Arts & Entertainment

Symphony adds international flair to 104th season

WALLA WALLA -- For 103 years, the Walla Walla Symphony has provided its community with a stimulating season of classical magic.

And now, the symphony has brought in two international musicians to open its 104th season Oct. 26 in Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus in Walla Walla. Showtime is 8 p.m. Acclaimed cellist Nathaniel Rosen and violinist Lindsay Deutsch join the symphony for an evening titled, Sounds of Rejoicing, which includes William Berry's A Cup of Rejoicing, Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto in A Minor and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D Major.

The season also features a return engagement of the Eugene Ballet Company that will dance the holiday classic The Nutcracker.

Also featured will be an evening of Celtic music and four chamber music soirees, and an original composition by Gwyneth Walker will make its debut.

"We're one of the best music deals in the region," said Michael Wenberg, CEO of the Walla Walla Symphony. "World-class music performed by one of the finest small town orchestras in the country, some fabulous guest artists and our least expensive symphony series ticket is just $7. What can be better than that?"

Here's a look at the regular season:

-- Oct. 26: Sounds of Rejoicing featuring cellist Nathaniel Rosen and violinist Lindsay Deutsch.

-- Feb. 15: Viennese Romance featuring the music of the Strauss family and Schubert, as well as the horn magic of Dean Kravig.

-- March 15: The Four Seasons featuring the music Vaughan Williams, Tchaikovsky and Piazzolla.

-- April 19: The Magic of Mozart, featuring opera arias and duets with soprano Sarah Parnicky and baritone Jeremy Irland.

Special concerts planned throughout the year include:

-- Nov. 21: The Celtic Tenors. Showtime is 3 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

-- Nov. 18: A free family concert and food fundraiser with music by Gregory Smith and Gwyneth Walker and a youth choir directed by Terry Koch. Showtime is 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

-- Dec. 14-15: The Nutcracker ballet performed by the Eugene Ballet Company. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

-- June 12: Discovery Concert featuring an afternoon of tantalizing western riding and horsemanship accented by live symphonic music. This event will be held at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds.

"We're delighted to bring the Celtic Tenors to town to help us kick off the holiday season," Wenberg said. "We're also looking forward to collaborating once again with the Eugene Ballet Company. We had such a great response to their performance two years ago and Sleeping Beauty last season we thought it would be fun to have them return."

The Walla Walla Symphony is led by maestro Yaacov Bergman, who will celebrate 25 years as the symphony's music director in 2011.

Regular season tickets are from $54 to $98 depending on seat location. Discounts are available for students. Single concert tickets to each event are from $7 to $27.

Tickets can be purchased at www.wwsymphony.org or call 509-529-8020.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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