PATRICIA C. SYAK | Symphony notes Powers to play host to variety of superstars
A variety of entertainment presented by the Youngstown Symphony Society will be performed at Powers Auditorium in the coming weeks.
The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Isaiah Jackson begins the three-week entertainment marathon with its final Masterworks concert of the season when clarinetist Richard Stoltzman joins the orchestra April 20 at 8 p.m.
A concert by Richard Stoltzman is always a smorgasbord. Stoltzman's virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of today's most sought-after concert artists. As a soloist with more than 100 orchestras, as a captivating recitalist and chamber music performer, as an innovative jazz artist, and as a prolific recording artist, two-time Grammy winner Stoltzman has defied categorization.
Copland concerto: Stoltzman joins the orchestra in Aaron Copland's Concerto for Clarinet, commissioned in 1948 by bandleader Benny Goodman.
There was nothing in Copland's ancestry, background or environment to suggest that he might become a composer. On the streets of Brooklyn where Copland lived, "music," he wrote, "was the last thing anyone would have connected with." Yet Copland instinctively felt the need for making music. Now recognized as America's leading composer, Copland's works have had a strong influence, not only on the music of this country, but on the development of the whole field of composition. The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra concludes its yearlong celebration of American composers with a salute to Copland. Universally accepted as the Dean of American Music, Copland produced a large body of work for symphonic orchestra, instrumentalists, ballet, theater and film.
The orchestra begins the April 20 concert evening, sponsored in part by Youngstown Thermal, with Prokofiev's march and scherzo movements from "The Love for Three Oranges" -- the most celebrated of the two perhaps being the march, which was used as the theme music for the radio serial "The FBI in Peace and War." The program concludes with Rachmaninoff's most cherished Second Symphony.
Pop and Broadway: On April 24 at 8 p.m., Donny Osmond brings his razzle dazzle show to Powers Auditorium for his first Youngstown appearance. For more than 35 years the world has watched Osmond develop from a cherubic little boy singing on television with his older brothers to a musical-theater and TV superstar who always has the power to amaze. And like the seismic changes in pop music in the intervening years, Osmond has moved with the times.
"Cabaret," the revolutionary Broadway musical, comes to Powers Auditorium for two shows April 29 and 30. The Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of an Englishwoman's romance with an American writer set against the background of a crumbling Germany at the start of the Third Reich. "Cabaret" features some of the best-known songs in musical history, including "Willkommen," "Tomorrow Belongs to Me," "Money" and the title tune. "Cabaret" is the concluding presentation in the Broadway Series, presented by First Place Bank Community Foundation in conjunction with the Youngstown Symphony Society.
Evening of comedy: Bill Cosby brings his storytelling and inimitable comic delivery to Powers Auditorium on May 4 for two shows. Show times are 5 and 8 p.m. Support for the 8 p.m. performance is provided by the Home Savings and Loan Company.
Bill Cosby has become a one-man multimedia phenomenon with his films, record albums, advertisements and top-rated television shows. By any standards, Bill Cosby is one of the most influential stars in America today. Whether it be through his concert appearances or recordings, television or films, commercials or education, Cosby has the ability to touch people's lives. His humor often centers on the basic cornerstones of our existence, seeking to provide an insight into our roles as parents, children, family members and men and women. Without resorting to gimmickry or lowbrow humor, Cosby's comedy has a point of reference and respect for the trappings and traditions of the great American humorists such as Charlie Chaplin, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx.
With more than 30 years in comedy, Bill Cosby is for many young comedians the man who wrote the textbook -- never resorting to offensive language or risqu & eacute; topics to obtain laughs.
For tickets to the entertainment spring fest, call the Symphony Center box office at (330) 744-0264 and reserve your seats for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra on April 20, Donny Osmond on April 24, the national touring "Cabaret" on April 29 and 30, and Bill Cosby on May 4.
XPatricia C. Syak is executive director of the Youngstown Symphony Society.