Monday, November 16, 2015

National Philanthropy Day

We all have a soundtrack of our lives – music that reminds us of happy or sad times in our childhood, or other important life events, friends, and family.  What would a wedding be without music? How comforting is the music that accompanies a funeral?

With the recent celebration of Veteran’s Day, I can’t help but think of how many servicemen and servicewomen have had their spirits buoyed by a USO tour.  Or, how many ceremonies on Wednesday contained music of a wartime period.

That soundtrack takes on new meaning if you or a family member are dealing with autism
or Alzheimer’s.  Music becomes exponential in its power to comfort.

Our many cherished donors recognize that music is essential to our mental, emotional and physical health.  In these days leading up to National Philanthropy Day on November 15, we take a moment to recognize the importance of music in our lives and those who help us keep music alive in our community.

Philanthropy is defined as “a love of humanity”, and those who support the Fox Valley Symphony care deeply about our community. 

Thank you for buying tickets to our concerts, and even inviting friends. You appreciate the value of symphonic music to our well-being.

Thank you for making a cash donation to make sure the FVSO is able to serve its mission far into the future.

Thank you for attending Youth Orchestra concerts.  You tell the young musicians in our community that they are vital to the sustainability of symphonic music.

Thank you for your tribute to our FVSO musicians through the Chair Sponsor program.  Not only does it provide important funds to the Symphony, but it is a very visible way to show our musicians how important they are to the community.

Thank you for including us in your planned giving arrangements.  You are showing that you care about the artistic vitality of our community for future generations.

We are truly grateful to all of our friends.  Thank you for 49 years of support and “love of humanity”.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A View from the Stage: Marcia Henry Liebenow

Liebenow and Harmon with composer Shirish Korde
We are excited about our concert this Saturday, November 14, 2015 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Of course, we are always excited about our concerts, but this time, we are having a Concerto for Violin and Tabla. When is the last time you heard that? Exactly. The piece is Svara-Yantra by Shirish Korde with guest artists Marcia Henry Liebenow and Zach Harmon.

As an extra bit of luck, both our guest artists got to meet with the composer last week and work on the piece. Marcia was kind enough to share her experiece with us!

Marcia Henry Liebenow
From Marcia:
This past weekend Zach Harmon and I met with composer Shirish Korde in Massachusetts to rehearse his Svara-Yantra Concerto for Violin, Tabla and Symphony Orchestra. We’ll be performing this fantastic piece with the Fox Valley Symphony.

I’m very excited to perform Svara-Yantra. It’s an intense and absolutely amazing work, and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Brian Groner.

I’m also thrilled to work with tabla player Zach Harmon, who is a Wisconsin native. Zach studied in the Masters program at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and studied tabla with Abhiman Kaushal. He performs, records, and teaches around the world.

Zach Harmon, tabla
Zach and I are both faculty artists at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana each summer, and I have known his father, composer and jazz pianist John Harmon, for many years. I have premiered a number of John’s works at that festival.

Earlier this fall I made arrangements for Zach and I to rehearse the concerto with Shirish at his studio in Worcester, MA. Finding a few days that all of us were available was a challenge, but we were able to carve out a meeting time. Boston is my old stomping grounds. It’s where I earned a graduate degree from the New England Conservatory.

On November 1 I flew to Boston and stayed with my brother and his family in nearby Westborough. Zach drove down from his home in Shelburne, VT. My brother and his family are avid musicians, although they pursue other fields for their livelihood. They loved hearing us work through the complex piece at their house!

Shirish is an incredible composer, a wonderful musician, and a genuinely nice man. He helped clarify musical questions we had and worked with us on our interpretation and preparation of his piece.

Zach and I can’t wait to rehearse and perform this concerto with the FVSO!

Thanks, Marcia! We can't wait to share the stage with you this weekend!

Also on the program:
Khachaturian: Masquarade Suite
Mozart: Symphony No. 35