The ASO will accompany Ms. Graves as she sings Richard Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Jules Massenet’s “Il est doux, il est bon” from his opera Herodiade.  One of the music world's most sought-after recitalists, Ms. Graves combines her expressive vocalism and exceptional gifts for communication with her dynamic stage presence, enriching audiences around the world.  Recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to garner unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents.  USA Today identifies her as "an operatic superstar of the 21st Century," and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, "If the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves."  The program also includes Frank’s Concerto for Orchestra, Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé, Suite No. 2.


Other much loved concerts are the Lexus Holiday Pops concert on December 16, 2011, with vocalist Steve Lippia, and the ASO’s Family Concerts featuring storyteller Michael Boudewyns and soprano Kimberly Schroeder on October 29, 2011.

The Holiday Pops concert on Friday December 16, 2011, Simply Sinatra Christmas, will feature the acclaimed vocalist Steve Lippia.  In this show, Mr. Lippia presents some of the most well-know and beloved songs performed by Frank Sinatra as well as some popular Christmas songs.  This show is a wonderful blend of holiday cheer, memories and jazz/swing standards with an energetic flair that only a big band can provide.

Selections include great tunes such as Come Fly with Me, All The Way, Summer Wind, Lady Is a Tramp and New York, New York, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, as well as Christmas favorites like The First Noel, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Let It Snow, White Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Jingle Bells and the Christmas Waltz.

On Saturday October 29, 2011, the ASO’s Family Concert will feature Sergei Prokofiev’s endearing Peter and the Wolf, and an orchestrated version of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham by Robert Kapilow.  Performances are at 2:00 and 3:30 pm.  These concerts are designed for the entire family to enjoy the thrill of live professionally performed symphonic music and will feature storyteller Michael Boudewyns and soprano Kimberly Schroeder.  Parents and children alike will cherish the entrancing music and compelling story line.  Families are also encouraged to attend “Meet the Musicians” sessions at 1:15 or 4:30 pm and learn about the different instruments.  Recommended for ages 4 and up.


The ASO continues to offer its free Bank of America Pre-Concert Lectures by musicologist Dr. Rachel Franklin at 6:45 pm prior to all Lexus Classic Series concerts.  In addition, children and families may “Meet the Musicians” at 1:15 and 4:30 pm on the day of Family Concerts.  The ASO’s education and outreach programs—including the ASO Music Van, Adopt-A-School program, Orfeo Alliance, Educational Concerts and more—also continue throughout the season.


In just a few years at the helm of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, José-Luis Novo has instilled a new artistic vision and leave his personal imprint.  A continuous drive for artistic excellence, innovative thematic programming, and collaborations with some of today’s most respected guest artists, have resulted in unprecedented artistic growth, enthusiastic reviews and a general sense of excitement.  Some of the ASO’s highlights during Maestro Novo’s tenure include a 2006 debut concert appearance at Strathmore Hall, a 2008 ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, and the recent launching of the ASO’s first professionally produced CD commemorating the 300th anniversary of the signing of Annapolis’ Royal Charter.  The successful partnership between Mr. Novo and the ASO has received consistent critical acclaim:

"Every so often an orchestra puts on a stellar performance where everything just comes off beautifully."  -The Capital

"I only hope that the ASO and Novo realize what an exacting standard they have collectively set themselves with the last concert." - The Capital

“This entire evening was a series of glorious musical experiences that demonstrated the level of musical sophistication the ASO has attained.” - The Capital. 

“Novo's feeling for Bartók's arch form unified it all and gave this performance a sweep and power that were truly memorable.” - The Washington Post.

“…the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra unleashed a nasty, unremittingly exciting Shostakovich 10th that showed off the strengths of the ensemble that already has been reconfigured during Novo's brief tenure.” - The Baltimore Sun.

Subscriptions for the 2011-2012 season are now on sale.  Single tickets will go on sale August 31, 2011.  For tickets, subscriptions, or further information, call the ASO Box Office at 410-263-0907 or visit online at www.annapolissymphony.org.

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Contact Katharene Snavely with interview requests at 410-269-1132.

Photos of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Music Director José-Luis Novo, and soloists are available upon request.

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.  Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.