On Saturday, October 28, the Blue Ridge Orchestra (BRO) returns to the Lipinsky Auditorium at University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) for a performance titled Mendelssohn’s Dream. There will be two performances of the concert at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Directed by music director Milton Crotts, Mendelssohn’s Dream will feature incidental music from Midsummer Night’s Dream and Finale, Reformation Symphony.
The program will open with a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B minor, performed by the Blue Ridge Chamber Symphony, a sub-set of BRO’s talented musicians. “As a chamber piece,” says Crotts, “it is a great way to open a concert in contrast to the full orchestration of Mendelssohn’s creations.”
Vivaldi’s composition will be followed by music from Midsummer Night’s Dream, selections written at the request of the King of Prussia who wanted the music to accompany a performance of Shakespeare’s play. The performance will end with Finale, Reformation Symphony, sub-titled “Symphony to Celebrate the Church Revolution.” Mendelssohn composed the piece to honor the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession, the final Lutheran document that evolved from Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. “Midsummer Night’s Dream complements the Reformation Symphony’s stirring finale,” says Crotts.
BRO’s performance of the symphony’s finale will honor the anniversary of Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses, which dramatically altered religious history 500 years ago.
While Luther is recognized in this performance, the concert will primarily be a tribute to the composer. “This concert celebrates Felix Mendelssohn: both his lighthearted side in Midsummer Night’s Dream and his majestic side in his celebration of Martin Luther’s courageous acts 500 years ago,” says Ruth Hall, president of BRO’s board of directors.
Lipinsky Auditorium is located at 300 Library Lane on the UNCA campus. Free parking is available in all UNCA parking areas during BRO performances. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit blueridgeorchestra.org.