The Silver Anniversary of the Conway Symphony Orchestra’s is really a season of collaboration, according to Israel Getzov, music director and conductor.
“We are teaming with several arts organizations in Arkansas,” he said, noting the collaboration with Arkansas Festival Ballet, ArtsFest and the University of Central Arkansas Public Appearances series.
This is Getzov’s fifth season with the symphony, which he describes as unique.
“We are approximately two-thirds the top college students in the state, including some who play with the Arkansas Symphony. The other one-third are professionals,” Getzov said. “We have the top young players and top professionals sitting side by side.”
This working relationship is beneficial to both the professionals and students. Getzov said the students learn to play by working with the professionals while the students breathe enthusiasm into pieces with the professionals might have performed several times.
“Consequently, our performances are fresh, new and exciting,” Getzov said, who grew up in Chicago playing the violin. Getzov played in the Chicago Civic Orchestra, which he described as a minor league orchestra of the Chicago Symphony.
Subscriptions are now available for the Conway Symphony Orchestra’s four-concert Silver Anniversary season beginning with ArtsFest weekend’s grand finale Oct. 10.
“We’ll raise the roof on Reynolds Hall as 100-plus chorus members from UCA and Hendrix join the CSO for the performance of Alexander Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances,” Getzov said. In addition the CSO will perform Joseph Haydn’s “104th” and final symphony and “Russian Sailors’ Dance” by Reinhold Gliere for the season’s inaugural concert, underwritten by Acxiom.
New and renewing subscribers can order season tickets in person at the Reynolds Hall Box Office on the UCA campus; by phone at 501-450-3265 or toll free at 1-866-810-0012; or by mail to the CSO, P. O. Box 1307, Conway, AR 72033. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 28, priced from $5 to $35, with significant discounts for children and students, thanks to underwriting from Nabholz Construction. The UCA community also receives discounted pricing, with support from the University. Single tickets are available at the box office, by phone, or online at www.uca.edu/tickets. Getzov said prices for college students and those under 18 are $5.
“It is the greatest deal ever. Price shouldn’t be a barrier,” he said.
Prices for season tickets range from $60 to $100 and all four performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway.
“We have the best concert hall in the state,” Getzov said. “The acoustics are excellent. There is not a bad seat.”
Getzov said the concerts are performed in an accessible manor where the works are explained and samples of the longer works are played to share insight, according to Getzov.
He said that many people have expressed appreciation of this approach to the concert. “They have said, ‘Izzy, I am so glad you took the time to explain. I never thought I could get so much out of music.’ It is unique to Arkansas and the south,” Getzov said.
For the second concert of the season, Ludwig von Beethoven’s well-known and energetic “7th Symphony” is paired with the “Prelude and Love-Death” from Richard Wagner’s ground-breaking opera “Tristan and Isolde” for a Nov. 17 performance, underwritten by Regions Bank.
Arkansas Festival Ballet joins the CSO Dec. 5 for Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, “The Nutcracker Suite,” and “The Skater’s Waltz.” Christmas carols and a visit from Santa help make this concert, underwritten by Fortier Inc., a great way to ring in the season.
“25 Years and Counting” is the theme for the Silver Anniversary concert April 20 featuring Conway’s own star cellist Stephen Feldman playing the timeless Cello Concerto by Antonin Dvorak along with Robert Schumann’s 4th Symphony.
Additional performances by the CSO include a Children’s Concert presentation of “Peter and the Wolf” sponsored by First Security Bank.
“Education is a big part of what we do,” Getzov said, adding that “Peter and the Wolf” will be presented as something for the family and will only last about an hour. All seats are $5 for the Children’s Concert at Reynolds Performance Hall at 2 p.m. March 13.
Orchestra members are also available to go into schools and make presentations.
The traditional Independence Day celebration, “Lights Over the Lake,” is free and sponsored by Southwestern Energy. The outdoor concert at Beaverfork Lake Park is at 7 p.m. July 3.
The CSO will be a part of the UCA Public Appearances series in a bonus performance outside its regular season, “An Evening with Marvin Hamlisch & the Conway Symphony Orchestra,” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9.
“When an award-winning composer and pops conductor like Hamlisch takes the podium, it elevates the orchestra’s performance and the audience’s experience,” Getzov said. Tickets for the UCA Public Appearances concert are also available from the Reynolds box office.
“It is all going to be exciting. You try to put it together and envision the performance, but you never know the energy. No two performances are alike,” Getzov said.