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The Winston-Salem Symphony Presents “CenterStage”
Streaming On Demand Beginning March 13
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (MARCH 4, 2021) – The Winston-Salem Symphony will present “CenterStage,” on demand for 30 days beginning March 13 at 7:30 p.m. Music blossoms in this early spring concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony principal musicians Kathryn Levy (flute) and Brooks Whitehouse (cello) front-and-center in concertos by Lukas Foss and Edward Elgar. George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, considered perhaps to be a “spicier” version of his famed American in Paris, opens the concert.
“CenterStage” will stream on demand both on the Symphony’s Stage Pass and on Artarie, the world’s newest streaming platform for arts and culture. Artarie is available at artarie.com and as an app on iOS, Android, AppleTV, Roku, and FireTV. For more information on how to stream the concert, please visit wssymphony.org.
Conducted by Music Director Timothy Redmond and performed at the Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, this concert features all 20th-century music and celebrates the musicians of the Winston-Salem Symphony by placing them on “center stage.” The two concertos highlight two renowned Winston-Salem Symphony musicians, Levy and Whitehouse, performing on two of the most beloved orchestral instruments—the flute and the cello.
“I’m so looking forward to our ‘CenterStage’ concert,” Redmond said, “The chance to feature two such wonderful soloists, both much-loved members of the orchestra, is an absolute treat. We’re so lucky to have such talented musicians in the Symphony.”
The concert opens with the Cuban Overture, by George Gershwin, a delightful and energetic work inspired by a visit by the composer to Havana. The influence of the rumba and other Latin dances is felt throughout this lively piece. The performance of the Cuban Overture was brought about in part by Tim Storhoff, a musicologist and the Symphony’s Director of Philanthropic Services, who recently published a book entitled Harmony and Normalization: US-Cuban Musical Diplomacy. Storhoff’s bookexplores the channels of musical exchange between Cuba and the United States during Barack Obama’s presidency, who eased the musical embargo of the island and restored relations with Cuba.
Kathryn Levy, Principal Flute with the Winston-Salem Symphony and holder of the John Henry Myers, Sr. Chair, will perform as guest artist for the Renaissance Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, composed by Lukas Foss in 1985–86. Foss was one of the most extraordinary figures in American music—he played piano for Bernstein and Stravinsky, he was Music Director in Buffalo, Professor at Boston University, and composer of countless wonderful scores. His Renaissance Concerto casts its gaze back to times past and offers a view of earlier music viewed through the lens of the 20th century. This powerful piece highlights the beauty of the flute and the artistry of the soloist. Near the end of the final movement, Foss tests the solo flutist’s technical skill with a tour-de-force duet for the soloist and percussion.
Edward Elgar’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in E minor, op. 85 may not be known to audiences by name, but they will recognize its wildly romantic and heartbreaking phrasing. It is one of the pinnacles of the orchestral repertoire—it is heartfelt, passionate, and elegiac and is a cornerstone of English music. It was made famous by renowned English cellist Jacqueline du Pré (1945–1987) and was used prominently in the film about du Pré’s life entitled Hilary and Jackie (1998). Brooks Whitehouse,Principal Cello with the Winston-Salem Symphony and holder of the Reynolds American Chair, will perform as the guest soloist. At times dreamy and lyrical, the piece is also a powerful and vibrant work. The soloist moves from moments that highlight the cello’s deepest range to outbursts of romantic exuberance and deep nostalgia.
Stage Passis sponsored by: A Season Reimagined Presenting Sponsors Truist and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; Music Director Season Sponsor Betty Myers Howell; Guest Artist Sponsor (Brooks Whitehouse) Bill and Becky Clingman; a consortium of friends of Kathryn Levy who are sponsoring her appearance; as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
Kathryn Levy began studying piano at the age of five, and later, at age nine, she began to take flute lessons at her elementary school. Her parents were supportive of all musical endeavors, even driving 200 miles round trip from Salinas, California every other Saturday, so that she could study with Paul Renzi, Principal Flutist of the San Francisco Symphony. Levy found her career interest early on and distinguished herself in orchestral performance while studying at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where she studied with the legendary Joseph Mariano and earned the Bachelor of Music and Performer’s Certificate. Known for her pure tone and fluid style, Levy currently holds the John Henry Myers, Sr. Chair as Principal Flutist of the Winston-Salem Symphony and plays piccolo with the Chautauqua Symphony flute section, which has a nine-week summer season in historic Chautauqua, New York. Prior to moving to Winston-Salem in 1976, she held positions with the New Orleans Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic. In addition, she has performed with the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Peter Britt Festival in Oregon, the Cabrillo Festival and the Mozart Festival, both in California, the North Carolina Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony, the Greensboro Symphony, and the Salisbury Symphony, and has toured Europe three times with the American Sinfonietta. Teaching flute students of all ages has been an ongoing part of her career as well. At Wake Forest University (WFU) where she is a Professor in the Department of Music, she has developed the wind chamber music program as well as her studio teaching. One of her most rewarding experiences at WFU is the annual Flute Fest concert, which features WFU flute students, the Silver Wind Flute Choir (professional flutists from the Triad area), and a community flute choir of flutists from age eight to 80.
Brooks Whitehouse has performed and taught throughout the United States and abroad, holding Artists-in-Residence positions at SUNY Stony Brook, the Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York, the University of Virginia, and The Tanglewood Music Center. Whitehouse and his wife, violinist Janet Orenstein, are founding members of The Guild Trio. With that ensemble, they have performed and held master classes throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Norway, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal, France, and Australia. As a soloist, Whitehouse has appeared with the Boston Pops, the New England Chamber Orchestra, and the Nashua, New Brunswick, Billings, and Owensboro Symphonies. He has appeared in recital throughout the northeastern United States, and his performances have been broadcast on WQXR’s “McGraw-Hill Young Artist Showcase,” WNYC’s “Around New York,” and the Australian and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation networks. He has held fellowships at the Blossom and Bach Aria festivals and was winner of the Cabot prize as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He currently teaches and performs during the summer at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. As guest artist, he has appeared with the American Chamber Players, the New Millennium Ensemble, the JU Piano Trio, The Apple Hill Chamber Players, the Atelier Ensemble, and the New Zealand String Quartet. Whitehouse is also cellist of the European-based Atma Trio and is 44% (by weight with instruments) of the cello/bass duo Low and Lower with bassist Paul Sharpe. He has recorded for the Centaur, CRI, and Innova labels. He is a member of the faculty at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts. Whitehouse previously held professorships at the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony
The Winston-Salem Symphony acknowledges the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis and the lack of clarity regarding the duration of the pandemic. Though the Symphony is working diligently to create safe alternatives to a typical season, the organization is prepared to respond if circumstances necessitate changes to its musical offerings. Should the Symphony need to cancel or reschedule concerts outlined in this press release, the Symphony will communicate with Stage Pass holders through traditional communication mechanisms.
Established in 1946, the Winston-Salem Symphony is one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras. Today, under Music Director Timothy Redmond, the Symphony inspires listeners of all ages throughout the North Carolina Piedmont Triad with a variety of concerts, education programs, and community engagement initiatives each year.
The Symphony is supported by Season Presenting Sponsors BB&T Wealth/Truist and Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A.; Music Director Season Sponsor Betty Myers Howell; Etherbound PresentingSponsors Chris and Mike Morykwas; as well as generous funding from the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the North Carolina Arts Council, and other dedicated sponsors. For more information, visit wssymphony.org.