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YOUNGSTOWN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Pianist Oppens featured



Published: Thu, February 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Youngstown Symphony Orchestra musicians will demonstrate their versatility during a series of February concerts.

Pianist Ursula Oppens who has won renown as a persuasive interpreter of classical repertoire and a tireless champion of contemporary music performs Manuel Falla's Nights in the Garden of Spain with the orchestra and Music Director Isaiah Jackson on Saturday.

Falla, the greatest of all Spanish composers, derived the material for his composition from the rhythms and melodic turns of popular Andalusia music.

During the Masterworks concert underwritten in part by General Motors Lordstown Complex, the orchestra performs Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. It was the composer's first major work, and to this day, his most popular.

Symphonie fantastique subtitled "An Episode in the Life of an Artist" is somewhat autobiographical in that the music describes the vivid feelings of a lovesick musician, and in this case, Berlioz's sentiments for the tempestuous Irish actress Henrietta Smithson.

Dancers Noah Racey and Nili Bassman and vocalists Debbie Gravitte and Doug LaBrecque will be "Kickin' The Clouds Away" and performing "The Carioca" when they present their Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tribute with the orchestra at Symphonic Valentine on Feb. 12.

Hollywood's dancing duo Astaire and Rogers brought glamour and grace to the silver screen during the cinema's golden age of musical extravaganzas. Debonair Astaire in white tie and tails and Rogers in flowing gowns danced and sang their way through a series of movies including Roberta and Top Hat. The concert, Let's Face the Music and Dance underwritten in part by Youngstown Thermal, will feature such tunes as "Begin the Beguine." "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," and "A Fine Romance."

Grammy winner to perform

Kenny Loggins, Grammy award winner and recipient of gold and platinum records, appears with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 18 on his first symphonic tour. Ever since Loggins hooked up with Jim Messina in the early 1970s, he has become one of the most successful songwriters and performers in the world. Attaining 12 platinum-plus albums and 14 gold albums, Loggins is a one-man powerhouse.

Fans will remember Loggins contributions to movie soundtracks Top Gun with "Danger Zone," Caddyshack II with "Nobody's Fool" and Footloose with the title song and "I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man). The Loggins and Messina songbook sure to be a part of the evening's program includes "Your Mama Don't Dance," "A Love Song," "Danny's Song" and "Vahevala" among others. Home Savings and Hynes Industries provide support for the Loggins appearance with the orchestra.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and are performed at the Edward W. Powers Auditorium. Tickets are available by calling the Symphony Center Box Office at (330) 744-0264 or online at www.youngstownsymphony.com.




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