Asheville Symphony virtual chamber orchestra series to be televised statewide

Press release from Asheville Symphony:

The Asheville Symphony is proud to announce a three-year partnership with PBS North Carolina for a series of broadcasts featuring selections from its 2021 Virtual Concert Series. The concert series was originally produced in Spring of 2021 at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Asheville. The four concerts span four centuries of music, and viewers have several opportunities throughout the month of November to relive these performances through PBS North Carolina.

“I am thrilled to give these extraordinary virtual concerts featuring the Asheville Symphony a second life on PBS North Carolina,” said Asheville Symphony Executive Director Daniel Crupi. “These concerts were a vital part of the ASO’s community outreach during the pandemic — I am delighted that now they have the opportunity to reach millions of households across our state thanks to our wonderful relationship with this statewide resource. I am particularly happy that PBS North Carolina is featuring the programs during their ‘At Home Learning Blocks,’ as music education is an integral part of the ASO’s mission.”

Originally crafted as a solution for COVID-era capacity and social distancing restrictions, each concert is a deep dive into the expressive range and power of a different instrument, complete with behind-the-scenes interviews with each soloist and the Asheville Symphony’s Music Director Darko Butorac.

“The pandemic required orchestras worldwide to reimagine the concert experience,” said Butorac. “The mandatory distancing made it impractical to perform large-scale works, so I decided to try a different approach. The broadcast format made it ideal to put the featured artist in the center of the ensemble and create an atmosphere of large-scale chamber music. We created programs that featured a wide variety of shorter works, spanning eras and styles, and arranged them to fit the resources available. The result is a very intimate concert experience, made vibrant by the interactions of the ensemble and the soloist. It was a unique moment in the history of music, and I am so proud of our musicians who made the most out of the opportunity.”

Each program was expertly curated in collaboration with the featured internationally renowned soloists: vocalists Christina Pier and Corey McKern, cellist Amit Peled, violinist James Thompson, and pianist Adam Golka. The programs invite viewers to be wooed by the cello, dazzled by the violin, awed by the grandeur of the piano, and even to rediscover love through the eyes of Mozart.

Details on each performance as well as their broadcast dates and times can be found below. Viewers may check local listings for details on future broadcasts.

Love According to Mozart
Mozart changed the world with his music, and nowhere so like on the dramatic stage. His operas remain eternal because they deal with the most human of subjects: romantic love. Join us for an exploration of his best known arias and duets from Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutti, Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), and more featuring the acclaimed soprano Christina Pier and baritone Corey McKern.

Tuesday, November 1, 10:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 2, 3:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 2, 11:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 2, 3:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel

Cello Cantabile
The cello stands alone among the string instruments for being closest to the range and expression of the human voice. Israeli cellist Amit Peled presents a program that shows the full range of this beloved instrument — from the profound simplicity of Bach and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, to the fireworks of Haydn and Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody.

Tuesday, November 8, 10:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 9, 3:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 9, 11:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 9, 3:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel

The Violin Journey
An instrument that spans epochs as well as continents. Join the virtuoso violinist James Thompson on a journey exploring the versatility of his instrument across four centuries featuring classics such as the Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Bach’s Preludes, Massenet’s “Méditation” from Thaïs, and the Ashokan Farewell featuring Appalchian fiddling.

Tuesday, November 15, 10:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 16, 3:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 16, 11:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 16, 3:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel

Depths of the Piano
We welcome award-winning pianist Adam Golka for a program that celebrates piano concertos written by virtuosos for virtuosos. Our visiting soloist will explore the delicate balance and tension between orchestral forces and the piano through a selection of some of the most famous works written for piano and orchestra including Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Beethoven’s “Les Adieux” Piano Sonata, and more.

Tuesday, November 22, 10:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 23, 3:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 23, 11:00 a.m. on North Carolina Channel
Wednesday, November 23, 3:00 p.m. on North Carolina Channel

The Spring 2021 Virtual Concert Series was made possible by a wide range of community partners and sponsors including the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, Kimpton Hotel Arras (the Official Hotel Partner of the Asheville Symphony), the North Carolina Arts Council, Explore Asheville, The Payne Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Bolton, University of North Carolina Asheville, and the Asheville Symphony Guild.

The series was filmed during live performances at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts by videographer Daniel Judson and his team at Digital Media Foundry, with audio by Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios.

Series subscriptions, ticket packages and single tickets for the Asheville Symphony’s 22-23 season are on sale now. Single tickets for Masterworks concerts are $25–75, depending on seating section (reduced youth pricing is available). Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 828-254-7046, in person at the Asheville Symphony office at 27 College Pl., Suite 100, or at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville Box Office in downtown Asheville.

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