Our beloved jazz singer Marlene VerPlanck has died

The whole orchestra is saddened to hear of the passing of Marlene VerPlanck in January. It was such a pleasure to have her perform with us. Her performance was polished and gracious, and her jazzy style was perfect for the arrangements that Bernie Hoffer made especially for her appearances in Concord with the orchestra.

Violinist Sharon Lamprecht left a tribute on Marlene’s Legacy guest book:

“I had the privilege to meet Marlene in Concord Ma when she sang for us in the Concord Orchestra. What a joy to hear her voice singing my favorite jazz songs to the Bossa Nova rhythm so perfectly. Her velvety voice soothed us musicians and audiences alike. I always hear her voice now whenever I play those jazz tunes. Thank you Marlene.”

Read the Washington Post obituary.

Read a personal tribute by Steve Ember, whos is photographer, voice actor and friend of Marlene VerPlanck.

Share with your friends
Tagged with: , ,

Young Artist Winners

We still have the January concerts coming up on January 26 and 27, with Steven Ansell playing the Walton Viola Concerto, plus the Brahms 3rd Symphony, as well as How the Solar System Was Won by Matthew Browne.

However, we’ve got some breaking news…Winners have been selected for this season’s Ehlers Young Artist Concerto Competition. There aren’t many details yet, but here’s what we know:

First place winner

Violinist Alexander Goldberg, age 17, will play the Prokoviev Violin Concerto No. 2 with the orchestra on March 23 and 24, 2018. He is from Andover and his teacher is Angelo Xiang Yu.

Other competition honorees

  • Cellist Hayden Idson, age 12. He is from Jamaica Plain, and his teacher is Michael Bonner.
  • Cellist Hotin Chan, age 17. He is from Natick, and his teacher is Mark Churchill.

We’ll have more news later about possible pre-concert recitals by the honorees.


Share with your friends
Tagged with: , ,

Learn more about the Walton Viola Concerto

In January 2018, we’ll play the magnificent Viola Concerto, written in 1929 by William Walton. Our soloist is Steven Ansell of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I’m always thrilled to discover new music that I’ve never played before. I think you, as audience, will be thrilled too.
Sir WILLIAM WALTON 1902-1983 Composer lived here

Here are some links with information about the concerto:

Viola Concerto (Walton) in Wikipedia

Artosphere Festival Orchestra playing the Walton Viola Concerto with Roberto Diaz, Viola on YouTube

A personal reminiscence of William Walton in the Guardian

About William Walton on his Oxford University Press webpage

You can also search for Walton’s music on Spotify, or Pandora, or in Naxos Music Library (a subscription service).

Image: Blue plaque erected in 2009 by English Heritage at Lowndes Cottage, 8 Lowndes Place, Belgravia, London SW1X 8DD, City of Westminster

Share with your friends
Tagged with: , ,

Do you know “How the Solar System Was Won”?

Artist conception of the solar system, from NASA

Artist conception of the solar system, from NASA

Did you know that “How the Solar System Was Won” was the original title for the great science fiction movie “2001”? Even though I’m a big fan, I didn’t know until I read Matthew Brown’s program notes. This imaginative piece is on the program for our next concerts, on January 26 & 27, 2018. Read some more about Matthew’s music, in his own words:

“How the Solar System Was Won was the working title of the Kubrick classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the composer’s favorite film.  Using the title as an impetus, this piece is about three very different but related things: one astronomical, one musical, and one deeply personal.

“The astronomical narrative is about how the solar system became what it is today through the chaotic mess of celestial mechanics and cosmic collisions.  Over billions of years various gasses, rocks, and other debris have interacted with each other in these ways to create this tentative orbital balance we have around us, still slowly (but consistently) changing.  It is interesting that some of the most recognized astronomical objects (Saturn’s rings, the asteroid belt, the moon) came as a direct result of a collision of some sort that has momentarily thrown off the balance that gravitational forces have been working so hard to create.

“The second narrative deals with my use of musical grooves. I repeatedly set them up one by one for only a few bars at a time – just before the audience can be lulled into a comfortable, restful languor (much like an orbit) – and then quickly subvert them in chaotic and surprising ways to make something new and exciting – a musical version of Saturn’s rings.

“The final narrative is about how the most chaotic and devastating moments in our normally groove-filled lives are what contribute most to shaping our personalities, and help give us our own personal rings of Saturn.”

Take a look at his other work on his website: https://www.mattbrownecomposer.com/

Share with your friends
Tagged with: ,

How to buy tickets in January

Our January 2018 concerts bring some inspiring music:

  • Matthew BROWNE  How the Solar System Was Won
  • William WALTON  Viola Concerto
    with Steven Ansell, BSO Principal Violist
  • Johannes BRAHMS    Symphony No. 3 in F

About tickets

Do you ever wonder how many ways you can buy tickets?

You may think the headline means there is new or different ways to get tickets this year, but I only wanted to give a summary of the usual ways to get tickets.

Here’s a list:

Purchase Tickets, $10 Kids, $25 Adults:

Order Online   No additional fees — same price as at the door. Instant Confirmation — Holiday Concert Tickets are General Admission, and sent by Email and available at Will Call.

By Phone  Call the orchestra ticket and information line (978) 369-4967 to order subscriptions and tickets. Leave a voice mail and expect a call back within 24 hours.

By Email  For questions, you can also email ticketmanager@concordorchestra.com.

At the Door  There are always tickets available, but you’ll have to wait in line and some of the best seats will be gone. However, if you’re a spur-of-the-moment seeker of good music, you’ll still get to hear a great concert.

Share with your friends
Tagged with: