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North Carolina Symphony to Open Friday Favorites Series


Six-Concert Noontime Series Begins October 16 at Meymandi Concert Hall with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 and Shostakovich’s Festive Overture

The North Carolina Symphony, led by Associate Conductor David Glover will a program of music from two great Russian composers Friday, Oct. 16, at noon in Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh in the opening concert of its popular “Friday Favorites” lunchtime series.

The orchestra will perform Festive Overture, Op. 96, by Dmitri Shostakovich and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, "Pathétique.”  The concert is the first in the Symphony’s six concert 2015-16 Friday Favorites series. Subscriptions all of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2015-16 are available at

Scholar Richard Rodda writes, “Among the grand symphonies, concertos, operas and chamber works that Dmitri Shostakovich produced are also many occasional pieces: film scores, tone poems, jingoistic anthems and brief instrumental compositions. Though most of those works are unfamiliar in the West, one — the Festive Overture — has been a favorite since it was introduced in the autumn of 1954. Shostakovich composed it for a concert on November 7, 1954, commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, but its jubilant nature suggests it may also have been conceived as an outpouring of relief at the death of Joseph Stalin one year earlier. “

Of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Rodda writes, “The music of the “Pathétique” is a distillation of the strong residual strain of melancholy in Tchaikovsky’s personality rather than a mirror of his daily feelings and thoughts. Though he admitted there was a program for the Symphony, he refused to reveal it. ‘Let him guess it who can,’ he told his nephew Vladimir Davidov. A cryptic note discovered years later among his sketches suggests that the first movement was “all impulsive passion; the second, love; the third, disappointments; the fourth, death — the result of collapse.”

Other dates on the Friday Favorites Series:

On Nov. 13, 2015, the orchestra will perform a program of Favorite Light Classics, including works by John Williams, Rossini, Humperdinck, and Smetana.  On Dec. 4, “A Baroque Christmas,” will showcase music from Bach and Handel including the Brandenburg Concert No. 4 and the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.  On Feb. 5, 2016, audiences will enjoy classic love stories through the ages with selections from Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Samson and Delilah and Tristan and Isolde, plus much more.  On March 4, 2016, the orchestra will perform a world premiere of a piece by Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, along with his “Eulogy for a Dream,” plus movements from Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. The Friday Favorites Series finale on May 6, 2016 will feature violinist Angelo Xiang Yu performing Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 as part of a program titled “A Day in Paris.”

Tickets to the Friday Favorites performance on Oct. 16 are $28.  Student tickets are $10.  Concert tickets at all performances are also available at the door one hour prior to concert start time. To purchase tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at or call the Symphony Box Office at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.

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.  Before the Oct. 16 performance, Dr. Jonathan Kramer of North Carolina State University will give a talk in Meymandi Concert Hall at 11 a.m.

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