Asheville Amadeus Festival Offers Something for Everyone, March 10–19
The Asheville Amadeus festival, conceived of and coordinated by the Asheville Symphony, returns March 10–19, with plenty in store to delight and inspire.
Internationally renowned, Grammy Award-winning violinist Midori is the festival’s headlining performer. She will participate in educational events throughout the festival as part of her Orchestral Residencies program, and will also perform with the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Asheville Symphony in public concerts.
“Having Midori here for the festival is a dream come true,” says Asheville Symphony executive director David Whitehill. “In addition to being a legendary musician, she is a passionate advocate for community youth orchestra programs like ours. During the festival thousands of young people in our community will have the opportunity to hear her play, interact with her in discussions and master classes, and hopefully be inspired by her message.”
The inaugural Asheville Amadeus in March 2015 was a weeklong celebration inspired by Mozart’s life and music that comprised more than 65 public and private events and performances and drew more than 20,000 people to festival events throughout the city. The 2017 festival has been expanded from a week to ten days and involves more than a dozen community partners presenting casual and formal concerts, theatrical productions, comedy performances, a chorus sing-along and an Austrian wine flight night, among other highlights. Highland Brewing Company will release the 2017 batch of Wolfgang 1756, a Vienna-style lager brewed especially for the festival.
The award-winning Jerusalem String Quartet will be presented by the Asheville Chamber Music Series (ACMS) on Friday, March 17, at Diana Wortham Theatre, with a program of works by three composers, including Mozart, who were instrumental in the development of the string quartet. “The Jerusalem String Quartet has received numerous awards including the Diapason d’Or, the BBC Music Magazine award for chamber music, and the ECHO Klassik,” says Nathan Shirley, ACMS administrative assistant. “They perform around the globe and will be giving a special performance in Asheville featuring music by Haydn, the “father” of the string quartet; Mozart, performing the first of his “Haydn” string quartets, written in Haydn’s honor; and Beethoven, who took the string quartet to new levels of expression.”
This year’s festival also includes the release of the symphony’s latest recording project, a collaboration with Grammy Awardnominated hip-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, pianist Orion Weiss and DJ Marley Carroll, titled Mozartistic. The album explores the story of the young Mozart’s tour throughout Europe, where his legend took root, and includes snippets of his works. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will debut the album’s title track live during the festival at an Asheville Symphony performance for nearly 3,000 Asheville City and Buncombe County students.
The finale concert on Sunday, March 19, will showcase Midori performing with the Asheville Symphony and the Asheville Symphony Chamber Chorus. Thomas Wolfe Auditorium will be transformed by an installation that extends the stage 30 feet, thrusting the Asheville Symphony into the midst of the audience and creating space for more than 100 audience seats on stage.
Other Festival Highlights Include
- “Mozart & Miles,” an Asheville Symphony Guild Musical Feast featuring NPR commentator and violist of the American Chamber Players Miles Hoffman and a special lunch prepared by rhubarb executive chef and owner John Fleer, on Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14.
- A series of free Kindermusik events tailored to very young children (newborn to kindergarten) including Asheville Symphony musicians, at four public libraries in Buncombe County.
- A free, family-friendly festival kickoff and beer release at Highland Brewing Company, with music by Matt Townsend and The Wonder of the World on Friday, March 10.
- A sing-along of Mozart’s Requiem Mass with the Asheville Symphony Chorus on Tuesday, March 14.
- A concert featuring Midori performing alongside more than 200 youth musicians in the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra and MusicWorks! Program on Saturday, March 18.
Asheville Amadeus events are individually ticketed. A full schedule of festival events and ticket purchase details is available at ashevillesymphony.org/asheville-amadeus.