Arts Performing Arts

Blue Ridge Orchestra: Symphonic Reflections

By Natasha Anderson

The Blue Ridge Orchestra (BRO) ends its six-concert season with Symphonic Reflections, a contemplative and diverse program designed and conducted by Milton Crotts. The performance takes place Sunday, May 29, at 3 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium at UNC Asheville.

“Symphonic Reflections is a tribute to our ability to perform a full season again and to reflect on what was so easily taken for granted: the simple pleasure of performing and listening to live music,” says BRO president Deb Kenney. “We also rejoice in opening our souls to the healing power of music, overcoming the negative effects of a continuing pandemic, military conflicts and millions of displaced refugees.”

The afternoon begins with Edward Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra. Following Elgar’s elegant mood shifts is Gustav Mahler’s intimate Adagietto and Jessie Montgomery’s provocative melodies in Strum.

“Jessie Montgomery is an exciting and talented composer, who, in her own words, feels honored to bring her voice (that of a young Black female composer) into the conversation of classical music,” says Kenney. “Strum is a delightful example of her work, which weaves together sounds of American folk music with rhythmic passages that inspire one to dance.”

After Montgomery’s joyful piece, the program then builds emotionally as the full orchestra performs Bedrich Smetana’s poetic homage to the mighty Vltava River, The Moldau, followed by the impassioned final movements of Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony, Pathétique.

“Our expressed sentiment for this program—life evolves; musical expression endures—is clearly illustrated in Smetana’s The Moldau,” says Kenney. “We look forward to sharing our performance with our audience, and reminding all of the beauty and importance of music in our lives.”

Lipinsky Auditorium is located in Lipinsky Hall at 300 Library Lane, Asheville. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for members and $5 for students. Learn more or purchase tickets at BlueRidgeOrchestra.org or by calling 828.782.3354. Follow the orchestra on Facebook and Instagram @BlueRidgeOrchestra.

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