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UK Symphony Orchestra opens 98th season featuring works by Dvorak, Brahms Symphony No. 1

By Whitney Hale
Special to KyForward

The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, one of the university’s most critically acclaimed musical ensembles, opens its 98th season with a concert featuring University of Kentucky Professor of Music and Lexington Philharmonic Principal Cellist Benjamin Karp.

This concert evening of exciting collaborations, conducted by Maestro John Nardolillo, will begin 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at Singletary Center for the Arts.

The season’s opening concert will feature Benjamin Karp being accompanied by the orchestra on Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. The orchestra will also perform Dvorak’s “Three Slavonic Dances” and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

Karp received his master’s degree in music from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Yale University. He has performed concerti, chamber music and orchestral repertoire on four continents, and became a faculty member at the UK School of Music in 1991.

Karp has joined the cello section of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for two international tours, five Carnegie Hall performances, 15 Telarc CD recordings and hundreds of performances in Cincinnati.

During the summer months Karp teaches, performs and serves as head of Strings at the Brevard Music Center in the mountains of North Carolina. For the academic years 2009-2011, he served as adjunct associate professor of cello at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. Karp was for five years principal cellist of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and is a widely known chamber musician, appearing at festivals throughout the United States. He has recorded for the Telarc, Gasparo, Arabesque, CRI and Centaur labels.

Founded in 1918 and made up of undergraduate and graduate musicians from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe, the UK Symphony Orchestra has long served as one of the university’s most prominent musical ensembles. This year they continue that tradition with performances of some of the greatest works in the orchestral repertoire, alongside contemporary works which push the boundaries of orchestral music.

Concerts will feature music by the likes of Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and George Gershwin, and by modern composers John Adams and current UK student Logan Blackman. The orchestra will also continue its partnership with UK Opera Theatre, playing for productions of “Ragtime” and “The Barber of Seville.” For a list of concerts in UK Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming season, visit http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ensembles/uk-symphony-orchestra.

UK Symphony Orchestra Conductor John Nardolillo has appeared with more than 30 of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the National Symphony and the principal orchestras of Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee, Utah, Columbus, Indianapolis, Oregon, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Alabama, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina, Toledo, Vermont, Omaha and Hawaii.

He also recently conducted concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; and Carnegie Hall in New York. Nardolillo made his professional conducting debut in 1994 at the Sully Festival in France, and has since made conducting appearances in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and China. He has led major American orchestras in subscription series concerts, summer and pops concerts, education concerts and tours, and for television and radio broadcasts. In 2004, Nardolillo joined the UK faculty, where he is currently serving as the director of Orchestras.

Doors for the UK Symphony Orchestra concert open at 7 pm. with music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $10 for the general public, $5 for students, and free for UK students in advance. Tickets are available for purchase through the Singletary Center ticket office online at www.scfatickets.com, by calling 859-257-4929, or in person at the venue. A ticket processing fee is included in the ticket price.

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

Whitney Hale writes for UK Now. Reach her at whitney.hale@uky.edu

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