ASU's Bass Virtuoso, Catalin Rotaru, Joins Arizona Pro Arte August 24 at Tempe Center for the Arts

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Arizona Pro Arte’s ‘Cool Classics’ at Tempe Center for the Arts features celebrated double bass virtuoso Catalin Rotaru.

Arizona Pro Arte’s Cool Classics series was an experiment, admits Artistic Director and Conductor Timothy Verville, noting that most performing arts groups go dark in June, July and August. “We wanted to know if we kept playing during the summer months, would the audiences would keep coming,” Verville says. His question was answered on July 20, as the second concert in the Cool Classics series played to a sold-out audience in the Studio theater in the Tempe Center for the Arts. Verville suggests that music lovers who want to be in the house for the last concert in the series on August 24 should purchase a ticket early — particularly in light of the reputation of the featured soloist.

The performance is titled “Two Greats,” and great is not too lofty a word for the evening. Catalin Rotaru is musical greatness personified, a world-renowned soloist who has also led sections for orchestras throughout Europe and the U.S. Those who are unsure of the potential of the double bass as a solo instrument need to look only as far as YouTube to learn just how gorgeous and lyrical the bass can be — in the hands of Catalin Rotaru. He’ll be featured in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C, a work that’s demanding when played on the cello, and breathtaking played on the bass by Rotaru.

The other “great” on the program is the Ninth Symphony of Franz Schubert, a monumental work known as “The Great,” and regarded as the grandest work for orchestra since the death of Beethoven. Music writer Milton Cross says parts of the symphony demonstrate “a passion, intensity, heroic breadth and dramatic interest … that emphasizes how immense was Schubert’s growth as a symphonic composer.” Robert Schumann said the work includes passages of such unearthly beauty, it’s as if “they descended from another sphere.”

The Cool Classics series was created by Verville and Arizona Pro Arte as a thank you to the orchestra’s fans for making its inaugural season such an unqualified success. This last summer concert will bring another gift to APA fans, as Sterling Beeaff, music director of Phoenix’s KBAQ FM-89.5, will present a pre-concert “Mystery Behind the Music” conversation at 6:45pm, also featuring Catalin Rotaru.

The final performance in Arizona Pro Arte’s Cool Classics series takes place Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio theater of the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway on the south shore of Tempe Town Lake. Information and tickets are available at azproarte.com. Audience members are encouraged to purchase their tickets early, as seating is limited, and to arrive early, as all tickets are general admission (though there are no bad seats in TCA’s Studio theater). Response to previous APA concerts, including Cool Classics numbers 1 and 2, has been enthusiastic, with acclaim such as: “Beautiful performance. What a great chamber group!” “An excellent event! Arizona Pro Arte delivered a perfect evening,” and “amazing,” “powerful” and “gripping.”

The 2013–14 Arizona Pro Arte season opens Sept. 21, also in the Tempe Center for the Arts. The new season promises the same fearless and fun artistic synthesis that has brought attention to the group in only its first season. The orchestra performed live on TV in November of 2012, earning recognition from 12 News Phoenix for “a unique collaboration of performing and visual arts that’s never been done before.” KBAQ-FM likewise described APA’s debut season as “…infused with a vigorous dose of collaboration often utilizing visual arts: film, painting and real-time computer visualizations.”

Read more about Arizona Pro Arte and the new season at azproarte.com. Hear Sterling Beeaff’s pre-concert interview with APA Artistic Director and Conductor Timothy Verville on KBAQ at kbaq.org/content/arizona-pro-arte-ensemble.

Media Contact:
Laura Strickland
Phoenix Marketing Associates
602-282-0202

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Jason Jantzen
Phoenix Marketing Associates
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