Arts Performing Arts

Blue Ridge Orchestra Presents Northern Lights

Milton Crotts takes a bow alongside the world-renowned Krüger Brothers at BRO Revels! 2021. Photo by Kathy Kmonicek

The Blue Ridge Orchestra (BRO) will make its first appearance of 2022 with a Norwegian-inspired program designed and conducted by John Gordon Ross. This concert, previously set in February but now scheduled for Sunday, April 3, at 3 p.m. in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium, will feature the works of Sibelius, Nielsen, Grieg and Hanson.

“We are delighted to have John Gordon Ross on the podium for his first live concert with BRO,” says the orchestra’s president Deb Kenney. “As interim music director during the pandemic, John worked tirelessly to craft alternative ways of keeping BRO music alive, and it is with great pleasure that we finally present him in person.”

The program begins with Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia Op. 26, one of the most important nationalistic pieces written between the mid-19th century and World War I when Finland gained independence from Russia. Next, Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra features a bass trombone as a humorous antagonist to a flute soloist. The flute solo is performed by BRO principal flutist Bradford Malbon.

“Bradford is a first-rate flute player, very colorful and inventive,” says Ross. “Plus this concerto has great solos for clarinet, viola and bass trombone and we have good folks in those chairs as well.”

Third on the program is Edvard Grieg’s Norwegian Dances, Op. 35, composed for piano four-hands in 1881. Last, Howard Hanson’s Romantic provides an energetic and cheerful finale.

“The Blue Ridge Orchestra is excited to return to the stage after a thrilling and sold-out BRO Revels! concert in December,” says Kenney. “With Northern Lights we celebrate winter, albeit belatedly, with music of composers from predominantly Nordic countries.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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