The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
By Joanne Green, Akron Symphony
While the Akron Symphony continues to prepare for Random Acts of Culture, we are also gearing up for our final performances of our 60th anniversary season. The centerpiece of our celebration is American Visions, the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s 60th anniversary concert.
The American Visions concert is a collaboration with the Akron Art Museum. It is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from Wells Fargo (reception sponsor), Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation (Roger Zahab commission sponsor), R.C. and Katharine Musson Charitable Foundation, Inc. (education and community engagement sponsor), FirstEnergy Foundation (special media sponsor), and media partners Akron Life & Leisure, 89.7WKSU and the Akron Beacon Journal.
American Visions is a celebration of America and Akron. It features the World Premiere of Akron Chronogram, a work commissioned specifically for the Akron Symphony for its 60th anniversary. Akron Chronogram was created by Akron composer, Roger Zahab, and is set to video by Laura Ruth Bidwell, whose work is supported by the Akron Art Museum. The concert begins with Ansel Adams: America by Dave and Chris Brubeck, which is accompanied by 100 awe-inspiring Ansel Adams photographs. American Visions concludes with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” a fitting tribute by a composer who advocated that American composers celebrate what is native to America. The concert will be lead by Maestro Christopher Wilkins.
Our 60th anniversary weekend will continue on Sunday afternoon at St. Sebastian Church with the Akron Symphony Chorus Spring Concert, featuring choral selections from the past 60 years and members of the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Chorus Director, Maria Sensi Sellner, will lead the chorus in a celebration of the Akron Symphony Orchestra’s 60th anniversary with selections including, Finzi’s Magnificat, Rutter’s Gloria, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.
Our 2011-2012 concert season then wraps up with two weeks of our popular Concerts for Kids from May 1-11. The Akron Symphony Orchestra, led by Assistant Conductor, Levi Hammer, will perform Peter and the Wolf in these 45-minute, interactive concerts geared toward children ages 2-6. We are pleased to be partnering with the Magical Theatre Company, which is providing actors and narration. The Concerts for Kids series is sponsored by the Akron Community Foundation and The Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust, with additional support provided by Omnova Solutions Foundation, Western Reserve Public Media, Ohio Arts Council, Akron Family Magazine, the Welty Family Foundation and The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation (Hudson Community Co-Sponsor).
Look for a preview of our 2012-2013 season preview soon, as well as more details about our Random Acts of Culture appearances this spring. To stay current on all things related to the Akron Symphony, visit our website and sign up for our e-news.