Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Music Director Finalist Andrés Franco With an Evening of Music from The Imperial City

October 29, 2018 1:56 pm
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(Wheeling, WV) Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (WSO) announces its next concert of the 2018-19 season, A Night in Vienna, conducted by Music Director Finalist Andrés Franco, featuring guest artist Alexi Kenney. The performance will be held Thursday, November 15 at 7:30 pm at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, WV.

The Imperial City has captured the imagination of music lovers for centuries, and counts Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms among its illustrious inhabitants. Johann Strauss, Jr. immortalized Vienna through his delightful music, inspiring Richard Strauss to write the famous waltzes of Der Rosenkavalier. Violinist Alexi Kenney, the recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, makes his Wheeling Symphony debut performing Brahms’ beloved Violin Concerto.

Alexi Kenney enjoys a busy career as a concert and chamber violist.  Mr. Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by the New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.”  His win at the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition at the age of nineteen led to a critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut recital at Weill Hall. Born in Palo Alto, California in 1994, Alexi holds a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Previous teachers include Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong.

Beginning his fourth season as Music Director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Andrés Franco continues to delight audiences with his imaginative programming and energetic style. Highlights of the 2018/2019 season include debuts with the Dallas Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and Wheeling Symphony, as well as a return engagement with the Detroit Symphony.

Mr. Franco is also a frequent guest conductor in the U.S., Europe, and South America and formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City, as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.  Andrés Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as master of music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University.  He is married to Victoria Luperi, associate principal clarinetist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

“This concert will be an unforgettable musical journey to Vienna,” says music director finalist and conductor, Andrés Franco.  “The program features two lighter and highly entertaining pieces by Johann Strauss, Jr.: the Overture to The Gypsy Baron, and the Csárdás from Ritter Pásmán, both of which are influenced by Gypsy and Hungarian music. J. Strauss Jr.’s music was admired by many people, including the other two composers in the program: Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss.”

Franco adds, “We will play Brahms’s towering Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with Alexi Kenney as soloist. Alexi is one of the most exciting violinists I have heard, and I am very happy to be working with him in Wheeling.  The concert concludes with the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. This piece is a tour de force that will showcase the amazing talents of the Wheeling Symphony. The Suite—like the concert itself—I s a celebration of all things Viennese and includes a delightful sequence of waltzes that will bring the evening to a spectacular conclusion!”

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 Franco 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 Franco and other members of the symphony orchestra.

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