About the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra
A performing symphony is indicative of the quality of life that can be expected from a growing area such as the Northwest Arkansas region with its well appointed library and quality school systems. Having a well defined and growing cultural experience brings businesses as well as families to a well rounded place to live.
The first season under the baton of Maestro Steven Byess proved to be innovative and exciting for musicians and audience members alike. The season began with Russan virtuoso, Alexander Markov, performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Mr. Markov brought the audience to their feet with his interpretation of this famous concerto. Philharmonic musicians are still discussing his amazing gift and flawless technique.
In December 2010, the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) created a program that proved to be both innovative and collaborative. For the first time in NWA history, the Philharmonic invited a 17 piece jazz ensemble, the Fayetteville Jazz Collective (FJC), to share the stage. Placing both ensembles on stage created a fascinating sound and perspective as they alternated in performing movements of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. The APO performed movements of Tchaikovsky's famous ballet in contrast to FJC performing Ellington/Strayhorn's version of the famous work. In addition, the Ozark Bronze Handbell Ensemble performed traditional Christmas favorites creating a magical sound as their bells rang through the texture of the Philharmonic.
"Classic Cartoons" provided an entertaining evening for music lovers of all ages. In February 2011, the APO performed great musical compositions adored by cartoon artists for decades. Viewing these classic cartoons on the big screen gave audience members a historical perspective of the vast progress technology has provided to the big screen, as well as the timeless essence of music of the great masters.
The final concert of the 2010 - 2011 season featured the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. On Easter weekend 2011, the APO performed Mozart's dazzling Symphony No. 29. After intermission, the University of Arkansas Choirs joined the Philharmonic on stage with 180 voices performing Mozart's "Requiem".