Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Hosts an Evening of Storytelling through Symphonies, Arias, & Songs

March 1, 2019 4:00 pm
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(Wheeling, WV) Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) announces the next concert of the 2018-19 season, Brahms Symphony No. 4 with guest artist Soloman Howard, conducted by Music Director Finalist John Devlin. The performance will be held Friday, March 15 at 7:30 pm at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, WV.

The program opens with Tchaikovsky’s magical Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.  Soloman Howard, bass, joins the WSO through a series of Arias, Spirituals and Songs, including Ol’ Man River, Some Enchanted Evening, and Ride on Jesus! The Washington Post praises Mr. Howard as “young, charismatic, and vocally imposing.” The evening ends with Brahms Symphony No. 4, creating a most thunderous and joy-filled close to a spectacular concert.

A recent graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Soloman Howard garners high praise from the press for his vivid performances on the great opera and concert stages of the world.  Soloman Howard’s voice is described as “sonorous” by The New York Times, “superhuman” by The Denver Post, and “a triumph” by The Guardian. Soloman Howard’s has appeared with Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, as well as the Washington National Opera.  Mr. Howard is a proud graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and of Morgan State University and recently received the prestigious “Marian Anderson Vocal Award.”

John Devlin is the newly appointed Music Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony and Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Institute. John has also held positions with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Of his debut concert with the NSO and soloist Joshua Bell, Anne Midgette of the Washington Post wrote that Devlin “led the evening with flair … and was visibly in his element.” With these, and other orchestras, Devlin has conducted at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and at the Music Center at Strathmore.

Devlin is also a leader in designing concerts that frame orchestral music in new and innovative ways. His thinking has inspired many forward-looking concepts such as Gourmet Symphony, of which he is the Founding Artistic Director, Go-Go Symphony, Seamless Symphony, Interactive Symphony, and the New Retro Project. Devlin holds masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland School of Music and his undergraduate degree from Emory University.

“Composers are story-tellers, and each piece on our program relates its story in a different way,” says music director finalist and conductor John Devlin. “The concert will open with a tale familiar to us all, that of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as imagined by the great Russian composer, Peter Tchaikovsky. Then, we will feature a bass singer, Soloman Howard, whose “superhuman” voice is one that I think places him firmly amongst the most powerful and authentic performers of his generation. Mr. Howard will present arias, songs and spirituals as we explore music throughout history that is imbued with drama and sincerity of meaning through the texts. Lastly, we move to music with no explicit story: Brahms Fourth Symphony. The last symphony written by this legendary composer brings together everything that is beautiful and everything that is exceptional about his orchestral writing— and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra will trace its own story for you through this symphonic masterpiece.”

Prior to the concert, patrons can purchase a pre-show, prix fixe dinner, catered by Chef Rocco Basil in the Capitol Theatre Ballroom starting at 5:30 pm. Patrons can also join us for a free “Concert Talk” at 6:30 pm where Maestro Devlin and other guests offer an informative and intriguing look at the story behind the music to be presented that evening.

Immediately following the performance, the board of directors cordially invites attendees to stay for a free post-show reception with Maestro Devlin and other members of the symphony orchestra.

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