This preview has been provided by the Brevard Philharmonic.

An orchestra concert provides plenty to watch – the strings intensely bowing, the brass players rising to shine, the bold moves of the percussionists and of course the conductor guiding the group. The next Brevard Philharmonic concert will be even more of a feast for the eyes when gymnasts, jugglers and acrobats from Cirque de la Symphonie join the musicians for a concert March 30.

The international performers from Cirque will perform while the orchestra plays great classical pieces. Cirque de la Symphonie has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony and many other orchestras large and small.

“The Cirque de la Symphony has performed with many top orchestras around the country including with the Baltimore Symphony with conductor Marin Alsop so we feel very positive about the quality,” said Dr. Donald Portnoy, Philharmonic music director.

The world-class acrobats and gymnasts from Russia, Mongolia and Moldova – many medal winners in international competitions – will perform elegant and often breath-taking feats while the orchestra plays the music of Bizet, Chabrier, Smetana, Shostakovich and others providing a full visual and aural experience. All the music – be it “Les Toreadors” from Bizet’s Carmen Suite or the Overture from Candide by Leonard Bernstein – are carefully matched to the Cirque performances.

A Baltimore Sun review stated “There’s always a lot of talk about the need to break down barriers in classical music, to rethink the concert format and put a fresh spin on the experience. This imaginative concert actually did that … It was cool to hear collective ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ rise from the crowd.”

Cirque de la Symphony was put together by Bill Allen who has long worked in the music industry and became acquainted with and began working with top-ranked circus performers in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s. Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Music Director Eric Kunzel Jr. saw some of the circus performers and asked Allen to arrange a performance which would pair those performers with an orchestra. Thus, Cirque de la Symphony was born.

“We are the only group that works solely with orchestras which is what makes us special,” Allen said. “We’ve been all over the world and have gotten a great reception.”

The concert takes place at 3 p.m. at the Porter Center for Performing Arts on the Brevard College campus. Individual tickets are and $35 with $5 tickets available to students. To purchase tickets go to, mail Brevard Philharmonic Tickets, PO Box 1547, Brevard, NC 28712 or call (828) 884-4221.  The Philharmonic box office is open from 1 – 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is located behind the Transylvania Community Arts Council.  Tickets also available at Southern Comfort Records, West Main St., Brevard.

The concert will also be an opportunity to view a painting by Larry Gray which is being raffled to raise money for the orchestra. Gray, who lives near Brevard, has had 60 solo exhibitions throughout the country and his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The painting can be viewed in the concert hall lobby Sunday and can be seen other times at the Haen Gallery.  Raffle tickets are $20 each or three for $50.

For more information about Cirque go to