While things in the local music community are still quiet here this summer, I want to take a few minutes to introduce you to a project that I have been developing alongside several others interested in presenting serious chamber music locally. This project is called Abendmusik Alexandria and will be a new music series premiering this September in collaboration with the Arts Council of Central Louisiana.
Throughout the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, a series of eight concerts will be held on Thursday evenings at the Hearn Stage in downtown Alexandria. The title “Abendmusik” is German for “evening music,” and references the Abendmusik series held by Baroque composer Dieterich Buxtehude – an important mentor to Johann Sebastian Bach. With these evening concerts starting at 6:00 PM and featuring appetizers by The Diamond Grill, listeners are encouraged to enjoy dinner or other activities downtown in the Alexandria Cultural Arts District following concerts.
The music is, of course, meant to be the centerpiece at these concerts, so let me touch on what you will hear when you attend Abendmusik Alexandria. It has been our aim to program music that is in some sense “new.” Specifically, music may be modern and edgy (i.e. new in its resources), more classical in vein but infrequently performed (i.e. new in its unfamiliarity), written by a living composer (i.e. new in its composition), or occasionally favorites performed by young new musicians (i.e. new for its performers). Regardless, this music will appeal to the serious listener who is interested in hearing something outside the standard repertoire. Our series is also meant to complement what the other local music organizations present in that it gives listeners another outlet to hear classical music performed live in the comforts of our own city.
Abendmusik Alexandria also draws on local performers. Cellist Paul Christopher who plays with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra and teaches at Northwestern State University will curate the series alongside classical guitarist John De Chiaro known for both his solo recitals and as director of the Alexandria Youth Orchestra. Paul Christopher, John De Chiaro, their students, and their colleagues are the majority of the performers in this series, and – although they live locally – most of these musicians have travelled around the world giving concerts to high praise. We also plan to feature works by local composers.
Hopefully, I have conveyed to you my excitement for this new music series. Here is a quick listing of the individual concerts which make up our season:
September 4 – An Evening with Scott Joplin
October 2 – Folk-Tale and Fauré
November 13 – Young People’s Concert
December 4 – Popular Inspirations
January 8 – Romantic Sounds of Classical Guitar
February 5 – Trio de Llano in Concert
March 5 – A Night of Popular Favorites
April 2 – Jacques Offenbach, the Cellist
As the concerts approach, I will be writing program notes about each and also sharing my thoughts with you here at MusicCentral. Until then, feel free to leave a comment – I will be happy to answer questions about the new series, or simply be happy to hear your excitement for Abendmusik Alexandria.
About Jackson. Jackson Harmeyer is a recent graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College – Louisiana’s designated honors college located on the campus of Northwestern State University. There, he studied music history, completing an undergraduate thesis entitled “Learning from the Past: The Influence of Johann Sebastian Bach upon the Soviet Composers.” Now living in Alexandria, he is one of the founding members of TicketCentral and will also be writing this season’s program notes for the Rapides Symphony Orchestra.