Category: 2018-19 Great Eras

Recap: Trombonist Ava Ordman returns to Grand Rapids Symphony for an exciting evening of music by women

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Trombonist Ava Ordman is a pioneer’s pioneer. At age 19, still an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, she won the principal trombone position with the Grand Rapids Symphony in 1973 in an era when fewer women held principal positions in American orchestras and nearly none played brass instruments. Over 24 seasons through 1997, Ordman was a frequent soloist, performing Donald Erb’s Concerto for Trombone with the Grand Rapids Symphony and... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Monday, May 6, 2019

Grand Rapids Symphony marks its 89th birthday on Jan. 11 with music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven

A century ago, the growing city of Grand Rapids needed a symphony orchestra of its own. Several failed attempts were made to organize and sustain an orchestra. But in the final days of 1929, a newly organized Grand Rapids Symphony gave the community the gift of music for Christmas. Karl Wecker, who taught music at Grand Rapids Junior College, led the orchestra on Dec. 27 in music including Franz von Suppé’s “Poet and Peasant” Overture, the two movements of... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Grand Rapids Symphony takes audience from Bach to beyond in 2018-19 Great Eras opener at St. Cecilia Music Center

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Performing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach needs no reason, justification or explanation. You need not wait for a particular season, a special event or an anniversary date. Bach is the man. You hear a lot of Bach in the cathedral. Not so much in the concert hall. Sadly, Bach flourished and died well before the modern symphony orchestra came into its own. One wonders what he might have composed for the orchestras that Beethoven and Brahms had at their disposal.... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Saturday, October 13, 2018

Grand Rapids Symphony's Great Eras Series opens with 'Bach and Beyond' on Oct. 12-13

Johann Sebastian Bach, of all the great composers of classical music, reigns supreme. Yet the composer that Beethoven called “the immortal god of harmony” had his favorite composers as well. When Bach happened upon a Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra by an Italian composer named Alessandro Marcello, he was intrigued enough to arrange it for himself for solo keyboard. Bach, of course, isn’t available to play his version. But the Grand Rapids Symphony does have principal... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Plenty of great music coming to Grand Rapids Symphony's stage in 2018-19

At the climax of the 2010 film “The King’s Speech,” King George VI overcomes the stutter he’s had since childhood to announce that Great Britain was at war with Nazi Germany. As Colin Firth, who portrays King George, addresses the British people throughout the world, the gravitas of the moment is supplied by music from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in the film that won the Oscar for Best Picture. The Grand Rapids Symphony performs Beethoven’s Symphony... Read More
Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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