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A history of violins

Published on January 30, 2018 3:11PM

Kenji Bunch

Kenji Bunch

Erik Peterson • Photo by Peter Lockley

Erik Peterson • Photo by Peter Lockley

Music from America’s most celebrated composers will fill the Newport Performing Arts Center this weekend in a pair of concerts from the Newport Symphony Orchestra at the Ocean.

Directed by Maestro Adam Flatt, the symphony will be joined by special guest violinists Kenji Bunch and Erik Peterson.

Bunch who hails from Portland, has quickly emerged as one of the most prominent American composers of his generation and has been heralded as “A Composer to Watch” by the New York Times. He will perform his own composition “Verso” for solo violin, solo viola, harpsichord and string orchestra.

Peterson is a nationally recognized violinist, member of the Colorado Symphony and Ivy Street Ensemble in Denver and festival artistic director of the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival in Corvallis.

The concerts open with “El Salon Mexico” by Aaron Copland, referred to by his peers and critics as “the dean of American composers.” The open, slowly changing harmonies in much of his music are typical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit.

The orchestra will also play “The White Peacock” by Charles Tomlinson Griffes, regarded as one of the most important American composers at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The concert will conclude with two numbers by another 20th Century American icon, Samuel Barber, composer of orchestral, opera, choral and piano music. The orchestra will celebrate Barber’s legacy with performances of his “Adagio for Strings” and “Symphony No. 1.”

The Saturday, Feb. 3, concert begins at 7:30 pm with a pre-concert talk by Flatt at 6:45 pm. The Sunday, Feb, 4, matinée begins at 2 pm.

After each concert, guests are invited to stick around and mingle with the performers at a complimentary Wine Down, featuring select wine from the Flying Dutchman Winery of Otter Rock plus delicious array of food items. The Newport Performing Arts Center is located at 777 West Olive Street.

Tickets, $25 and $39 plus ticket fees; or $10 for students, are available at the box office, by calling 541-265-2787 or online at NewportSymphony.org.

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