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Kentucky Symphony Orchestra presents ‘American Pie’ on Feb. 16 at NKU’s Greaves Concert Hall

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-19 passport to musical adventure returns stateside sporting new and classic musical fashions.

On February 16, the KSO will serve up a slice of today’s Americana with a techno-driven opener and leather-clad closer featuring the music of Mason Bates, Ferde Grofé, Samuel Barber and Danny Elfman.

It’s American Pie.

“American composers continue to add bold flavor and architecture to symphonic music via technology and vivid soundscapes while offering new forms and fireworks for both soloists and the orchestra,” commented KSO Music Director James Cassidy.

Composer & DJ Mason Bates was recently named the most performed composer of his generation, and 2018 composer of the year by Musical America. Bates’ orchestral works are noted for their unique integration of electronic sounds.

The KSO opens its program with Bates’ “Mothership,” a 9’ piece in which soloists temporarily dock into the orchestra and feed into the energy of modern techno dance rhythms, driven by a laptop computer and monitors on stage.

The work was premiered in 2011 by the YouTube Symphony Orchestra from Sydney, Australia to a world-wide, live internet audience of 2 million viewers. The work will receive its Tristate premiere with the KSO.

Ferde Grofé’s depiction of Grand Canyon was inspired by his jeep trip to the Canyon in 1916. Years later, after scoring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for full orchestra, Grofé returned to his musical sketches/recollections
of his Grand Canyon trip and finished his five-movement work in 1931. This American warhorse sonically captures the Canyon’s —“Sunrise,” “Painted Desert,” burros “On the Trail,” “Sunset” and a “Cloudburst.”

With curator Stephen Lias’ projected images and video, the KSO will celebrate Grand Canyon National Park’s 100th anniversary, with a performance of Grofe’s celebrated work.

Violinist Sandy Cameron joins the KSO after intermission for Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, with its two beautiful lyrical movements and quick athletic finale. Barber wrote the concerto in 1939 and revised it in 1948.

Cameron has toured throughout the world and is noted for her work with former Oingo Boingo frontman and award-winning film score composer Danny Elfman. Beginning with Elfman’s Cirque du Soleil show “IRIS” and the 2017 world premiere of his violin concerto “Eleven Eleven” Cameron has appeared as featured soloist on PBS broadcasts from New York and Vienna of Elfman’s film music.

Sandy will perform the extended czardas/cadenza from Elfman’s Suite from the film Edward Scissorhands with the KSO and NKU Women’s choir to close out the All-American evening.

Join the Music Director James Cassidy, violinist Sandy Cameron and The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra for a free-range, American music montage at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 16, at Greaves Concert Hall on the campus of NKU.

Reserved seating tickets are $35, $27, $19 (children ages 6-18 are 50% off) and are available online at kyso.org, by phone—(859) 431-6216, or at the door.

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