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The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) will present “An Opulent Evening,” featuring guest guitarist Robert Belinić, and the Millikin University Choir on Saturday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

Musical selections for the evening include Bach-Stokowski’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra,” and Ravel’s “Suites from the Ballet Daphnis and Chloe.”

The MDSO will be joined by guest soloist Robert Belinić in a performance of Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra.” Robert Belinić has been described as a performer “with the most intense passion, energy and charisma of any guitarist I have heard,” by the New York Concert Review. Among many appearances in the United States, Robert Belinić has performed as a soloist with orchestras in La Crosse, Hilton Head, El Paso, Wichita, Fox Valley, Sarasota, South Bend, and in recital and residency at Spivey Hall in Atlanta. Belinić won the Young Concert Artists European Auditions in Leipzig, and was the first guitarist ever to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. He earned a Master’s Degree from the Leopold Mozart Hochschule für Musik in Augsburg, Germany.

“In its original form, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue has always been a favorite of organists and audiences, grand in its imaginative sweep and brilliantly virtuosic in its freely shifting textures,” remarks Dr. Michael Luxner, music director for the MDSO. “Yet one can only imagine what Bach might have thought, had he been able to leap ahead through time, and hear his work as reinterpreted for orchestra by Leopold Stokowski.”

Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez was composed in 1939 and remains, according to Luxner, “the quintessential guitar concerto,” with hundreds of performances worldwide every year. Several of its themes, most especially the extended melody of the second movement, have also crossed over and become the basis of popular and jazz adaptations.

Composed as a ballet, Daphnis and Chloe is considered Ravel’s most important symphonic music. The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra will perform both of the suites that the composer extracted for the concert hall, comprising about 60% of the original score, including its most lush and exciting sections. The orchestra will be joined by the nationally recognized Millikin University Choir for this performance.

Tickets are $13-$16.50 and are available through the Kirkland Fine Arts Center Box Office, by phone at 217.424.6318 or online at www.kirklandfinearts.com. Kirkland Box Office hours are Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A $2.50 fee will be charged for credit card purchases. This is a per transaction fee, not per ticket, and applies to online and Box Office orders.

The concert will be preceded by a concert preview featuring guest artist Robert Belinić, in Kirkland Lecture Room 128 at 6:45 p.m. The preview is free to concert ticket holders.

Events at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL