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BPR announces 2021-2022 Asheville Symphony broadcasts and Matthew Shepard special

A shot from above of ASO cellists, a base player, violists and violinists seated, wearing masks in front of conductor Darko Butorac, who has one arm raised up at an angle, his wand pointed behind him at the darkened audience.
Michael Morel, photographer
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Conductor Darko Butorac leads the Asheville Symphony Orchestra's performance of Masterworks 1: Uncaged in November, 2021.

BPR is pleased to share the schedule for upcoming broadcasts of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra 2021-2022 season. Hosted by BPR arts producer Matt Peiken, the series includes six performances and interviews with conductor Darko Butorac. The debut broadcast is Masterworks 1: Uncaged and airs Tuesday, February 8th at 7 pm and Thursday February 10th at 9 am. A full schedule is below.  

Mark your calendars for another special broadcast on Wednesday February 9th at 9 AM on BPR Classic from WGTE’s Living American Composers series sharing the music from “Considering Matthew Shepard” and a conversation from composer Craig Hella Johnson. The fusion oratorio examining the life and 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, and the country’s response to hate and violence, was also captured in the below documentary by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV and Conspirare. "Considering Matthew Shepard" will be performed by the Charlotte Master Chorale at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville on Saturday February 12th at 7:30 PM.  

BPR Asheville Symphony Orchestra 2021-2022 season broadcast schedule

MASTERWORKS 1: Uncaged (performed November 20, 2021)

BPR Classic: February 8th, 7:00 PM and February 10th 9:00 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor 

Alina Kobialka, violin 

Megan Lin, violin 

The Asheville Symphony’s triumphant return to Thomas Wolfe Auditorium features Wallen’s Amazing Grace-inspired Mighty River, dancing violins Bach’s Double Violin Concerto, and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: the ultimate, heroic triumph over fate (and four notes). 

Wallen Mighty River 

J.S. Bach Double Violin Concerto 

Beethoven Symphony No. 5 

MASTERWORKS 2: Roaring Rhapsody (performed February 12, 2022)

BPR Classic: March 15th, 7:00 PM and March 17th 9:00 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor 

Xiayin Wang, piano  

There was once a dream for the future of American music: symphonic music inspired by black songs and spirituals, a uniquely American musical tradition. This program brings that dream to life. Step into 1920s New York and explore a golden age of orchestral works by black composers alongside Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.  

Cook In Dahomy Overture 

Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue 

Dvořák New World Symphony, II. 

Still Afro-American Symphony 

MASTERWORKS 3: Folklore Fantasy (performed March 19, 2022)

BPR Classic: April 5th, 7:00 PM and April 7th 9:00 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor 

William Hagen, violin 

Dig into Scandinavian and Slavic roots with a program that brings folklore to life, featuring mythical birds, epic poetry that inspired a nation, and Tchaikovsky’s self- made legend: his rugged Violin Concerto that leaves the violin “black and blue.” 

Sibelius Lemminkäinen and the Maidens of Saari 

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto 

Sibelius The Swan of Tuonela 

Stravinsky Firebird Suite 

MASTERWORKS 4: Enigma (performed April 9, 2022)

BPR Classic: May 10th, 7:00 PM and May 12th 9:00 AM

Darko Butorac, conductor

Orion Weiss, piano

Dramatic works encircle one of Mozart’s most beloved works for piano: Brahms’ darkest overture composed in response to one of his liveliest and the mysterious Enigma Variations, said to be inspired by Elgar’s friends, family, and an unknown lost love. Embrace the drama, delve into the mystery, delight in the darkness.

Brahms Tragic Overture

Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20

Elgar Enigma Variations

MASTERWORKS 5: Looking Glass (performed May 13th & 14, 2022)

BPR Classic: May 31st, 7:00 PM and June 2nd 9:00 AM’ 

Darko Butorac, conductor 

Christine Lamprea, cello 

18th-century Mozart looks ahead to the Romantic style of the future with his final symphony. 20th-century Prokofiev looks back at the Classical in his first symphony. 19th- century Saint-Saëns breaks with Classical tradition with his first cello concerto. Each composer reflects on and reinvents the most defining era of Western music. 

Prokofiev Classical Symphony 

Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 

Mozart Jupiter Symphony 

MASTERWORKS 6: Ode to Joy (performed June 4th, 2022)

BPR Classic: TBD, November 2022

Darko Butorac, conductor 

Asheville Symphony Chorus 

Beethoven’s most magnificent work closes our season — a much-needed celebration following a year marked by turmoil, creativity, and resilience. Coupled with Copland’s rousing Fanfare for the Common Man and Tower’s feminist answer, we close the season together, unified by our love for live music. 

Copland Fanfare for the Common Man 

Tower Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman 

Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives.