This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.

Music Director Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony will perform Aaron Copland’s magnificent Appalachian Spring on Friday, May 1, at noon, in Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh as the season finale of its popular Friday Favorites series. The concert will also feature a World Premiere Orchestration of the Judd Greenstein composition Change, and Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Essay No. 2.

North Carolina Symphony Scholar-in-Residence William Robin says of Appalachian Spring, “It describes a spring celebration of American pioneers with the hopeful anticipation of a marriage, a powerful sermon from a revivalist pastor and a couple settling into their new lives…. Copland is the quintessentially unadorned composer, and Appalachian Spring the quintessentially unadorned work.” 

Barber’s Adagio was well-loved by Copland, according to Robin.  “‘It’s really well felt, it’s believable you see, it’s not phony,’ Copland wrote about Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. ‘It comes straight from the heart.’ Given the ubiquity, indeed the inescapability, of Barber’s Adagio — from the funerals of presidents to Platoon to innumerable parodies of Platoon — it’s refreshing to know that the plainspoken Copland held it in high regard. Inspired by Virgil, Barber composed the work as the middle movement of a string quartet in 1936 and expanded its orchestration two years later.  Like Appalachian Spring, Barber’s Second Essay has wartime implications… Completed in March 1942, the Essay seems to teem with the sounds of World War II.”

Of Change, Robin writes that it was originally written in 2009 for the NOW Ensemble, a chamber group that Greenstein leads. “The message of Change is Gandhi’s familiar rejoinder: “Be the change you want to see in the world.  Greenstein himself has been at the forefront of many recent changes in the classical music world. He curates the prominent Ecstatic Music Festival in New York, which hosts collaborative concerts between artists from different musical worlds, and co-directs New Amsterdam Records, a landmark label that extends the boundaries of music today.”  Robin continues, “This orchestral arrangement – a North Carolina Symphony commission and world premiere – transmits that local energy to a grander scale, opening up to a broader community what Greenstein calls ‘my own reminder to myself to always keep that fire lit.’”

In addition to stellar performances, North Carolina Symphony concertgoers can enjoy pre-concert talks, post-concert discussions, and “Meet the Artists,” which feature interactive conversations with guest artists and select orchestra members, at many Symphony events.  On Friday, May 1, at 11 a.m., North Carolina Symphony Scholar-in-Residence William Robin will give a pre-concert talk in the Swalin Lobby of Meymandi Concert Hall..

Tickets to the Friday Favorites performance on May 1 at noon are $28.  Student tickets are $10.  To purchase tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at or call the Symphony Box Office at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.  Concert tickets at all performances are also available at the door one hour prior to concert start time. 

Partners for the 2014/15 Friday Favorites series include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, The Cypress of Raleigh, and SearStone.  The concert sponsor is Northwestern Mutual.

Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh. 

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony gives more than 200 performances annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 66 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, and Associate Conductor David Glover.

Headquartered in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington — as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year — and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.

May 1 Concert/Event Listings

North Carolina Symphony<
Appalachian Spring
Grant Llewellyn, conductor

Friday, May 1, noon
Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh, N.C.

May 1 Program Listing

North Carolina Symphony
Appalachian Spring
Grant Llewellyn, conductor

COPLAND:  Suite from Appalachian Spring (1945 orchestration)

GREENSTEIN:  Change (World Premiere Orchestration)

BARBER:  Adagio for Strings  

BARBER:  Essay No. 2, Op. 17