Slatkin to Conduct at Interlochen

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Performance will feature U.S. premiere of contrabassoon concerto

Members of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra

Lewis is an outstanding musician who brings incredible expression to his instrument and Slatkin is such a superb conductor. It will be an outstanding opportunity for our students to work with them - and a treat for our audience to witness.

On February 12, Leonard Slatkin will conduct the Interlochen Arts Academy orchestra in a performance of Kalevi Aho's Contrabassoon Concerto with Lewis Lipnick of the National Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist. Tickets can be purchased online through the Interlochen website.

Slatkin, the new music director at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, will spend three days rehearsing with the Arts Academy orchestra and Lewis Lipnick to prepare the piece. The renowned Finnish composer, Aho, will also visit the campus to work with the students.

"We're looking forward to a very special performance," said Octavio Más-Arocas, conductor of the Arts Academy orchestra. "Lewis is an outstanding musician who brings incredible expression to his instrument and Slatkin is such a superb conductor. It will be an outstanding opportunity for our students to work with them - and a treat for our audience to witness."
Guest artist Harry Shearing will also join the orchestra, playing the Heckelphone part.

The largest and lowest pitched of the double-reed wind instruments, the contrabassoon seldom enjoys the spotlight. In recent years, however, composers are expanding the repertoire featuring the instrument. The piece to be performed was written specifically for Lipnick, who premiered the work in 2006 with the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway.

For Lipnick, a musician in the National Symphony bassoon section since 1970, this is not the first time he has pushed the instrument to the forefront. Thirty years ago, Lipnick premiered the first concerto ever written for contrabassoon, a piece by composer Gunther Schuller.

Slatkin took the role of Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra starting in the 2008-2009 season. He also serves as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and Music Advisor to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He completed his 12th and final season as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2007-2008.

In addition to Thursday's orchestra performance, a number of other events and activities are planned for the Arts Academy music program including question-and-answer sessions and recitals. "As a conductor and a teacher, it is such a privilege to provide this rare opportunity to high school musicians," said Más-Arocas. "This is an experience that they will always carry with them."    

Interlochen Arts Academy is part of Interlochen Center for the Arts, which was honored with the National Medal of Arts in 2006, in recognition of excellence in arts education and performance. The fine arts boarding high school offers challenging and comprehensive college-preparatory academics in conjunction with artistic training in music, creative writing, dance, theatre, visual arts and motion picture arts.

The nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts, a recipient of the 2006 National Medal of Arts, is the only community in the world that brings together:

  •     a 2,500-student summer camp program
  •     a 500-student fine arts boarding high school
  •     opportunities for adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs
  •     two 24-hour listener-supported public radio stations (classical music and news)
  •     more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists

For information, visit Interlochen online at http://www.interlochen.org. The website includes a new informational video about the Arts Academy.

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