STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Maestro Allan R. Scott returns to the podium for his 14th season with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, albeit with a heavy heart.
Scott’s high school classmate, Beau Biden, succumbed to brain cancer in May, and more recently, on Sept. 11, SPSO bass trombonist Scott Stover passed away after battling cancer. “You don’t realize how an individual’s playing affects the whole (orchestral sound) until they’re not there,” said Scott.
Oct. 10’s 2015-2016 season opener concert at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale will feature Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 7,” which Scott said will be presented as a kind of “21-gun salute” to Stover. “Each movement has an inner struggle of some kind. It’s true that music can speak when words cannot,” he said.
Starting at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, the concert will also feature the talents of the three SPSO Young Artists Competition winners for this year — Gladwyne fourth-grader Alyssa Gabrilovich performing a Bach piano concerto; Unionville High School freshman cellist Sabine Jung performing a composition by Édouard Lalo, and 16-year-old Daniel T. Kim performing Rachmaninoff’s first piano concerto.
At 3 p.m. Dec. 20 at Trinity, it’s the Family Holiday Concert, with “Kid Konductors!,” an interactive tradition involving younger music lovers that dates back to when the orchestra was called the North Penn Symphony Orchestra. “This year, I’m going a little off the beaten path,” said Scott, sharing that the “Holy Night” program would include Verdi’s “Ave Maria” and a selection from the opera “Hansel and Gretel” by 19th century German composer Engelbert Humperdinck, that will feature guest opera singers.
At 7:30 p.m. April 2, also at Trinity Lutheran, Romanian cellist Ovidiu Marinescu returns as a soloist in a variations piece by Tchaikovsky and excerpts from “Swan Lake” that were arranged for a solo cello, plus a “Latin Fiesta” program. “It’s a real diverse, let-your-hair-down-type party,” Scott said of the spring concert.
Forty-five minutes before each concert, engage in Pre-Concert Conversations with Scott and the guest artists of that particular performance.
Season subscriptions are $70, $55 for seniors 65+, and include a “bring a friend” pass. General admission tickets are $25, $20 for seniors, $5 for students and children over 12.
Go to www.spso.info and www.facebook.com/Southeastern-Pennsylvania-Symphony-Orchestra.
“The goal is to show the community how much we have to offer, and hopefully the (concert) experience will be different from the last (one they attended),” said Scott, acknowledging that individuals in the audience will have different thoughts, feelings and sensory experiences with the music selections. “The thing that makes a concert great is the collective listening experience. It’s not something you can reproduce at home. When we’re experiencing human creativity, we’re also tapping into other parts of who we are.”