Centre to host world’s greatest orchestra led by world’s
May 25, 2010 By Milton Reigelman
conductor, will conduct a program performed by the Vienna
Philharmonic Orchestra, widely regarded as the most important
orchestra in the world.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s popularity is so great that
the waiting period to purchase a subscription for its weekday
concerts in Vienna is currently six years.
Dr. Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech, discussed the importance
of music to the World Equestrian Games. Alltech is the title
sponsor of the games.
Centre College announced on Tuesday, May 25, that the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, widely regarded as the most important orchestra in the world, will perform at its Norton Center for the Arts on September 27. Other than in Danville, the Vienna Philharmonic will perform only in New York City at Carnegie Hall during their visit to America. Tickets for the New York performances have been sold out for many months.
Gustavo Dudamel, the 29-year-old Venezuelan prodigy, will conduct a program of Dvorak’s New World symphony, Leonard Bernstein and Ravel. Music critics have written that not since Bernstein has a conductor caused such excitement around the world as Dudamel. Last year Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has recently appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, NPR, PBS and Dateline NBC.
The performance will be part of the Alltech Fortnight Festival being held in conjunction with the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, where 600,000 visitors are expected.
It will be broadcast live on WLEX (NBC Lexington) and available to other NBC affiliates around the country. NBC will also produce a program for later viewing that will combine footage from the equestrian games and the concert.
Tickets for the concert may be purchased by calling the Norton Center box office at 859-236-4692 or toll-free, 877-448-7469. The premium ticket price, which includes the pre-concert dinner, is $375. Other ticket prices are $150 and $100.
Seven music trade magazines recently named the VPO the most important orchestra in the world. Its popularity is so great that the waiting period to purchase a subscription for its weekday concerts in Vienna is currently six years. The waiting period for a weekend subscription is 13 years.
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya of Jordan and wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, has accepted Centre’s invitation to the performance and a black-tie dinner preceding the concert. Princess Haya is the President of FEI, the international equestrian federation. Sodexho, the French company that handles the food service at Centre, will fly in chefs from Europe for the dinner.
Dudamel, who is arguably the world’s leading conductor, will conduct Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony No. 9, originally commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, which performed at Centre last spring. Another American connection in the program will be Leonard Bernstein’s Divertimento for Symphonic Band, the composer’s exuberant musical tribute to the Boston of his youth. The program will end with two short dance pieces by Maurice Ravel, “Pavane” and “Bolero.” Dudamel currently serves as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, and artistic director of the Orquestra Sinfonica Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela.
Alltech, the overall sponsor of the World Equestrian Games, is partnering with Centre to bring the VPO and Dudamel to Danville as part of its Fortnight Festival. Other partners for the event include Ephraim McDowell Health, NBC, Sodexho, College Cable, DecoArt, Inc., Frank Taylor of Taylor Made Farms, and R. R. Donnelley.
Since it opened in 1973, Centre’s Norton Center for the Arts has brought more than 700 performances of world-class music, theatre, opera and dance to Danville, including the world’s major orchestras: the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Orchestra de Paris.
In 2000, Centre hosted the only Vice-Presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman at its Norton Center. The late Lynn Redgrave performed her one-woman show, and then returned to deliver the Centre Commencement address, as did Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
In the press conference announcing the concert, Centre President John Roush asked, “When the world’s greatest orchestra joins forces with the world’s most exciting conductor, where do they choose to debut their historic performance in America? In Danville, Kentucky, at Centre College, which is known in this state, in the nation, and increasingly in the world as a place where important conversations and cultural events occur.”
Norton Center Interim Managing Director Milton Reigelman said that Centre’s courtship with the VPO began when Assistant Managing Director Debra Hoskins contacted the orchestra after going through the Austrian Embassy in Washington. He said that all Centre students, many of whom will be studying Vienna and its orchestra, will be able to attend the rehearsal free of charge.
To read more about the Vienna Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, click here.