Vintage Americana Classical: Original Version of Copland's "Appalachian Spring" in Appalachia

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Acclaimed Western North Carolina chamber music company offers a rare spring gift. As fragrant May blossoms abound, Asheville-based Pan Harmonia, celebrates with a concert of new and vintage American music including Aaron Copland’s exquisite “Appalachian Spring.”

"Sonically so satisfying!"
--Classical Voice of NC

Thirteen of Western North Carolina’s finest classical musicians will play Copland’s masterpiece in its original setting: flute, clarinet, bassoon, double string quartet, bass and piano. In addition to "Appalachian Spring," the All-American program also includes fellow Pulitzer winner Samuel Barber’s emotive “Adagio for Strings” and East Coast premieres of “Gaia” for flute and string quartet, a planetary ode by San Diego composer William Bradbury and “Two Pantomimes” from Scottish fiddle master and violinist Jamie Laval.

Written for choreographer Martha Graham, “Appalachian Spring” won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for composition. With a small ensemble of merely nine strings, three woodwinds and piano, Copland created a work of incredible beauty and enduring appeal, one which evokes the American pioneer spirit with simple harmonies and sunlit, expansive sounds climaxing with the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts.”

Likewise recognized as a masterpiece, Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” will be performed in its original setting for string quartet. This iconic composition, written in 1936, is one of the 20th century's most moving, poetic works.

William Bradbury’s “Gaia,” commissioned for Earth Day 2009, is about life on Earth. The movements represent the four elements and their creatures: “Drifting,” those of the sea, “Lumbering,” of the land, the third, “Crying,” a lament for the destruction wrought by man on our ecosystems, and “Flying,” those of the air. The final “Dance on the Wing” concludes on a hopeful note of healing and reconciliation.

Violinist and composer Jamie Laval, equally at home in classical or Celtic realms, offers “Two Pantomimes,” poignantly joyful dances and joins the ensemble in these performances.

Flutist Kate Steinbeck founded Keowee Chamber Music, now Pan Harmonia, in 2000. Her visionary work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Pan Harmonia has been extolled for its musical artistry, creative programming and imaginative and engaging outreach for audiences of all ages and socio-economic strata. The Appalachian Spring Project is made possible through a NCAC "Arts and Audience" grant and the generosity of private donors.

Sunday, May 19, 5 PM in the newly restored 100-year old theater of the Masonic Temple,
80 Broadway St, downtown Asheville

Thursday, May 23, 7:30 PM, White Horse Black Mountain, 105 Montreat Road, Black Mountain

Tickets: $12 in advance / $5 for students available at
and $15 at the door.
**Bring an item of non-perishable food for Manna Food Bank and receive $2 off regular $15 ticket day of show. Not available for pre-purchase tix.

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Rosalind Buda, Project Manager

Kate Steinbeck, Artistic Director
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