Grammy-winning flutist RHONDA LARSON joins Rogue Valley Symphony for High Classics
On November 2, 3 and 4, the Rogue Valley Symphony will present “High Classics” of Mozart, Beethoven, and Fauré along with Grammy-winning flutist Rhonda Larson. James Galway has said of Ms. Larson, “She’s one of the best. A great player… and she does her OWN thing.” She will perform Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1 and one of her own compositions. The symphony will complement these works with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and Fauré’s Masques et bergamasques.
Larson is a native of Montana who entered the national music scene in 1985 by winning a first prize in the National Flute Association’s young Artist Competition and shortly thereafter joining forces with the Paul Winter Consort. She has followed her own individual cross-cultural, multi-genre music path since her Grammy win with the Consort. She composes much of her own repertoire including a piece she will perform with the Rogue Valley Symphony, Be Still My Soul. She regularly performs on an array of ethnic flutes from around the world. She has recorded music for the CBS television series “Survivor” and performed live on the finale episode of that same show in Madison Square Garden. Her recent performances have taken her to Ireland, Italy, and Spain to record with the Celtic Galician group “Milladoiro”.
Larson will be performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 1 with the Rogue Valley Symphony. Conductor Martin Majkut remarked that “Mozart is without doubt the untouchable ideal of the classical style.” Larson says that this Mozart Concerto “makes me want to dance along with it, in the same way today’s younger generation feels compelled to do with Justin Bieber’s music, though dancing along with Mozart is a bit more subtle.” Larson’s own composition, Be Still My Soul, showcases an unusual technique in which she plays and sings simultaneously. She says, “It is a very challenging technique because the tone wants to “buzz” when both elements are created at the same time from the same source (mouth), but it must be like two separate ‘instruments’.” This piece is based upon the melody of Jean Sibelius’ famous Finlandia, in its hymn version (Be Still My Soul.)
The RVS’ November concert will open with Gabriel Fauré’s Masques et bergamasques and conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Conductor Martin Majkut professed that he likes to combine Classical and Neoclassical pieces. The Mozart Concerto is the true Classical work on the concert and the Fauré being performed falls in the Neoclassical genre. “It is as if Fauré decided to retouch a dear old painting rather than to buy a new one,” remarked Majkut of Masques et bergamasques, which was written in 1919.
Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony follows the composer’s trend of retreating to classical styles in the even numbered symphonies. It is indeed also more light-hearted than the neighboring symphonies. It expresses unbridled joy and humor. Beethoven is most well-known for his odd-numbered dark symphonies, but he has plenty of delight to express as well. All three of the works on this concert will demonstrate the simpler style and sound of the High Classics exemplified by masters Mozart, Fauré, and Beethoven.
Concerts: Friday, November 2, SOU Music Recital Hall, Ashland, 7:30pm,
Saturday, November 3, Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts, Medford, 7:30pm, Cost: $28-$38
Sunday November 4, Grants Pass High School Performing Arts Center, Grants Pass, 3pm, Cost: $20-$34
Rogue Valley Symphony Box Office: (541) 552-6398
Tickets also available online now at rvsymphony.org.
Special Ticket Deals:
All Concerts: Student tickets $5
Oct. 24, Medford: $10 tickets available beginning on Oct. 24 from Craterian Box Office at (541)779-3000
Grants Pass, Oct. 22: $10 tickets available beginning on Oct. 22 from RVS Box Office; Also two $5 tickets available to Oregon Trail Card holders from “SNAP”
*All Deals depending on availability