Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to Offer 4,000 Free Lawn Tickets




Concert To Close 2009 Summer Classical Season
And Conclude With Celebratory Fireworks
ASO Program To Feature Sixteen-Year-Old Guest Conductor
Ilyich Rivas In His U.S. Professional Debut
Audience Invited To Text-Message Questions For Interview Segments
During Live On-Site Broadcast To Be Shown on Large Screens
Pre-Concert “Top of the Lawn” Event To Feature
Conversation With ASO Insider Ken Meltzer and ASO Musician Juan Ramirez
Themed Cuisine To Be Offered On-Site for Concertgoers

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will offer 4,000 FREE lawn tickets to all Fulton County residents for its Saturday, August 15, 2009 concert at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park — the Orchestra’s final concert of the summer season. The free tickets may be obtained immediately, beginning today, Tuesday, August 4, 2009, by visiting the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre box office or the Woodruff Arts Center box office, in person, with proof of Fulton County residency. There is a maximum of four tickets per resident, including one parking pass.

These lawn tickets are free of charge in part due to major funding provided by the Fulton County Commission under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.

“What a wonderful opportunity to open our doors to the community and say thank you to the county that has supported us from Wolf Creek to Midtown to Alpharetta, and beyond,” said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore.

The program will feature sixteen-year-old guest conductor Ilyich Rivas, who will lead the ASO in his U.S. professional debut with a major American orchestra. He will lead the Orchestra in Verdi’s Vespri Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, performed 22-year-old violinist, and Sphinx Competition winner, Elena Urioste. The concert, and the 2009 summer classical season, will conclude with a celebratory display of fireworks by Pyrotecnico.

All lawn tickets will be eligible for standard day-of-concert seating upgrades upon arrival at the venue for $5 or $10 per ticket (charges based on available seating). This offer does not apply to previously purchased tickets, and is subject to availability.

No coolers or carry-ins are allowed at the Amphitheatre. Low beach-style lawn chairs (no more than nine inches off the ground) are permitted. Lawn chairs designed to ensure sightlines and the slope of the hill are available for rental at $5.00/each.

About the Concert

Sixteen-year-old rising star Ilyich Rivas will lead the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in his U.S. professional debut on Saturday, August 15, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. Mr. Rivas will lead the orchestra in Verdi’s Vespri Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, performed by another rising star, 22-year-old violinist, and Sphinx Competition winner, Elena Urioste.

ASO Music Director Robert Spano was shown a DVD of the then fifteen-year-old conductor, and, within minutes, suggested the young conductor be given a date at the Orchestra’s new summer home. His performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will be his first public concert with a major orchestra, marking his U.S. professional debut.

Last year Mr. Rivas was selected as one of seven young conductors from around the world to participate in the prestigious Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop in California with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier. During the workshop, he made a significant impression on both Ms. Alsop and Mr. Meier. Following an audition with the BSO, he was was awarded the position of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Peabody Institute Conducting Fellow, beginning in September 2009. This position permits him to study conducting at the Peabody Conservatory under Gustav Meier's guidance, and to work closely with the Baltimore Symphony alongside Marin Alsop and conducting the BSO on certain occasions

The evening will begin with a pre-concert “Top of the Lawn” conversation hosted by ASO Insider Ken Meltzer at 7:10 p.m. and featuring ASO President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. As with all of the ASO summer concerts at the Verizon Amphitheatre, audience members will also have the opportunity to send questions to the musicians and guest artists to be answered from the stage during the intermission.

The Amphitheatre — nominated by Pollstar Concert Industry Awards as 2008 “Best New Major Concert Venue” and “Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue,” — serves as the outdoor home to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The scope of Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park has brought a new dimension to the region’s seasonal artistic offerings by featuring concerts with the internationally-recognized Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, leading popular presentations, as well as an emphasis on community events — including high school graduations, local fundraising events, and collaborations to create family-themed days, high school music concerts, and competitions.

The Amphitheatre Experience

“When a cool breeze whisked away the muggy air at sunset, the north Atlanta suburbs felt a little like summer classic music festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen or Santa Fe,” said The Birmingham News after the ASO’s all-Beethoven concert last summer.

The Amphitheatre opened on May 10, 2008 with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony
Orchestra and Chorus, including a 700-musician grand-finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The 2008 inaugural classical concert season also featured Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in an array of programs including a concert-staged production of Puccini’s La Bohème, a 4th of July spectacular, a free concert for the community, and artists including Garrick Ohlsson, Robert McDuffie, Julie Andrews, Robert Osborne (Turner Classic Movies), and the Marcus Roberts Trio.

Each Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park offers table-seating in the main Orchestra section of the venue, reserved seating throughout the pavilion, and lawn seating. Complementing this seating variation is an experience influenced by the repertoire and theme of the Orchestra: Live on-site broadcasts, Top of the Lawn conversations, and themed cuisine allow audiences to create their own unique evening of enjoyment at the ASO’s summer home.

Live On-Site Broadcast & Text-Message Questions from Audience

The Atlanta Symphony continues the tradition of introducing members of the ASO to the
audience with an evening-long live, on-site broadcast of the concert on large 15′x20′ screens, which are permanently affixed on either side of the stage. The live feed will include a preconcert show, as well as live intermission interviews of guest artists and musicians from the Orchestra, fueled by text-message questions sent by the audience the night of the concert.

Top of the Lawn

Pre-concert Top of the Lawn events will continue in 2009. ASO Insider and Program Annotator Ken Meltzer will take his pre-concert conversations to the tree-lined lawn of the Amphitheatre prior to each Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert at the venue. Mr. Meltzer’s final conversation of the summer will feature ASO musician Juan Ramirez, will take place at the top-center of the lawn, and include a Q&A with the audience. All Top of the Lawn events begin at 7:10 p.m. before each 8:00 p.m. ASO concert.

Themed Cuisine Ovations, the on-site caterer for Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, will offer themed cuisine to complement the programming of all ASO concerts at the Amphitheatre. For the ASO’s August 15th concert, a Season Finale themed picnic basket will accompany the regular fare offered at the venue. The $30 picnic basket (which serves two people) will feature prosciutto-wrapped honeydew and cantaloupe; grilled chicken salad made with butter leaf lettuce; strawberries, pecans, and goat cheese served with champagne vinaigrette; and banana cream and fresh berry trifles. Concertgoers may also enjoy Star Fruit Salad (fresh fruit including star fruit) from the concessions the night of the concert.

To pre-order a picnic basket, or to view the full menu available for each concert, visit the General Info/Food and Beverage section online at http://www.vzwamp.com/planvisit/foodand-beverage.php.

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The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office is located in the Woodruff Arts Center (between 15th and 16th Streets on Peachtree). Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free short-term parking is available in front of the South entrance.

The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Box Office is located at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park is located at 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta, GA, 30009. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park is owned by the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center, Inc., and is operated by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Saturday, August 15, 2009 (Rising Stars) — table, concert, and lawn seating: $21–$59 lawn seating for Fulton County residents: Free* (while quantities last)

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Major support is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.
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