ASO’s Home for the Holidays to feature Vesper Choir, other performers

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs their annual, audience favorite holiday concert on Friday, December 14 at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 p.m. at the Robinson Center Music Hall. This is the second concert of the Acxiom Pops Live! Series. This concert is sponsored in part by Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The audience will enjoy traditional Christmas carols, Arkansas stars, and special surprises that are sure to entertain the whole family. Everyone is invited to get cozy with the ASO as we celebrate the most wonderful time of year.

Bring the kids to the Holiday Children’s Fair at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Robinson Center Music Hall main lobby. Touch and play string, woodwind and brass instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo, visit with Santa and join in on arts and crafts.

Tickets range from $14-$52 and can be purchased online at http://www.ArkansasSymphony.org or over the phone at (501) 666-1761. Thanks to the Entergy Kids Ticket, all kids through 12th grade are free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, visit www.ArkansasSymphony.org .

 Program Details

Happy Holidays

Friday, December 14 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 15 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, December 16 at 3 p.m.

Robinson Center Music Hall

Featuring

Philip Mann, Music Director

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir, Dr. Michael Bates, conductor

Ballet Arkansas

Ted Ludwig Trio

Diane Kesling, mezzo soprano

Central Arkansas Children’s Choir, Dr. Ryan Fisher, conductor

Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians

Phil Kaplan and Leslie Singer

Philip Mann, Music Director

Hailed by the BBC as a “talent to watch out for, who conveys a mature command of his forces,” American conductor Philip Mann is quickly gaining a worldwide reputation as an “expressively graceful yet passionate” artist with a range spanning opera, symphonic repertoire, new music, and experimental collaborations. Philip is in his third season as Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which has seen audience and artistic growth, new energy, and financial health under his tenure. Formerly as the San Diego Symphony’s Associate Conductor, he conducted hundreds of performances of Jacobs Subscription Masterworks, Symphony Exposed, family, young people’s concerts, Kinder Konzert, pops, and other special programs and projects. As an American Conducting Fellow, the San Diego Union Tribune raved, “Mann was masterful… a skilled musical architect, designing and executing a beautifully paced interpretation, which seemed to spring from somewhere deep within the music rather than superimposed upon it.”

As winner of the Vienna Philharmonic’s Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, Mann has relationships with orchestras and operas worldwide: including the Cleveland Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Opera, and the National Symphony of Cyprus. His recent Beethoven 9 was described as “Titanic” and his Canadian debut with the OSQ was dubbed by Le Soleil as a “Tour de Force” and led to an immediate reengagement in 2013. Other upcoming engagements include the Grand Rapids Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Little Orchestra Society of NY, and the Georgian State Opera. Previously, the music director of the Oxford City Opera and Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, he has also held conducting positions with the Music in the Mountains Festival and Indianapolis Symphony. Mann has worked with leading artists such as Joshua Bell, Sharon Isbin, Dmitri Alexeev, Midori, and Marvin Hamlisch and has given premiers of major composers including John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Torke, Lucas Richman, and many others. He maintains a lively schedule as a guest conductor having conducted at New York’s Avery Fischer Hall and London’s Barbican Center.

Elected a Rhodes Scholar, Mann studied and taught at Oxford, and has served as assistant conductor to Franz Welser-Möst, Simon Rattle, Leonard Slatkin, Jaime Laredo, Mario Venzago, Bramwell Tovey, Pinchas Zukerman, and many others. At Oxford, he won the annual competition to become principal conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia. Under his leadership, the Philharmonia’s performances and tours received international press and acclaim. Mann studied with Alan Hazeldine of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music, and Marios Papadopolous of the Oxford Philomusica. He worked with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center’s National Conducting Institute and Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. Mentorship with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jorma Panula followed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Conducting Masterclasses, and Robert Spano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s international Mozart Requiem masterclass for the League of American Orchestras annual conference. He has also worked under Imre Pallo, David Effron, John Poole, and Thomas Baldner at Indiana University, where he was appointed visiting lecturer in orchestral conducting, and worked as assistant conductor at the IU Opera Theater. Additional studies came under the Bolshoi Theater’s music director, Alexander Vedernikov at the Moscow State Conservatory, Gustav Meir, Kenneth Keisler, and with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward. He is the recipient of numerous awards including commendations from several cities, and the state of California.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 47th season in 2012-2013 under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, and performs more than thirty concerts each year for more than 42,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series and River Rhapsodies Chamber Series, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 24,000 school children and over 200 schools.

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