LSM Newswire

Thursday, May 14, 2009

PSO Closes Robert Moody’s Inaugural Season at Season Finale Concert, June 9

PSO Closes Robert Moody's Inaugural Season at Season Finale Concert, June 9

PORTLAND, Maine – For a thrilling finale to his inaugural season, Music Director Robert Moody leads Rites and Rhythms featuring the virtuosity of the Portland Symphony Orchestra's members, and a unique "sonic travelogue" uniting symphony orchestra with African drumming and dancing. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9 at Merrill Auditorium.

Rites and Rhythms opens with Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. Widely considered one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Bartók was an accomplished pianist from a very young age. Concerto for Orchestra was the composer's final completed work and combines elements of Western classical and Europeam folk music. The piece is called a concerto rather than a symphony because each section of instruments is treated in a soloistic and virtuosic way.

The headlining piece of the evening, James DeMars' Sabar: Concerto for Senegalese Drums & Orchestra was composed in 2000 on a commission from the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and was first performed by that orchestra under the direction of Robert Moody in 2001. American composer DeMars wrote Sabar "for the purpose of creating a work that would integrate the musicians of two cultures to celebrate a new millennium." The Arizona Republic called the piece, "…a sonic travelogue, that was stunningly entertaining as well as culturally engaging." Guest drummers Mark Sunkett, Sonya Branch, Medoune Gueye and Abdou Kounta, as well as an ensemble of traditional Senegalese dancers, will join the symphony for this unique season finale.

Sponsored by JetBlue Airways and generously underwritten by Mr. and Mrs. Albert B. Glickman, the PSO's performance of Sabar is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with a Concert Conversation led by Maestro Moody at 6:15 p.m. in the Rehearsal Hall. A radio broadcast of the performance can be heard on Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) on July 29 at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $17-$65 and are sold through PortTix at (207) 842-0800 or, and new this year, the website offers real-time online seat selection. Phone and internet orders are subject to $5-per-ticket handling fees. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office at 20 Myrtle St., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. For complete season information, including artist biographies and program notes, visit

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