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Upcoming Holiday Event: Our Christmas Gift

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Upcoming Holiday Concert


Raleigh Symphony is on the road doing what we do best!  Spreading the gift of music to young musicians in our area!  Join us as we perform with the Leesville Rd Middle and High School Orchestras in their auditorium at 8410 Pride Way, Raleigh NC on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 7:00pm.

Raleigh Symphony will perform a side by side concert with these talented musicians.  Come hear holiday classics such as Winter Wonderland, The Holly and the Ivy, and Frosty the Snowman as well as orchestral favorites Sibelius’ Finlandia, Grieg’s Zwei Melodien and Haydn’s Symphony No. 44.

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This concert’s Non Profit Partner is WKNC 88.1FM Radio.

WKNC 88.1 FM is student-run non-commercial radio from N.C. State University. We pride ourselves on our educational and alternative programming of indie rock, electronic, metal and underground hip-hop and have been consistently named among the best in the Triangle by Independent Weekly. Boasting 25,000 watts, WKNC can be heard throughout the Triangle and far beyond via our webcast. Our aim is to provide NCSU students with the knowledge needed for a career in the broadcast industry and listeners with music that doesn’t suck.


Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) –  Finlandia

Sibelius wrote the symphonic poem Finlandia in 1899, and revised it in 1900.  The piece was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire, and was performed as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.  Finlandia had to be performed under alternate names at various concerts, in order to avoid Russian censorship.

Much of the piece is taken up with rousing and turbulent music, evoking the national struggle of the Finnish people.  Near the end of the work,  a calm comes over the orchestra and the melodic Finlandia Hymn is heard.  The Hymn section is of Sibelius creation, and is not a traditional folk melody.  Although the Hymn is one of the most important national songs of Finland, it is not the Finnish national anthem.

It is also sung as a Christian hymn (Be Still, My Soul), and was the national anthem of the short-lived African state of Biafra.


Franz Joseph Haydn  (1732-1809) – Symphony #44 ‘Trauer’

Haydn’s Symphony #44 was written in 1772.  The nickname of the symphony translates to ‘mourning’.  This piece was written during Haydn’s ‘sturm und drang’ (storm and stress) period.  He had been in the employ as Kapellmeister of the royal Esterhazy family since 1766.  Some of the symphonies he wrote between 1766 and 1772 show how much Haydn was experimenting.  This symphony and #49 are both in minor keys, and are especially expressive and dramatic, and different in structure from most Haydn symphonies.

The work is in four movements and is scored for two oboes, bassoon, two horns, continuo and strings.

Allegro con brio – This movement is in sonata form.  It begins with a four-note motif played in unison, which occurs throughout the movement.

Menuetto: Allegretto– Here Haydn reverses the order of the inner movements and balances the intense emotions of the first and third movements with a minuet in between them.  The minuet is in the form of what is known as a “Canone in Diapason” between the upper and lower strings, with the lower strings trailing the upper strings by a single measure.

Adagio – Haydn gave the symphony the nickname ‘mourning’, in no small part because of this movement.  Later in his life viagra online Haydn requested this piece be played at his funeral.

Presto – The finale, like the first movement, is in sonata form, and is dominated by a figure which opens the movement in unison.  It is quite contrapuntal, and ends in E minor rather than finishing in the usual major key.




The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra presents Concerto No. 2

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Concerto No. 2 with Edward Burke

Guitarist, Edward Burke hails from the Raleigh area.  Currently based in San Francisco, CA , he holds a Masters in Music from the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Conservatory and a Bachelors of Music from the North Carolina School of the Arts.   He will be featured as guest soloist the with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 3PM with a performance of the rarely performed Concerto No. 2 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. solo-guitarist


Buy Tickets for Three Deuces

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The Three Deuces

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 3:00PM, Jones Auditorium, Meredith College

For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.











Photo Courtesy of Greg Plachta Photography

Edward Burke, Classical Guitar

  Performs rarely heard Tedesco Guitar Concerto No. 2


Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 by J. S. Bach

The Brandenburg concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1046-1051) are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721. They are considered to be some of the best orchestral compositions of the Ba-roque era. Most likely, Bach composed the concertos over several years while Kapellmeister at Kothen. Unfortunately, Christian Ludwig lacked the required number of musicians in his Berlin ensemble, and the works were not performed. After Christian Ludwig’s death the original manuscripts were sold for the equivalent of $22 today. The autograph manuscript was rediscovered in the Brandenburg archives, and the concertos were first published in 1850.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2: This piece features one trumpet, one flute, one oboe, and one violin soloist with string accompaniment. The trumpet part is considered one of the most difficult in the entire reper-toire. The trumpet does not play in the second movement, a common practice in baroque era concerti due to the construction of the natural trumpet in use at the time, which allow it to play only in major keys. Because concerti often move to a minor key in the second movement, concerti that include the instrument in their first movement often ex-clude it in the second. The third movement is currently the theme for Masterpiece Theater on PBS; it was chosen as the first to be played on the “golden Record”, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of Earth’s common sounds, languages, and music sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.

Guitar Concerto No. 2 in C major Op. 160 (1953)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco was an extremely prolific Italian composer during the first half of the twentieth century. His compositions em-ployed many forms and genres, including but not limited to: ballet(3), opera(4), overtures, concertos, solos, song cycles, and film music.

Perhaps his best known work was the second violin concerto which was written for and dedicated to Joshua Heifetz. He is also remembered as the primary composition teacher of many film composers such as John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and Howard Shore.

Tedesco himself composed the score for many films including Serpent of the Nile(1953), Bridge Over the River Kwai(1957), and Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere(1951). Unlike Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s first guitar concerto, the second is relatively unknown and rarely performed. It was written in 1953 which was shortly after ac-claimed Spanish guitar virtuoso Andres Segovia stopped playing new compositions by the composer. Unlike most other composers who were writing music for Segovia a that time, Tedesco was completing works faster than Segovia could learn them. Other guitar works from this period include Escarraman Op. 177, Passacaglia Op. 180, Greeting Cards.

Symphony No. 2 “Little Russian”, Op. 17 by P. Tschaikowsky (1840 – 1893) Written while on a summer vacation in the Ukraine – which at the time the Ukraine was considered “Little Russia”. Tchaikowsky’s use of folk tunes are very prevalent in three of the four movements: For the first movement, the tune “Down the Mother Volga” is found, “Spin, O My Spinner” is used in the second and “The Crane” is the foundation for a theme and variations found in the fourth movement. Its premiere was a success, however, Tchaikowsky made extensive revisions in 1879 by recomposing the first movement, re-orchestrating the scherzo section and by making the finale much shorter. The “second” premiere of this symphony was in 1881. Ironically, the original version was never published.


Concert Sponsors

Arts NC State

The mission of ARTS NC STATE is to enhance the environment of the University and our community with rich and diverse events, installations, and opportunities and to make the arts a significant part of every student’s educational experience.



 Ten Thousand Villages

To create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.”


For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.


Concierto de Aranjuez : For Guitar & Orchestra

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b279c5a9aa9f3ae42cbdccdedabb4253Born in Toronto, Raleigh-based guitarist and Liscio recording artist, Ed (Stefanyshyn) Stephenson’s virtuosity extends throughout the Spanish and Nuevo Flamenco genres. In addition to performing throughout North America as a soloist and with his Nuevo Flamenco ensemble, the Paco Band, Stephenson has invested locally through performances with The North Carolina Symphony, The North Carolina Theater, The North Carolina Bach Festival, and The North Carolina Guitar Quartet.  Ed’s most recent recording, Esencia, is craftily blended to deliver a new dimension of Nuevo Flamenco music. It includes six ensemble tracks and four solo tracks. Roger Cope of The Classical Voice of North Carolina praised the album saying, “The ensemble is tight with rhythmically biting and often infectious enthusiasm… The solos are duende-imbued renditions of standard classical guitar repertoire that are surprisingly effective and that refresh their signature elements… It has all the characteristics and virtuosity of traditional flamenco guitar but falls outside—or perhaps expands upon—the limited traditional flamenco harmonies and structure. You find influences such as bossa nova or Latin, rock, jazz, swing and salsa, and others.”