Fall A&E Preview: Classical Music

After a Knoxville summer devoid of concerts and operatic performances, music lovers always seem to be anxious for the fall season with the giddy eagerness and optimism of a third-grader armed with fresh school supplies. The fall of 2011 has the clear potential to be more than just a fresh new season, and more than the slaking of an audience’s musical thirst. In different ways, several of Knoxville’s music organizations have each undergone changes that may eventually serve to propel Knoxville music into a whole new performance level.

When the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra takes the stage of the Tennessee Theatre for its monthly Masterworks series later this month, concertgoers will see substantial changes in personnel. While orchestras generally thrive on ensemble stability, a case can be made for the excitement that comes with fresh blood. Most visible, of course, will be the KSO’s new concertmaster, Gabriel Lefkowitz, who has already proven in spring performances to be a remarkable violinist as well as a solid leader. The KSO also has a new associate concertmaster, Gordon Tsai, who will join the orchestra in January. In addition to the changes to the KSO’s violin section, there will be several new faces in principal chairs in the woodwinds and brass.

Like a Wagnerian hero, the University of Tennessee School of Music continues to move ahead valiantly despite the deaths of faculty members and ongoing displacement as construction continues on a new Music Center building. Although the death of the school’s director, Roger Stephens, in February was a sad burden, Stephens’ legacies endure and mark the department’s strengths. One of the most notable strengths, no doubt, has been the revitalization of the orchestra program undertaken by UT Symphony Maestro James Fellenbaum. The UT Opera Theatre also sports a new director, James Marvel, who may already be familiar to Knoxville audiences from several productions for Knoxville Opera. Of course, the best kept secret in Knoxville music continues to be the school’s schedule of faculty and guest artist recitals and concerts—all free, by the way.

And speaking of Knoxville Opera: General director Brian Salesky continues his past successful casting triumphs with a season of two very different Verdi operas in fall and spring, and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette in February. Of perhaps equal importance in promoting opera over the long term, Salesky has had serious success with his outreach concerts, education programs, and community involvement. Community is at the heart of Knoxville Opera Goes to Church, an October program combining gospel and opera, and featuring some of Knoxville’s better choirs and singers.

Community is also at the core of a number of area organizations that fill important niches in the arts. The Knoxville Choral Society offers a season of performances and makes regular appearances with the KSO. The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is the umbrella organization for a number of impressive programs: the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, a chamber music series of guest ensembles, and the Oak Ridge Youth Symphony Orchestra. The Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus, now in its second full season, has been significant in offering diverse concert opportunities in new venues.

—Alan Sherrod

KNOXVILLE OPERA

(865) 524-0795 • knoxvilleopera.com

SUNDAY, OCT. 9

Knoxville Opera Goes to Church... A Celebration of Talent!

Local singers—from both Knoxville Opera and the church community—join for a concert of opera highlights and gospel music.

Greater Warner Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church • 4:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCT. 28, SUNDAY, OCT. 30

Knoxville Opera: La Traviata

This don’t-miss production features Joyce El-Khoury as Violetta and Zach Borichevsky as Alfredo. Keturah Stickann directs with Knoxville Opera general director Brian Salesky conducting.

Tennessee Theatre • Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. • $13-$92

KNOXVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

(865) 291-3310 • knoxvillesymphony.com

THURSDAY, SEPT. 22, FRIDAY, SEPT. 23

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: “All Beethoven”

Beethoven lovers will undoubtedly go for the season-opening concerts, featuring the Eroica symphony, the Third Piano Concerto, and the Coriolan Overture.

Tennessee Theatre • 7 p.m. • $11-$84

SATURDAY, OCT. 1

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra with Michael Feinstein

Knoxville Civic Auditorium • 8 p.m. • $19-$88

SUNDAY, OCT. 9

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Family Concert: “Music, Music Everywhere”

Cokesbury United Methodist Church • 2:30 p.m. • $5-$20

THURSDAY, OCT. 20, FRIDAY, OCT. 21

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: Dvorak’s New World Symphony

Tennessee Theatre • 7 p.m. • $11-$84

TUESDAY, OCT. 25, WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Young People’s Concert: “Got Rhythm?”

Knoxville Civic Auditorium • 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. • Free

THURSDAY, OCT. 27

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Young People’s Concert: “Got Rhythm?”

Knoxville Civic Auditorium • 9:30 a.m. • Free

SUNDAY, NOV. 6

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Chamber Classics: Hayden and Mozart

Bijou Theatre • 2:30 p.m. • $11-$32

MONDAY, NOV. 14

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra

Tennessee Theatre • 7 p.m. • Free

THURSDAY, NOV. 17, FRIDAY, NOV. 18

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: Zuill Baily Plays DVORAK

With often two or more concert opportunities every month, it is virtually impossible to choose from the KSO’s diverse schedule. November offers the Dvorak Cello Concerto, combined with works by Enesco and Bartok.

Tennessee Theatre • 7 p.m. • $11-$84

SUNDAY, NOV. 27

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Concerts in the Community

West Town Mall • 1 p.m. • Free

SUNDAY, DEC. 11

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Concerts in the Community

West Town Mall • 1 p.m. • Free

FRIDAY, DEC. 16

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra 25th Annual Holiday Concert

Knoxville Civic Auditorium • 7:30 p.m. • $6.50-$44

SATURDAY, DEC. 17

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra 25th Annual Holiday Concert

Knoxville Civic Auditorium • 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. • $6.50-$44

SUNDAY, DEC. 18

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra 25th Annual Holiday Concert

Knoxville Civic Auditorium • 3 p.m. • $6.50-$44

OAK RIDGE CIVIC MUSIC ASSOCIATION

(865) 483-5569 • orcma.org

SATURDAY, SEPT. 17

Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra: Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6 in D Minor

Oak Ridge High School • 8 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCT. 2

Tiberius String Quartet

Pollard Auditorium (Oak Ridge) • 4 p.m.

SATURDAY, NOV. 5

Lydian String Quartet

Pollard Auditorium (Oak Ridge) • 8 p.m.

SATURDAY, NOV. 19

Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra: “From Around the World”

Oak Ridge High School • 8 p.m.

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE OPERA THEATRE

(865) 974-3241 • music.utk.edu/opera/

FRIDAY, NOV. 11, SATURDAY, NOV. 12, SUNDAY, NOV. 20

The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti and Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini

Two short operas by UT Opera Theatre under its new director, James Marvel.

Bijou Theatre • Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Saturday time TBA)

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE SCHOOL OF MUSIC

(865) 974-3241 • music.utk.edu

SUNDAY, SEPT. 25

University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1

The UT Symphony Orchestra is making a continuing case for being Knoxville’s “other” symphony orchestra with a bold fall season.

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 4 p.m. • Free

TUESDAY, OCT. 11

Fall Choral Concert

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 8 p.m. • Free

THURSDAY, OCT. 13

Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band Concert

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 8 p.m. • Free

SATURDAY, OCT. 22, SUNDAY, OCT. 23

Viola Celebration

The fifth year of this annual extravaganza, featuring workshops and classes as well as free concerts. Saturday’s concert includes a performance of the Walton Concerto with James Dunham and the UT Symphony Orchestra. Sunday’s performance is a finale concert with UT’s All-Viola Orchestra, led by David Holland.

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. • Free

THURSDAY, OCT. 27

USAF Woodwind Quintet

Alumni Memorial Building Performance Hall 32 • 8 p.m. • Free

SUNDAY, OCT. 30

University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra: Symphonic Metamorphosis

The guest conductor for the October concert will be Anthony Parnther, conductor and music director of the Orange County Symphony of Anaheim, Cal.

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 4 p.m. • Free

THURSDAY, NOV. 3

UT Singers Concert

Alumni Memorial Building Performance Hall 32 • 8 p.m. • Free

TUESDAY, NOV. 8

UT Jazz Big Band

James R. Cox Auditorium AT Alumni Memorial Building • 8 p.m. • Free

TUESDAY, NOV. 22

Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band & Concert Band Concert

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 8 p.m. • Free

SUNDAY, NOV. 27

Jazz for Tots

UT student jazz ensembles perform traditional Christmas music at this benefit show. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy donation to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign; cash donations will also be accepted.

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 7 p.m.

TUESDAY, NOV. 29

Holiday Choral Concert

James R. Cox Auditorium at Alumni Memorial Building • 8 p.m. • Free

OTHER

SATURDAY, OCT. 16

Knoxville Community Band Concert

Market Square • 3 p.m. • Free

SATURDAY, OCT. 22

Boston String Quartet with the Maryville High School Orchestra: “Xibus”

Clayton Center for the Arts (Maryville) • 7:30 p.m. • $15

FRIDAY, NOV. 4

Opera Consort: Diary of a Madman

A new local arts company offers its adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s story.

The Neighborhood Center (800 N. Fourth Ave.)

SATURDAY, NOV. 12

Knoxville Choral Society: “Salute to America”

Tennessee Theatre • 8 p.m. • $10-$20

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