DSO Acting Concertmaster Makes Solo Debut

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(DETROIT, October 20, 2011) — Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) acting concertmaster Kimberly Ann Kaloyanides Kennedy will make her solo debut on Oct. 27, 28 and 29 with pieces by French composers Maurice Ravel and Camille Saint-Saëns. The program also includes the Detroit premiere of Qigang Chen’s Wu Xing and Beethoven’s infamous Fifth Symphony. The concerts take place Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m.

Kimberly Ann Kaloyanides Kennedy won her coveted position as a violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. In 2003, Kennedy further realized her dream when she became Associate Concertmaster until being appointed Acting Concertmaster in 2011. Kennedy began studying violin at age 5 in Dayton, Ohio. As the daughter of a Minister of Music and church organist, she was allowed many chances to share from her heart in front of congregations. Her love of music became what undoubtedly would be her career as she pursued her studies at Brevard Music Center, Interlochen Arts Camp, Sarasota Music Festival, four summers at the Aspen Music Festival on Fellowship, three years at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida with Sergiu Schwartz and finally at the University of Michigan with Paul Kantor. Halfway through her senior year at University of Michigan, she joined the first violin section of the DSO.

French composer Maurice Ravel was an important innovator in pianistic style, an orchestrator of genius, a sophisticated harmonist and, on occasion, a bold and successful experimenter with musical form. His work is informed by sympathies with the worlds of children and of animals; with imagined exotic and antique life. Ravel’s Tzigane was commissioned by and dedicated to the Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Aranyi, great-niece of the violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim. The original instrumentation was for violin and piano (with optional luthéal attachment). The first performance took place in London on April 26, 1924, with the dedicatee on violin and with Henri Gil-Marchex at the piano (with luthéal).

Camille Saint-Saëns was a gifted, fluent and prolific composer who embodied in his works many of what are considered to be quintessentially “French” qualities, above all clarity and order. He impressed a whole generation with his intellectual mastery of the art of music and his lucid interpretations at the keyboard. Composed in 1887, Saint-Saëns’ Havanaise in E major, Op. 83 for Violin and Orchestra is based on the rhythm of the “Habanera,” a Cuban dance popular in the 19th century that arrived in Cuba from France, via Haïti. A distinctive feature of the original habanera is that it was sung as well as danced.

Qigang Chen began learning music as a child. At the time when Cultural Revolution

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broke out in China, he was studying at the Music Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. His father, administrator of the Beijing Academy of Fine Arts, a famous calligrapher and painter, was immediately judged “bourgeois”, “anti-revolutionary”, and sent to a labor camp. Young Chen was kept in confinement for three years and underwent “ideological re-education.” Yet his passion for music remained unwavering: he continued learning composition and orchestration, in spite of a climate that was distinctly anti-cultural.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony sounds inevitable and irrefutable, as though it flowed complete from the composer’s pen; however, Beethoven did not create it overnight, and in fact, the work required a considerable gestation period. The composer actually began sketching it in 1800, even before beginning work on the Eroïca. The work is largely constructed on just two notes, with the first one being repeated three times. There is hardly a measure in the entire symphony in which this two-note formula (or a portion of it) does not appear in some recognizable form. The cyclical nature of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony makes it a forerunner of later nineteenth-century cyclical symphonic compositions, such as César Franck’s Symphony in D minor and Franz Liszt’s Faust Symphony.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets to Beethoven’s Fifth range in price from $15 to $50 with a limited number of box seats available for $100. Tickets may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit); by calling (313) 576-5111; or online at www.dso.org. For group discount information (10 people or more), please contact Chuck Dyer at (313) 576-5130 or cdyer@dso.org.

PERFORMANCE

Series sponsored by Strategic Staffing Solutions, PVS Chemicals, Inc., Target and the MASCO Corporation Foundation

Beethoven’s Fifth

Orchestra Hall

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Louis Langrée, conductor and piano

Kimberly Ann Kaloyanides Kennedy, violin

Thu., Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.; and Sat., Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.

QIGANG CHEN Wu Xing (The Five Elements)

SAINT-SAËNS Havanaise for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 83

RAVEL Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

About the DSO

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the fourth-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO during the 2008-09 season. The DSO offers a performance schedule that includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, Neighborhood concerts and festivals. The DSO makes its home in historic Orchestra Hall, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, and actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. For more information visit www.dso.org

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