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Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Concludes The 2013-2014 Signature Season Classical Series with Beethoven’s Great Ninth

CONTACT: Angela Whitehead
Interim Communications & Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Dayton Ballet / Dayton Opera / Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
126 N. Main St., Suite 210, Dayton OH 45402
O: (937) 224-3521 x 1138  F: (937) 223-9189
DAYTON, OH (April 25, 2014) – On Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Artistic Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, along with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus, under the direction of Hank Dahlman, will present The Premier Health Classical Series Concert Beethoven's Great Ninth. Soprano Andrea Chenoweth, mezzo-soprano Brandi Samuel, tenor Jason Slayden, and bass Nathan Stark will deliver breathtaking solos in this performance. This concert is the William S. Anderson Endowed Concert with The Milt Kantor Family as Associate Sponsor.

The final Classical Series concert of the DPO’s 2013-2014 Signature Season opens with a work by Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra, a professor of composition at Cornell University. Sierra’s works have been a repertoire mainstay for many classical orchestras.  DPO presents A Joyous Overture, inspired, in fact, by music from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

The evening continues with modern-day composer Michael Schelle’s Swashbuckler!.  Growing up, New Jersey native Schelle (pronounced ‘Shelley’) played keyboards in various regional rock bands, so it stands to reason that he would have been influenced by the likes of Frank Zappa. But here’s the plot twist: Schelle was also influenced by the music of Stravinsky, Bartók, and Ives. His Swashbuckler!, which Schelle himself characterizes as “action-packed,” shows off his musical split personality. In a posting on Schelle’s Facebook page, he wrote “The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra has programmed my action-packed SWASHBUCKLER (1984)... Take THAT, Hans Zimmer, this is way pre-Hans Zimmer pirate music ... Rrrrrrrr.”

After intermission, DPO then proudly presents Ludwig van Beethoven’s classic masterpiece Symphony No. 9.  Before 1824, no composer had ever used voices in a symphony. It is ironic that the first composer, the musical pioneer to first do so, could not hear the effect; he was almost totally deaf. But Ludwig van Beethoven was a fighter.

Refusing to let his physical impairment keep him from doing what he wanted, he had composed eight symphonies previously as part of an immense body of work. So, on the seventh of May in 1824 in the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna, he sat in front of an orchestra, four vocal soloists, and a chorus – his first appearance on any stage in 12 years – and conducted a masterpiece. The music was his; the words came from Friedrich Schiller’s 1785 poem Ode To Joy and some from Beethoven himself.  On the stage with Beethoven, Michael Umlauf, the theatre's Kapellmeister, told the singers and musicians to ignore Beethoven, who gave the tempos for each movement, turned the pages of his score, beat time for the orchestra…and stood to see the audience applauding through five ovations.

At 7:00 p.m. before each performance, there will be a Take Note pre-concert talk in the Mead Theatre with DPO Artistic Director Neal Gittleman and composer Michael Schelle.

Tickets for Friday’s and Saturday’s Beethoven’s Great Ninth are $9 to $59 and are available at Ticket Center Stage, (937) 228-3630 and at Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office.

About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.


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