THE AKRON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS SUMMON SPRING AT PASTORALE SYMPHONY

February 20, 2013

The Akron Symphony Orchestra and Chorus come together for a celebration of Spring at Pastorale Symphony at 8 pm on Saturday, March 2 at The University of Akron’s EJ Thomas Hall. Maestro Christopher Wilkins and Akron Symphony Chorus Director, Maria Sensi Sellner, will lead a program featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastorale’ and Haydn’s ‘Spring’ from The Seasons. Soprano Linh Kauffman, tenor Timothy Culver and baritone Brian Keith Johnson will make guest appearances as soloists at this concert. Pastorale Symphony will be preceded by the Previews from the Podium pre-concert lecture at 7 pm.

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“Beethoven began his life in Vienna as a student of Haydn. The ‘Pastorale’ symphony owes much to The Seasons, especially for bringing visual delight to the ears,” said Akron Symphony Orchestra Music Director and conductor, Christopher Wilkins. “In these extraordinary works, vivid characterization and musical onomatopoeia create sound worlds to mirror life in the country. The Romantic age would not have been the same without them.”

Praised as “radiant” by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, soprano Linh Kauffman performs across the United States in oratorio, opera, new music and musical theater. She recently made her Latin American debut in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus at the Teatro Nacional de Panamá. Lihn’s other recent performances include Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Haydn’s Heiligmesse under the baton of Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival and a tour of Germany with the Festival Ensemble Stuttgart. Kauffman has also appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Minnesota Bach Ensemble, Oratorio Society of Minnesota, San Francisco City Chorus, and the California Chamber Symphony, among others, in works ranging from Bach cantatas to Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Tenor Timothy Culver has become a staple in the Great Lakes music scene. He has been described as having “a rich but penetrating tenor” and that he “faces florid tenor writing with a fearless vivacity.” Equally at home in both operatic and musical theatre works, Culver has performed with the Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Lansing Lyric Opera, Porthouse Theatre, Huron Playhouse and the Cleveland Orchestra. A frequent recitalist, oratorio and concert soloist, Culver sang in the U.S. premiere of Erwin Schulhoff’s H.M.S. Royal Oak with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. In 2002, Mr. Culver became an Assistant Professor of Voice at the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. He resides in Stow with his wife and three children.

Baritone Brian Keith Johnson is no stranger to the Akron Symphony. He performs regularly including a memorable role as Jake in Porgy and Bess and most recently at the 20th anniversary Gospel Meets Symphony concert. Johnson has performed many roles in opera from Figaro in il barbiere di Siviglia to Ford in Falstaff. As a member of Actors’ Equity Association, he has also performed a variety of musical theatre roles ranging from Jim in Big River to Father/God in Children of Eden. He has performed with Opera Columbus, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, The Duke Symphony Orchestra, The Beck Center, Union Avenue Opera, Opera Western Reserve, The Carolina Master Chorale and others. This season, he will sing Germont in La Traviata with Solon Center for the Arts, Figaro in il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Western Reserve, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Per Tutti, The Negro in The Roar of the Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd with The Chagrin Valley Little Theatreand John Proctor in The Crucible with Nightingale Opera.

Tickets for Pastorale Symphony are on sale and range from $22-$52 each. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups of ten or more. To purchase tickets, call the Akron Symphony at 330-535-8131 or visit www.akronsymphony.org to order online. You can also order through the EJ Thomas Hall box office by calling 330-972-7570 or ordering online at www.ejthomashall.com. Visit the Akron Symphony website for a complete concert calendar and additional program details.

The Akron Symphony appreciates its sponsors, including concert sponsor, FirstEnergy, media partners 89.7FM WKSU, Akron Life, and Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com, and Audio Technica the Previews from the Podium sponsor. Additional support is provided by The University of Akron and the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund Akron Symphony Orchestra concerts with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Next concert: The Akron Symphony will conclude the 2012-2013 Classics Series with Rite of Spring, with a fully staged production of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring on the 100th anniversary of its premiere. This will be the first fully staged Classics Series production of the Akron Symphony bringing together orchestra and dance in a unique collaboration with GroundWorks DanceTheater and Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara.

About the Akron Symphony Orchestra

For more than 60 years, the Akron Symphony Orchestra has been a driving musical force throughout the Greater Akron area. Widely recognized for musical excellence and performance versatility, the Akron Symphony Orchestra is committed to enhancing the quality of life of our community through educational and musical excellence. The Akron Symphony Orchestra is operated by the Greater Akron Musical Association, Inc. (GAMA). GAMA’s vision is to be embraced and sustained as a community treasure that provides a welcoming environment for all people to experience great music. This vision is realized by operating the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Akron Youth Orchestras, Akron Symphony Chorus, and numerous special outreach and educational programs.

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