WEST HARTFORD — The Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra concert, “American Reflections,” will present Jerry Franklin, long-time President and CEO of Connecticut Public Broadcasting, as the narrator in Aaron Copland’s dramatic patriotic work, “A Lincoln Portrait.” Conducted by FVSO Music Director Jonathan Brennand, the concert of American music will take place Saturday, Mar. 21, 3:00 pm at the University of St Joseph’s Hoffman Auditorium, 1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford according to a release from the Orchestra.
Franklin, who retired in 2019, oversaw remarkable growth of CPTV and CPR during his 34-year tenure as head of the public broadcasting company. Its achievement of many honors and awards under Franklin’s leadership included 2 national Emmy Awards, 100 regional Emmy Awards, 8 Peabody Awards and 8 Mark Twain Awards for Excellence. He was instrumental in the pioneering of such unique programming partnerships as the creation of the PBS children’s program, “Barney,” and the televising of University of Connecticut’s Women’s Basketball.
In addition to the work by Copland, the FVSO’s program of American music will also feature familiar works by Samuel Barber and the Greater Hartford premiere of a symphony by African-American composer Florence Beatrice Price.
Hannah Adler, of Longmeadow, Mass., a talented young violinist and CT-ASTA Award Winner, will play the first movement of Samuel Barber’s “Violin Concerto.” Hannah is a student at the Loomis Chaffee School. She began her violin studies at the Northampton Community Music School and has continued at the Hartt School of Music where she is a part of the Chamber Music program. She has played in the Loomis Chaffee Orchestra, the Connecticut Youth Symphony, the CMEA All-State Orchestra and has participated in such renowned programs as the Ithaca College Heifetz program and Music Adventure in Italy.
Samuel Barber’s beautiful work for Soprano and Orchestra, “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” will feature Lyric Soprano Lisabeth Miller, Artistic Director of the Hartford Opera Theater and Director of Music at Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Bloomfield. Miller, who appeared last season with the Farmington Valley Chorale in “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” is well-known in the area as a musically sensitive and dramatically compelling performer on both the opera and concert stages.
The FVSO presents the first performance in the central Connecticut area of “Symphony No. 1 in E Minor” by Florence Beatrice Price, the first female African-American composer to have a full-scale symphonic work performed by a major US orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, in the 1930s. The rediscovery of her music in recent years has led to several premiers of her works by major orchestras both in the United States and around the world. Price’s music has a unique sound that includes elements of folk songs, African-American church music and the influence of such composers as Dvorak and Gershwin.
Tickets at $18 for adults can be purchased in advance at www.fvso.org. All ticket purchases at the door will be $20. Children and young people age 17 and younger are free. Further information is available on the web site or by calling 800-975-FVSO.