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BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA UNDER NEW PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR KEITH LOCKHART WITH GUEST PIANIST ILYA YAKUSHEV

September 16, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA

KEITH LOCKHART, PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR

ILYA YAKUSHEV, PIANO

Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at 8 p.m.

  

FAIRFAX, Va., Sept. 16, 2010 – Formed in 1952, the BBC Concert Orchestra is one of the world’s most respected orchestras. The 56 members of this incredible ensemble all share wide-ranging tastes and enjoy crossing musical boundaries. With an enviable reputation in the fields of classical music, opera and ballet music, the ensemble boasts an expansive repertoire that encompasses classic and contemporary works, as well as lighter classical fare. In its first appearance at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall, the BBC Concert Orchestra performs under Keith Lockhart, who was recently appointed the 7th principal conductor of the ensemble and will lead it through its 60th anniversary in 2012 and beyond. This fall, the orchestra brings a program of impressive Russian works including Balakirev’s Overture on Three Russian Folk Songs; Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony No. 1, Op. 25; and Stravinsky’s “The Firebird Suite” (1919 version). The orchestra also accompanies guest pianist Ilya Yakushev, who performs Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

Known for its extreme versatility and flexibility, the BBC Concert Orchestra prides itself on its ability to expand or contract according to its program. With the addition of a saxophone section, the incredible ensemble instantly becomes a swinging big band, while a group of strings enables the orchestra to perform Elgar’s Violin Concerto. The members of the orchestra have been described as serious musicians with a sense of humor, which is needed when one takes into account their hectic schedule and burgeoning repertoire. Each week, the BBC Concert Orchestra performs on “Friday Night is Music Night,” the BBC’s longest-running live music program, to more than 750,000 listeners. The orchestra is also featured on the BBC’s “Discovering Music” series, in which new commissions from contemporary composers share the program with classical treasures by Schumann, Liszt, Strauss and others. Committed to working with contemporary artists, both within and outside the genre of classical music, the orchestra recently named Jonny Greenwood, from the alternative rock band Radiohead as its composer-in-residence, and collaborated with Will Gregory of the electronica duo Goldfrapp on a new piece. The BBC Concert Orchestra has also participated in a number of recordings on the Dutton Epoch label, as well as on award-winning soundtracks for British television and movies.

In addition to his recent appointment with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Lockhart is also the artistic advisor and principal conductor of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival in Brevard, N.C. and conductor laureate of the Utah Symphony, where he was the music director until 2009.In 1995, Lockhart became the 20th conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra and has since conducted more than 1,200 concerts and led the orchestra in performances on more than 70 television specials, including PBS’s “Evening at Pops.” Under Lockhart, the orchestra has participated in numerous tours at home and abroad; performed at venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and the Louisiana Metrodome for Super Bowl XXXVI; and has released 12 recordings.

The first prize and gold medal winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition and recipient of numerous international piano awards, Ilya Yakushev has performed at such prestigious venues as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall and with numerous esteemed ensemble, including the San Francisco Symphony and the Utah Symphony. In addition, Yakushev has served as the executive director of the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College, where he studied and was awarded the grand prize in the 2004 Mannes College Concerto Competition.

 

Tickets for BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA are $60, $52, $30. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit cfa.gmu.edu.

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

 About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.