NEPA Philharmonic will perform classics at Lackawanna College theater
SCRANTON — Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic music director Lawrence Loh calls the orchestra’s Masterworks series the “bread and butter” of its repertoire.
The philharmonic will present its Orchestra Spotlight Masterworks III performance at 8 p.m. March 4 at the Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College. Pre-concert insights will begin at 7 p.m.
The performance will feature works by Copland, Britten, Bach, and Mozart and will spotlight various members of the orchestra including principal cellist Alberto Parrini and the philharmonic’s Emerging Artist, pianist Nathan Grabow.
“The Masterworks are our classical series,” Loh said. “When musicians are training in school, they’re working to get to the point where they’re performing pieces like this. These are the pieces they love to perform the most artistically, and they require a lot more detail and rehearsal.”
Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring,” Loh said, is a difficult and detailed work that requires orchestra members to be “at the top of their game.”
Loh said each member of the chorus rehearsed extensively prior to seven hours of group rehearsals.
“Everyone prepares on their own, so when we get together, we’re preparing in a way that’s cohesive and of one mind,” Loh said.
Loh said the pieces in the Orchestra Spotlight were chosen to highlight solo moments for individual players across the orchestra.
“Our guest cellist, Alberto Parrini, he’s normally the leader of the cellos,” Loh said. “In this case, he’s spotlighted in his performance of Haydn’s ‘Cello Concerto No. 1.’”
A Bach piece will feature solos by the principal trumpet, flute, oboe and the concertmaster, or lead violinist, Loh said.
Grabow, of Lake Ariel, will be featured on piano during the third movement of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 12.”
“He’s an extremely talented pianist who won both the junior division and senior division of the piano competition we have every few years,” Loh said. “I believe in him strongly. We love the fact that he’s from our area, and I think he’s going places.”
Executive director of the philharmonic Nancy Sanderson touted the strength of the orchestra, which is comprised of local and New York-based musicians, through an anecdote about “civic leader” and philharmonic patron Cliff Melberger.
“He tells the story of hearing our orchestra and going into New York and seeing their philharmonic and seeing some of the same players,” Sanderson said. “He feels that to have a New York City caliber orchestra at Wilkes-Barre prices is an amazing resource to have in the community.”
Sanderson said the philharmonic tries to design programming to keep regular patrons engaged while reaching out to newcomers.
“I’m a huge believer in bringing live symphonic music to people,” Sanderson said. “The experience of it is so surreal and wonderful, and we have a lot of unlikely people who come to the philharmonic for the first time and are stunned by the experience, because it’s just excellent.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic presents Orchestra Spotlight Masterworks III
Where: Peoples Security Bank Theater at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St., Scranton
When: 8 p.m. March 4 with pre-concert insights starting at 7 p.m.
Ticket information: Tickets start at $31 and are available online at bit.ly/2mn3K2o or by phone at 570-270-4444. Students in grades 12 and lower are admitted free. Tickets for all other students cost $16.