RALEIGH, NC Feb. 10, 2014 – With Romeo and Juliet as the theme, the North Carolina Symphony, led by Music Director Grant Llewellyn, will perform some of the most romantic pieces ever written Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m., in Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh. The orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Berlioz’ Love Scene from Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17, and music from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet.
In program notes for the concert, Joseph and Elizabeth Kahn write, “The plays of William Shakespeare were one of the major literary influences on composers of the nineteenth century, including Tchaikovsky… the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture has become one of the most popular orchestral compositions ever… For Berlioz, the arch-Romantic, Romeo and Juliet represent the ideal of ultimate, all-embracing love. In a preface to the score, he wrote that for the Love Scene he would have felt hampered by words, even Shakespeare’s words, preferring the freedom of instrumental music. He considered the music he wrote for this scene as among his best… Prokofiev received a commission for the ballet from the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad; when Kirov backed out, the Moscow Bolshoi Theater took it over. Prokofiev tried to adhere as closely as possible to Shakespeare’s play…”
In addition to stellar performances, North Carolina Symphony concertgoers can enjoy pre-concert talks, post-concert discussions, and “Meet the Artists,” which feature interactive conversations with guest artists and select orchestra members, at many Symphony events. For the Friday, Feb. 14 performance, Catherine Brand of WUNC 91.5 FM will host “Meet the Artists” at 6:30 p.m. in Swalin Lobby of Meymandi Concert Hall. On Saturday, Feb. 15, Dr. Jonathan Kramer of N.C. State University will give a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. in the Swalin Lobby. On Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, Symphony musicians will also be on hand at intermission to answer audience questions near the “Ask A Musician” sign in the Meymandi Concert Hall lower lobby.
Tickets to the Raleigh Classical Series performances on Friday, Feb. 14, and Saturday, Feb. 15, range from $24 to $75. Student tickets in both locations are $10. Concert tickets at both performances are also available at the door one hour prior to concert start time.
Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.
Partners for the 2013/14 Raleigh Classical Series include Clancy & Theys Construction; Duke Medicine; Smith Anderson; and Marriott Raleigh City Center.
The N.C. Symphony is a unit of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.