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Sound of Charlotte Blog

Observer: Perick enjoys freelancer’s life — at least for a while

By Steven Brown | 11/1/2012 | Charlotte Observer
Reblogged from Charlotte Observer Critical Mass

It's lucky that Christof Perick had a nonstop flight from Germany to Charlotte. Otherwise, Mother Nature might've gotten in his way for the second time -- which would've been particularly ungrateful of her this week,  since the music he'll conduct with the Charlotte Symphony is a celebration of nature's power and beauty.

A volcanic eruption in April 2010 blasted a dust cloud over Europe that kept Perick from conducting his last concerts as the orchestra's music director. But he circumvented Sandy on Monday. So he's back for a three-week U.S. visit. It will not only return him to the Charlotte podium he occupied for nine seasons, but offer him other reminiscences of his work on this side of the Atlantic -- or, as he put it Tuesday, his "28-year history of conducting in this wonderful country."

He plans visit friends in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles -- all cities where he has conducted prominently -- and close with the San Diego Symphony, which he has guest-conducted repeatedly over 20-plus years. (A Perick travel tip: If you ever travel from L.A. to San Diego, go by train. The ride offers spectacular views of the coast.)

But first: The Charlotte Symphony concerts this weekend may offer some reminiscences of their own. They'll start with Carl Maria von Weber's Overture to "Der Freischutz," an opera that received full-length, concert-style performances from Perick and the orchestra in 2003. Next will come the "Spring" Symphony, Schumann's exuberant hymn to nature's annual rebirth. To cap things off, two of Bedrich Smetana's portraits of his native Bohemia: the beloved "The Moldau" and the less-famous but equally catchy "From Bohemia's Forests and Meadows."

Perick hadn't yet gotten in front of the orchestra Tuesday morning. But he credited his successor, Christopher Warren-Green, for the fact that the orchestra is financially "safer" -- quickly rapping his knuckles on a wooden table in the Charlotte Symphony's office -- than it was during Perick's time.
"I think it's probably because Christopher is living here," Perick said. He thinks Warren-Green's presence in Charlotte, promoting the orchestra around town, is "very important. I think it's very good. I was always saying that -- the orchestra needs someone who is (visible) at the arena, across the street."
"I couldn't do that," Perick, who's based in Germany, added. "I didn't have the time to do that. In that regard, I'm not a good American music director. Because you need that talent and that outgoing personality to do all those things (in the community) convincingly."

But Perick takes pride in cultivating the Charlotte Symphony's  style and precision -- something Warren-Green has complimented  from his own perspective. Perick points to similar work back home in Germany, where he last year finished a stint as music director of the Nuremberg State Theater. Zeroing in on a cycle of Mozart operas with the company's singers -- such as the vibrant Heidi Meier, who also made a couple of visits to Charlotte -- was a highlight, he said.

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Posted in Classics. Tagged as Christof Perick, Christopher Warren-Green, Classical, Schumann, Smetana, The Moldau.

The Art of Sound: On Campus

Tonight, the Charlotte Symphony will present it's annual Orchestra On Campusconcert at Central Piedmont Community College. The Charlotte Symphony's educational outreach program seeks to engage students from varying disciplines in the creation of the orchestral experience. Since its inception in 1998, the On Campus education concert has evolved into a direct collaboration with various CPCC educational departments, including art, graphic design, advertising, hospitality, and music.

In line with the collaborative and educational goals of the program, this year's concert features contributions from CPCC's graphic design and visual art students and professors. Graphic design students produced titles, logos, and program books that captured the essence of this year's orchestral selections. The winning design portfolio, seen below, will be used for this year's concert and the logo will be used this year and for future On Campus concerts.

Additionally, visual art students produced original works, also inspired by the program's music, to be projected on a screen during Barber's "Second Essay for Orchestra, op. 17." Further collaboration with Ellen Ward, a CPCC art professor and leader of Charlotte's Urban Sketchers, will take place during Prokofiev's "Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet Suite 1 and 2." Ward and other artists will "live sketch" the orchestra and the images will be projected onto the screen during the concert. The use of technology engages the students in a multi-sensory way, helping to enhance the concert-going experience. "Part of the Charlotte Symphony's educational mission is the belief that music plays a vital role in lifelong learning," said Chris Stonnell, Manager of Education Programs for the Charlotte Symphony. "Orchestra on Campus is an innovative way for us to engage the college-age demographic. By using technology and by bringing our orchestra to CPCC, we hope the concert will break down some of the barriers and misconceptions about classical concerts that may prevent young people from attending one of our events uptown."

The concert will feature works by Samuel Barber, Sergei Prokofiev, and living composer Michael Daugherty. Leonardo Soto, Principal Timpanist for the Charlotte Symphony, will perform as soloist for Daugherty's "Raise the Roof." Nearly 850 music appreciation students have the opportunity to attend the performance for course credit.

Posted in Education & Community. Tagged as art and music, collaboration, college students, community engagement, Education, Innovation, orchestra on campus.

WIN TICKETS to Stayin’ Alive: A Tribute to the Bee Gees or America!

Everyone knows it. The distinctive bass line from the Bee Gees' classic hit has been duplicated, parodied, and immortalized in the film classic, Saturday Night Fever. Some might even say it features the perfect tempo to accompany you as you strut down the street, get ready for a night on the town, or disco in your living room.

In honor of our upcoming concerts, Stayin' Alive: A Tribute to the Bee Gees and America, we are giving away FREE TICKETS! Simply share a picture of yourself or a family member from the 1970s era on our Facebook page and you'll be entered to win tickets to Stayin' Alive: Tribute to the Bee Gees (October 19 at Ovens Auditorium) AND America in concert (October 26 & 27 at Belk Theater.)
Here are the details:
  1. Post a 1970s era photo of yourself or a family member (hey, we weren't all alive in the '70s!) on our Facebook page.
  2. "Like" us first, then either post directly on the page, or tag us by writing @Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (it should offer suggestions as you are typing, choose Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and it will turn blue.)
  3. Give us some fun facts about where the picture was taken and reference the Bee Gees and America ticket contest.
  4. We'll randomly choose two winners to win a pair of tickets to either the Tribute to the Bee Gees or America. Contest closes 10/25/12.
  5. Have fun and good luck!
If you don't do Facebook and still want to participate, email alexandraz[at]charlottesymphony[dot]org and put Ticket Giveaway in the subject line.

Tagged as 1970s, America, free tickets, Stayin' Alive, Tribute to the Bee Gees, win tickets.