September 1, 2015
On October 11, the WSO will be performing Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy by Karim Elmahmoudi. I found out about Karim and this piece from the cover story of The International Musician. Anyone who makes the cover of that magazine is either a big shot or a unique, rising star in the music business. On a whim, I called to see if I could convince him to come here as our visiting composer. I knew I had a 50-50 chance he’d say “yes.”
Karim’s music has been performed all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall in L.A., and London’s Zankel Hall. He has received many awards for his classical music, film scores and video games. Currently, Orbit is played hourly at the California Space Center – permanent home of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Over three million people have already heard his composition.
While Karim is in the Twin Cities, we have scheduled for him to make presentations at local high schools and colleges. His journey to being a composer is really fascinating! He was an aerospace engineering student before becoming a composer and, as you might imagine, has a keen interest in the links between science and music. He is a pilot, a certified Coast Guard skipper, a scuba diver and a trombone player! His inspiring story will encourage young people to follow their dreams in whatever arena they choose.
Please join us on October 11 at 3:00 at Wayzata Community Church for this free performance!
“The overall felling I attempted to capture with this piece is one of vigorous heroism, evocative lyricism, and spirited adventure. The work is suggestive of this quote from Mark Twain: ‘Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’” – Karim Elmahmoudi
July 5, 2015
The WSO has so much in store for the 2015 – 16 season: A world premiere, a composer in residence, well-known soloists and as always, we perform works from the standard repertoire as well as unfamiliar, fabulous creations.
October 11, 2015: Adam Kuenzel and Orbit: A Symphonic Fantasy
Guest Artist: Adam Kuenzel, Principal Flute, MN Orch
Pre-concert talk with composer Karim Elmahmoudi: 2:00
Concert: 3:00 Wayzata Community Church
May 1 and May 7, 2016: Maria Sings Maria
Guest Artist: Maria Jette, Soprano
May 1: 3:00 Wayzata Community Church
May 7: 7:30 Trinity Lutheran Church Stillwater
All of our concerts are free and open to the public with no ticket required. I hope to see you at any or all of our exciting programs!
The Russian composer, Rimsky-Korsakov, had never heard an orchestra until his father took him to St. Petersburg to enroll in the College of Naval Cadets. He was 12 years old. When he went to the opera it was not the stage spectacle or the singing, but the great sound rising from the pit that excited him most. Early in 1857, he wrote home:
Imagine my joy, today I’m going to the theater! I shall see Lucia! I shall hear the enormous orchestra and the tam-tam!
That is the kind of experience many musicians tell of their first exposure to music. For me, it was hearing Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite for the first time. For others, it was when the MN Orchestra came to their elementary school to give a concert. And for many young New Yorkers, attending Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic established a life-long love of music.
That is why I love conducting family concerts. To present to young ears the incredible spectrum of sound in the orchestra, to welcome them in to the sensory experience that only music can provide, to draw attention to the fact that all those instruments are “speaking” volumes of meaning without words. And, most importantly, to let them know that it is their birthright to participate. Robin Williams once said,
“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in the universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even in the stars.”
Music is organic to the earth and therefore, to us.
For our family-friendly concerts on May 3 and May 9, we will feature all those glorious sounds, section by section, and then join forces for Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterfully orchestrated Capriccio Espagnol and Klaur Badelt’s, Pirates of the Caribbean. There might even be a visit from Jack Sparrow!