The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) will officially kick off the 2012-2013 concert season with their annual “Opening Night” performance, featuring guest artist Mark O’Connor, on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center.
Musical selections for the evening include Morton Gould’s “American Salute”, and Joan Tower’s “Made in America.” The first half of the performance will conclude with “Hoagy Carmichael: An American Treasure” by Sammy Nestico. Following an intermission, guest artist and violin virtuoso Mark O’Connor will join the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra to perform his own “Fiddle Concerto.”
Referred to as “one of the most talented and imaginative artists working in music—any music—today” by the Los Angeles Times
, Mark O’Connor blends America’s rich aural folk traditions with classical music. A student of fiddler Benny Thomasson and jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli, O’Connor has melded and shaped his influences into a new American classical music and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing.
With more than 200 performances, his first full length orchestral score, “Fiddle Concerto”, has become the most performed modern violin concerto composed in the last 40 years. It was recorded for Warner Bros. Records in 1995. Mark O'Connor's second concerto, “Fanfare for the Volunteer”, was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Steven Mercurio, released by Sony Classical Records in October 1999.
“Mark O'Connor is a unique talent and a riveting performer,” remarked Music Director and MDSO Conductor Michael Luxner. “Even if you have all his recordings, you simply have to hear him live. He improvises like a ball of fire and nothing is ever the same twice.”
The performance will be preceded by a concert preview in the Kirkland Lecture Room at 6:45 p.m., and a Symphony Guild reception will be held in the Kirkland Fine Arts Center lobby following the concert. Both events are free and open to concert ticket holders.
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
. Box Office hours are Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 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.
Concerts of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Midwest Arts Council.