This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.

The North Carolina Symphony, led by conductor Andrew Grams, will perform Tchaikovsky’s timeless Swan Lake Suite in Memorial Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m., and in Meymandi Concert Hall Friday, Feb. 28 at noon and 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 1, at 8 p.m.

The orchestra will also perform Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale, Op. 52, and in the evening performances, Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64, featuring violinist Karen Gomyo.  The performances are in partnership with The Tsars’ Cabinet, a North Carolina Museum of History exhibition.

In program notes, Joseph and Elizabeth Kahn write, “In the summer of 1871, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky spent some time at his sister’s family home. For the entertainment of the children, he composed and staged a scena called Swan Lake for a cast consisting of his niece and nephew, his brother, Modest, and wooden toy swans. The source of the story and of the scenario is unknown, although it contains archetypical elements recognizable throughout European folk literature. Virtually nothing is known about the music, but family lore claims that the principal “swan motive” running through the ballet made its way into a commission to compose the now iconic ballet from the Imperial Theaters in the spring of 1875.”

Newly appointed Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra of Illinois and one of America’s most promising and talented young conductors, Andrew Grams has already appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Sydney Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia Rome, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, among many others.

Born in Tokyo, violinist Karen Gomyo grew up in Montreal and New York. Recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, she has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity,” and described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “captivating, honest and soulful, fueled by abundant talent but not a vain display of technique.”

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.  Before the Chapel Hill performance on Feb. 27, Dr. Letitia Glozer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host a pre-concert talk at 6:40 p.m. in Gerrard Hall, adjacent to Memorial Hall.  Before the noon performance on Friday, Feb. 28, Dr. Jonathan Kramer of N.C. State University will give a pre-concert talk at 11 a.m. in the Swalin Lobby of Meymandi Concert Hall. Before the evening performance on Feb. 28, Dr. Tom Koch will give a pre-concert talk in the Swalin Lobby at 7 p.m.  On Saturday, March 1, Catherine Brand of WUNC 91.5 will host a “Meet the Artists” session at 6:30 p.m. in the Swalin Lobby.

For the Chapel Hill performance, the Symphony provides a free shuttle service from two locations:

  • University Mall between Dillards and Wells Fargo Bank
  • Southern Village near the Village Green Stage on Aberdeen Drive.

The shuttle service departs between 6:15 and 6:20 p.m.

Tickets to the Chapel Hill Classical Series performance on Feb. 27 range from $24 to $72. Tickets to the Friday Favorites on Feb. 28 are $27.  Tickets to the Raleigh Classical Series performances on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1, range from $24 to $75.  Student tickets in both locations are $15.  Concert tickets at all performances are also available at the door one hour prior to concert start time.

Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.  Memorial Hall is located at 114 East Cameron Ave., on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Partners for the 2013/14 Raleigh Classical Series include Clancy & Theys Construction; Duke Medicine; Smith Anderson; and Marriott Raleigh City Center.

Partners for the 2013/14 Friday Favorites Series include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, SearStone, and the Cypress of Raleigh.

Partners for the 2013/14 Chapel Hill Series include Carol Woods Retirement Community, Harrington Bank, and The Businesses of Market Street, Southern Village.

Statewide partner is Duke Energy.

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 and Resident Conductor William Henry Curry.

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.

Feb. 27-March 1 Concert/Event Listings:

North Carolina Symphony

Swan Lake
Andrew Grams, conductor

Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Memorial Hall, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Friday, Feb. 27, noon and 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 1, 8 p.m.
Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh, NC.


Feb. 27-March 1 Program

North Carolina Symphony
Andrew Grams, conductor
Karen Gomyo, violin

Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, Op. 52
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)  

Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64 *
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)  

  1. Allegro molto appassionato
  2. Andante
  3. Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace

                     Karen Gomyo, violin

Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a  
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)  
        No. 1   Scène
        No. 2   Valse
        No. 3   Danse des Cygnes
        No. 5   Danse Hongroise – Czardas
        No. 6   Danse Espagnole
        No. 8   Mazurka
        No. 9   Scène et Finale

*Evening performances only