Bela Fleck: World Premiere Of Concerto for Banjo & Orchestra

NEW WORK DEDICATED TO EARL SCRUGGS

Béla Fleck
Béla Fleck will present the world premiere of his Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra — one of the first ever written for the instrument — with the Nashville Symphony on September 22-24 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. To be performed by Fleck on his vintage 1937 mahogany Gibson Mastertone banjo, the Concerto marks a significant new departure for Fleck, who calls the piece "a liberating experience for my efforts as a composer and hopefully for the banjo as well." Commissioned by the Nashville Symphony, Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra will be the centerpiece of the orchestra’s opening concerts in the 2011/12 SunTrust Classical Series.

Fleck dedicates his new Concerto to pioneering banjoist Earl Scruggs, who first inspired him to take up the instrument. The composer says that the piece reflects the dual influences of classical music and bluegrass. “You can hear an evolution in my own writing of the piece as it goes on,” Fleck observes, noting that he wanted to “explore the new possibilities of the banjo as a member or the orchestra, while respecting its roots in bluegrass and jazz.”

Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra is matched at the Nashville Symphony concerts with Aaron Copland’s famous Appalachian Spring, which celebrates the American spirit with music of breathtaking beauty and directness. Concluding the performance is Tchaikovsky’s larger-than-life Fourth Symphony. The Thursday, September 22, performance will be webcast live via the Nashville Symphony’s website.

. For more information about the concert or to purchase tickets, please call 615.687.6400 or visit NashvilleSymphony.org .

[Published on: 8/31/11]

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