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Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Recognizes Area Educators, Including Its Own Stars of the Philharmonic, with a Beautiful Classical Concert Featuring Associate Concertmaster Aurelian Oprea

Communications & Media Manager

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 

DAYTON, OH (February 28, 2016) – On Friday, March 11, 2016 and Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 8 p.m. in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will present Stars of the Philharmonic, the fifth concert in the Premier Health 2015-2016 Classical Series.  This program will feature Dayton Philharmonic’s very own Associate Concertmaster Aurelian Oprea in a spectacular violin concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach.

As a way to show immense gratitude and appreciation to area educators, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) would like to invite current teachers, librarians, and homeschool parents from the Dayton and Miami Valley region to attend either performance of Stars of the Philharmonic for a special price of $14 for the best available seats in the house.  This price is valid for active educators (preschool through college) on a first-come, first-served basis as long as seats are available.  To reserve tickets, educators may call (888) 228-3630 and mention “daytonteacher” when speaking with the Ticket Center Stage agent.  Please provide school, homeschool network or library designation.

The DPAA would also like to take an opportunity with this concert to recognize its own Stars of the Philharmonic by calling attention to the musicians on stage who teach music to others, planting the seed of life into the minds of young students who will eventually pass this gift on to the next generation.  These musicians of the Dayton Philharmonic take the time to instruct others and to share their passion so that the youth of our community grow to love and appreciate music.  “Many of our DPO musicians teach,” said Conductor Neal Gittleman.  “Some get beginners started on their instruments, while others teach accomplished players at the college or graduate level. But all of them make a difference, spreading the magic of music to a wider and wider audience.” The DPAA would like to thank these musicians for leaving their imprint on the Dayton community by giving the gift of music to others.

The weekend’s program opens with Kevin Keller’s 2011 opus Not in My Name, a spiritual piece fashioned in expressionism with touches of minimalism and ambient music. Originally commissioned by Ray Sullivan and Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Not in My Name grew from Keller’s research of medieval art and history in Europe. He says, "When Ray Sullivan first approached me with his idea for a dance work about holy war and acts of man in the name of God, I was immediately inspired. With my own interest in the early Christian and Islamic faiths, I was excited about the opportunity to explore these ideas and express them in music."

DPO Associate Concertmaster Aurelian Oprea then presents his vision of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sumptuous Violin Concerto No. 2, one of the earliest of Bach’s concertos in music history to survive in modern repertoire. Derived from the Italian concerto form, with the two outer movements fast and the middle one slow and lyrical, the piece features a magical passage for the solo violin and a vigorous finale. Even so, scholars have noted that Bach is most inspired in the slow movements.

Concertgoers will then be treated to a moving presentation by composer Niel DePonte entitled “With Grace and Justice For All,” in which DePonte has artistically combined a beautiful musical score with the pre-recorded voices of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.  This emotional piece had its world premiere on the DPO’s 2014-2015 Stained Glass Concert Series.  “When we premiered Niel DePonte's ‘With Grace and Justice for All’ on last spring's Stained Glass concerts, it made such a powerful impression on audiences that I immediately decided to try to find a slot for it on our classical series, so more people could have a chance to hear it,” said Maestro Gittleman. “This piece's powerful message of human dignity is one that needs to be heard, and the combination of DePonte's music with the recorded words of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King is unforgettable.”

The program concludes with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s lively Symphony No. 38 (Prague). Mozart's popularity among the Bohemians was evident in works such as this piece. They liked him, and it seemed he returned the favor with the boisterous final movement of this delightful work. Although the actual composition dates are hard to verify, it is clear that he was invited to Prague for the 1786-1787 winter season, which was just after the much lauded reception of his opera Le Nozze de Figaro. The symphony’s premiere was in Prague, and it's not hard to envision that this wondrous work stirred the emotions of many a thankful Bohemian.

Tickets for Stars of the Philharmonic range from $14 to $61 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at  Area educators are invited to attend this concert for the special ticket price of $14.  Normal senior and military discounts are also available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit


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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