Chamber Orchestra closes out 54th season with bluegrass, Bernstein and blues

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is closing its 54th season with a mash-up of bluegrass, Bernstein, blues and a world premiere. And for this finale concert, Chamber Orchestra musicians are joining forces with musicians from the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz.

"It's going to be wonderful," vows Lovett Hines, Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz.

The program kicks off with a celebration of Leonard Bernstein. The musical mastermind would have turned 100 this year.

"He is one of the great American composers and conductors and also teachers," says the Chamber Orchestra's composer-in-residence, Adam Vidiksis.

Bernstein is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music so the concert will include a piece written by a current student titled "Homage to Bernstein."

"Which, of course, features Bernstein's musical style and is also referencing his time that he spent at Curtis," says Vidiksis, who is premiering his new work, Open Spaces, which incorporates the Clef Club musicians as soloists.

"It kind of sets up a back and forth between the soloists and the orchestra," says Vidiksis. "So the performers are really bringing their sense of their own musical style to the piece and really opening it up."

"Because the theme is improvisation, both nights that this is performed will sound very different from each other," Vidiksis says.

"It's exciting when the music places you on the edge of your seat because you don't know what to expect," says Lovett.

"Everyone is going to enjoy watching these incredible performers; they're just mind-blowingly good," promises Vidiksis.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia's season finale concert is May 20-21 in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. For tickets and showtimes, visit The Arts in Philly
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