Performing Arts

ASO’s Masterworks 6 Presents Patriots April 14

Pianist Joyce Yang. Photo by KT Kim.

By Natasha Anderson

Join conductor Jayce Ogren and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO) on Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m. at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, as they explore musical expressions of nationalism through the works of three composers rooted in different countries, time periods and artistic influences.

“This program is so dramatic and emotional,” says Ogren. “I love how directly these pieces communicate their meanings. You know in your gut what the composer wanted to express.”

The evening opens with John Adams’ The Chairman Dances, an outtake from the 1987 Grammy-winning opera Nixon in China. Next, pianist Joyce Yang joins the orchestra for Manuel de Falla’s 1915 work Nights in the Gardens of Spain, an affectionate, impressionist portrait of the country’s beauty and passion.

“Joyce has incredible virtuosity and brilliance, but what makes her special is her sensitivity and flexibility as a soloist,” says Ogren. “I think we’re both looking forward to making a case for how great this neglected masterpiece truly is.”

The program ends with Jean Sibelius’ bold Symphony No. 2, composed in 1902 and filled with optimism and nationalistic spirit.

Ogren is the fifth of six finalists for the ASO’s music director position to conduct an audition concert. He is the artistic director of Philadelphia’s Orchestra 2001 and has been invited to conduct orchestras and operas around the US and abroad. The audience will be asked to give feedback via a survey after the concert.

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium is located at 87 Haywood Street in Asheville. Single tickets are $24-$69, depending on seating section. Reduced youth pricing is available. Single tickets and season ticket packages can be purchased online at, by phone at 828.254.7046 or in person at the U.S. Cellular Center box office at 87 Haywood Street.

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