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Latest news and reviews for the Newport Symphony Orchestra

Barbara Johnston's intro to the next concert. "This is a very exciting concert coming up. I’m looking forward to all of it! But if I have to choose one piece, it would be the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto."

Ken Combs, Principal 2nd Violin tells us his inside story about getting ready to play music for you.

Introduction to Hunter Noack

NSO's Principal Trumpet Katherine Evans highlights a spectacular evening!

Adam Flatt, who has spent the last 10 years bringing great music to the Coast, dedicated the final concert of the 2017-2018 Season to the memory of his colleague and friend, the much loved Resident Conductor of the NSO, David Ogden Stiers. Read more...

In March, guest clarinetist for the Newport Symphony Orchestra at the Ocean, Narek Arutyunian, visited schools in three Oregon coast cities during concert week in March. The school visits were part of a program by the NSO Youth Education Committee and were organized by Dr. Sandy Schaefer. Narek visited and performed for several hundred students in nine classes at Taft High School and Middle School, Florence High School and Middle School, and Waldport High School.
During the visits, he performed Spanish Caprice for Solo Clarinet and sections from the Mozart Clarinet Concerto he was performing with the NSO. Narek made a lasting impression on the students with his masterful performances on both the clarinet and the basset clarinet. Dr. Schaefer said, “Narek’s story of beginning clarinet at the age of 10 and studying at the Moscow Conservatory, Juilliard School of Music, and continuing study at Manhattan School of Music showed the students that working very hard at something you love will help you reach your life’s goals.”
One of the skills Narek demonstrated was circular breathing, which allows the performer to play long passages without having to interrupt the musical line by breathing. The technique is very simple, but it took three years for Narek to develop the technique to a concert performance level. He gave students an easy exercise they could use to practice circular breathing: blow bubbles in a glass of water with a straw and store air in your cheeks when you need to breathe; blow the stored air in your cheeks through the straw as you inhale air into your lungs through your nose, all while keeping the bubbles going. The students could instantly see the process, but could also recognize the hours of practice it took to develop the skill.
Narek enjoyed visiting the school as well as he enjoyed the thrilling views offered by travels up and down the Oregon coast.

A review of our most recent performance From NSO Board member, Brian Hanna:

Adam Flatt’s graceful recognition of the talents of NSO’s retiring concertmaster Yvonne Hsueh led her to be the featured soloist in last week’s NSO concert. She chose Pablo de Sarasate’s Gypsy Airs proving again what an excellent violinist she is. Yvonne will continue with the orchestra as a player.

The concert opened with Mozart’s Symphony no 34. A joyful piece, it received a performance to match with some lovely playing by the NSO strings in the second movement.
American Charles Ives was a virtuoso church organist at 14. He played football for Yale, before becoming an insurance salesman and composer.

“If a composer has a nice wife and children” he explained,” how can he let them starve on his dissonances”. His charming “Decoration Day” is a sepia snapshot of small town's homage to the young soldiers who fell in the Civil War. The mood is alternatively somber and celebratory. I loved the eerie rendition of Taps offstage by principal trumpet Katherine Evans, who I remember first came to Newport to play off stage in the third Leonore Overture. Fortunately in Newport Ms. Evans was spared the fate of Sir Thomas Beecham’s trumpeter who was detected lurking in the corridor at the Albert Hall by two ushers unfamiliar with that piece. He fortunately broke loose and outran them playing the while. His triumph over philistine attempts to silence the voice of Art is a timely example to us all.

Adam Flatt does a matchless Tchaikovsky 4. On Sunday afternoon he and the NSO offered electrifying proof that the symphony’s 4th movement is probably the most exciting music ever written. From the opening fanfare of horns to the closing inferno of brass and percussion there was, in their stunning performance an intensity of passion sadly missing from the nuptials of Tchaikovsky and his hapless bride Baroness von Meck.