By Natasha Anderson
The Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO) invites audiences to attend a musical New Year’s Eve celebration on Sunday, December 31, at 7:30 p.m. at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. The concert, featuring Orff’s Carmina Burana, also honors the tenure of music director Daniel Meyer as he conducts his final ASO concert.
“For me, the evening will be a celebration of some of the great joys that marked my time with the ASO,” says Meyer. “One is a passion for music making with such superb and dedicated musicians. Another is my joy for working with voices, from those that make up the Asheville Symphony Chorus to some of the finest young operatic soloists of our time performing Carmina Burana. A third is a dedication to presenting and cultivating the next generation of star soloists, and Isabelle Durrenberger, who will perform a violin concerto, certainly fits that bill.”
The evening opens with “Bacchanale” a joyful and seductive dance from Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson et Dalila. Next, continuing ASO’s tradition of featuring up-and-coming soloists from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), Durrenberger will perform Wieniawski’s romantic Violin Concerto No. 2.
“I find Wieniawski’s musical language to be natural to the ear and wonderfully lyrical,” says Durrenberger. “This concerto is known for being especially whimsical and I’m excited to explore it with the Asheville Symphony.”
Durrenberger was awarded the 2017 Payne Fund Prize for her performance of Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto in the CIM’s Fall Concerto Competition. As a member of the Verita Quartet, Durrenberger also won the silver medal in the 2015 Saint Paul String Quartet competition. In 2014, she was featured as a soloist and chamber musician on NPR’s From the Top.
The program ends with Carl Orff’s instantly recognizable Carmina Burana. This enormous work includes three guest vocal soloists— soprano Elizabeth Caballero, tenor Daniel Curran and baritone Corey McKern, as well as the full Asheville Symphony Chorus and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. Excerpts of Orff’s masterpiece cantata have been featured in dozens of films, television series, commercial advertisements and sporting events.
“Carmina Burana is the first piece I conducted as music director of the ASO and it now marks my final concert in that role,” says Meyer. “I am thrilled to celebrate my tenure with the friends and beloved audience members who have been with me every step of the way.” A celebratory after-party will take place following the concert to ring in the New Year.
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is located at 87 Haywood Street in Asheville. Single tickets are $24-$74, depending on seating section. Reduced youth pricing is available. Single tickets and season ticket packages can be purchased online at ashevillesymphony.org, by phone at 828.254.7046, or in person at the U.S. Cellular Center box office at 87 Haywood Street. For details on the after-party, visit ashevillesymphony.org.