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Asheville Symphony Orchestra's 2023-24 season to air on BPR Classic

ASO performing at First Baptist Church of Asheville
Ezekiel Coppersmith
ASO performing at First Baptist Church of Asheville

Tune in to BPR Classic for the upcoming broadcasts of Asheville Symphony Orchestra's 2023-2024 season. Hosted by Charlie Shelton-Ormond, the special series includes seven performances and insightful interviews with Music Director Darko Butorac.

The two-hour performances will air twice monthly; find the full schedule below.

Enjoy this series on air on BPR Classic at Asheville - 107.9, Asheville - 88.1 HD2 (Requires HD Radio), Brevard - 90.5, Bryson City - 99.1, Cullowhee - 90.5, Hendersonville - 103.1, Mars Hill - 90.5, and Waynesville-Hazelwood - 98.3, streaming at bpr.org, and the free BPR mobile app.

Masterworks 7: Béla Fleck & Americana
Tuesday, September 19 at 7 PM and Thursday, September 21 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Béla Fleck, banjo

American music is ever-evolving, refusing to be constrained by tradition or expectation. Asheville Symphony soloist and Asheville Amadeus Festival headliner Béla Fleck brings that same approach to the banjo by rediscovering and redefining the instrument. Doubling as the 2022-2023 season and Asheville Amadeus Festival finale, this program challenges and explores the many shades of Americana.

Bach Chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2
Fleck The Imposter Concerto
Ellington & Tizol Caravan
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Masterworks 1: Out of the Shadows
Tuesday, October 17 at 7 PM and Thursday, October 19 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Sterling Elliott, cello

“To follow in Beethoven’s footsteps,” Brahms once said, “transcends one’s strength.” And yet, with his final symphony, Beethoven’s successor steps out from the shadow of his greatest inspiration and reaches new depths of drama and tragedy. Composed during his summer retreat to the Austrian countryside, the Fourth “is like a dark well, the longer we look into it, the more brightly the stars shine back.” Coupled with Brahms’s darkest symphony is Beethoven’s Leonore Overture — which sets the stage for his heroine to rescue her love — and Elgar’s stunning Cello Concerto, a poignant response to the tragic cost of World War I.

Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3
Elgar Cello Concerto
Brahms Symphony No. 4

Masterworks 2: The Great Gate
Tuesday, November 14 at 7 PM and Thursday, November 16 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Drew Petersen, piano

Art inspires art in turn. This is particularly true for Mussorgsky’s iconic Pictures at an Exhibition, which were inspired by a series of works by Viktor Hartmann, an architect and painter. Mussorgsky’s ten movements, originally written for piano, depict subjects like the legendary Baba Yaga, The Old Castle, and the Great Gate of Kiev. The symphonic work we know today was orchestrated after Mussorgsky’s death by Ravel, who makes an additional appearance on the program with his first piano concerto. Rounding out the program is an Evening Serenade by Silvestrov, Ukraine’s foremost composer.

Silvestrov Evening Serenade
Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major
Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition

Masterworks 3: American Portraits
Tuesday, February 13 at 7 PM and Thursday, February 15 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Bryan Terrell Clark, narrator & vocalist

Few have made a greater impact on the history of our nation than its sixteenth President, Abraham Lincoln, and its first, George Washington. Copland chose Lincoln as his subject to express “the magnificent spirit of our country,” using selections from his speeches in the narration — which will be voiced by Bryan Terrell Clark, best known for starring as George Washington in Broadway’s Hamilton. This all-American program begins with a newly commissioned Jennifer Higdon suite and concludes with Dawson’s 1934 masterpiece, a work that is uniquely representative of its Black roots.

Higdon Cold Mountain Suite
Copland Lincoln Portrait
Dawson Negro Folk Symphony

Masterworks 4: Classical Romance
Tuesday, March 12 at 7 PM and Thursday March 14 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Alisa Crüger-Cain, trumpet

Indulge in a delightful evening of truly Classical music featuring Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, also known as the Great G-minor Symphony — which transcended the Classical era and inspired some of the great Romantics to come — accompanied by a trumpet concerto from Hummel, one of Mozart’s contemporaries and pupils. With Haydn’s St. Nicholas Mass, the Asheville Symphony Chorus returns for another collaboration with the Asheville Symphony to round out this all-Classical program.

Haydn St. Nicholas Mass
Hummel Trumpet Concerto
Mozart Symphony No. 40

Masterworks 5: Violin Virtuosi
Tuesday, April 16 at 7 PM and Thursday, April 18 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin
Shanshan Yao, violin

Noah Bendix-Balgley and Shanshan Yao headline this all-violin, all-concerto program as a husband and wife duo. An iconic Chinese work for violin and orchestra, Butterfly Lovers kicks off the program with virtuosic and intertwining melodies. The delicate dance between the two violins continues with Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. Finally, Bendix-Balgley takes on the grand finale: Brahms’s one and only violin concerto, famed for its technically demanding passages and stunning lyricism.

Zhanhao/Gang Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto
J. S. Bach Double Violin Concerto
Brahms Violin Concerto

Masterworks 6: Golden Glamour
Tuesday, May 14 at 7 PM and Thursday, May 16 at 9 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor
Blake Pouliot, violin

From Vienna to old Hollywood, we bring operatic charm and glamour to the stage with a program featuring selections from Mahler and Mozart alongside Strauss’s ostentatious Der Rosenkavalier and a sparkling violin concerto by Korngold, an early Hollywood composer.

Mozart Overture from Le nozze di Figaro
Korngold Violin Concerto
Mahler Adagietto from Symphony No. 5
Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Erin Adams served as BPR's first Director of Audience from August 2023 to February 2024.