Performing Arts

The Blue Ridge Orchestra Presents May Masters

The Blue Ridge Orchestra Presents May Masters

Milton Crotts, music director. Photo by Anthony Harden

The Blue Ridge Orchestra’s (BRO’s) season finale concert, featuring the music of master composers from the 19 and 20 centuries, takes place Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. The program includes works by Aaron Copland and Johannes Brahms performed under the baton of BRO music director Milton Crotts.

“The Copland and Brahms pieces are works in contrast, two great composers who made their unique contributions with symphonic music of different centuries,” says Crotts. “This is a performance not to be missed, offering both the familiar and maybe not-so-familiar.”

The concert opens with Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man, performed continuously since its 1942 premiere. The work features the BRO’s brass and percussion sections led by BRO bassoonist and retired music educator Mary Thomas. Next on the program, Concerto for Clarinet reveals a rarely heard side of Copland. The concerto, composed on commission for Benny Goodman in 1947, features principal clarinetist Gary Spaulding.

“This concerto is my absolute favorite piece for clarinet,” says Spaulding. “By the end, listeners have really experienced everything the instrument can do.”

Following intermission, Copland’s 20th century sound gives way to the 19th century romanticism of Brahms’s perennially popular Second Symphony. All of the BRO’s 50-plus members will perform this grand work.

UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium is located at 300 Library Lane in Asheville. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for Friends of the BRO and $5 for students. To purchase, visit BlueRidgeOrchestra.org, or call 828.782.3354 for more information.

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