3/21/2013 7:52:00 PM Organist Paul Jacobs stars in Sunday Phoenix Symphony performance
Organist and Grammy Award-winner Paul Jacobs will highlight a performance of the Phoenix Symphony on Sunday. Jacobs will perform several pieces, including one recently commissioned for the Phoenix Symphony. Below, Conductor Michael Christie may be leading the orchestra in Prescott for the last time.
Special to the Courier
Celebrated concert organist and Grammy Award-winner Paul Jacobs will fill the Yavapai Performing Arts Center with pipe organ music this Sunday, March 24, when the Phoenix Symphony performs "Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3" for orchestra and organ.
Sunday's concert also bids farewell to Michael Christie, who is leaving the directorship of Phoenix Symphony after eight years to become the music director of the Minnesota Opera.
In appreciation of Christie's work as maestro of the Phoenix Symphony for the past eight years, the board of the directors of the Phoenix Symphony is naming him music director laureate. In that role, he is scheduled to return five times over the next three seasons.
Sunday's symphony opens with one of the most famous works for organ, Leopold Stokowski's arrangement of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor", again featuring Jacob's thunderous organ. And, in a rare treat, Prescott is fortunate to be included in the series of world premiere performances by Jacobs of a new work, "Organ Concerto No. 4," especially commissioned for the Phoenix Symphony and composed by one of today's leading composers, Stephen Paulus.
"What better way to celebrate Michael Christie's final Prescott appearance than with a wonderful, high-energy organ concert," said Carol Sundberg, president of the Yavapai Symphony Association. YSA will also honor Christie at Sunday's performance.
Fifteen Phoenix Symphony musicians will stay in Prescott and spend Monday visiting area schools to conduct classes and offer tutoring to local students for strings, percussion, brass, and woodwind instruments. "YSA's Youth Day Master Class outreach program not only provides master-level instruction, it exposes students to the talent and professionalism required for a career in music," said Stephen Fox, chairman of the Yavapai Symphony Association's Youth Activities Committee.
The Phoenix Symphony musicians will be visiting Prescott High School, Granite Mountain Middle School, Mile High Middle School, and the Franklin Phonetic Charter School. After short performances, the musicians help students with technique, performance, and instrument maintenance. "Working in groups we expect to offer assistance to more than 300 student musicians and during the 17 years YSA has sponsored the program, we've served more than 6,000 local students," Fox said.
Tickets for the concert, ranging in price from $28 to $39, are available only from the Yavapai Symphony Association, sponsor of the Phoenix Symphony's Prescott performances. YSA's Office, 228 N. Alarcon St., is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and the Friday before each Sunday concert, for patrons wishing to buy tickets in person. Tickets also may be purchased by phone, 928-776-4255, for will-call pick up at the Performing Arts Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. on the day of the concert.
Sunday's concert begins at 3 p.m. with a pre-concert lecture about the performance starting at 2 p.m. Full-time college students can buy any available ticket for $10. Elementary or secondary students and an accompanying adult can receive complimentary tickets to concerts as long as row B orchestra seats remain available.
More information about the Yavapai Symphony Association is available at www.yavapaisymphony.org.