Darin Atwater's Soulful Symphony Announces 2007-2008 Season at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Music Center at Strathmore
Nation's premier African-American orchestra returns with holiday celebrations, fresh jazz and gospel arrangements
Baltimore, Md. (October 15, 2007)-In partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Soulful Symphony today announced its 2007-2008 season at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Md.) and the Music Center at Strathmore (N. Bethesda, Md.). Featuring all-new programming and fresh gospel arrangements of classical masterpieces, Soulful Symphony's 2007-2008 season is reflective of the originality and musical innovation that its artistic director, Darin Atwater, has brought to audiences since he founded the African-American ensemble. Hailed for bringing diversity of musical culture into the concert hall, Soulful Symphony has been met with popular and critical acclaim, with the Washington Post declaring that Soulful Symphony's music "sets itself apart…[Atwater's] music is emotional and riveting."
Building on three overwhelmingly popular seasons, the celebrated African-American orchestra's 2007-2008 season begins with an all-new holiday gospel program and the State of Maryland's 22nd Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The season continues with the world premiere of Darin Atwater's arrangement of Ravel's Pavane, and concludes with a gospel program featuring the music of Donald Lawrence. See below for a complete season calendar and ticketing information.
"The 2007-2008 season is an opportunity to build on our musical accomplishments and our success within the community," stated Soulful Symphony founder and artistic director Darin Atwater. "We are all very excited to bring new programs and our Soulful sound to Meyerhoff and Strathmore audiences."
About Soulful Symphony
Founded in 2000 by composer and artistic director Darin Atwater, Soulful Symphony is among the nation's most prominent African-American symphony orchestras. Featuring a culturally diverse ensemble of 75 musicians and vocalists, Soulful Symphony blends rhythm and blues, jazz and gospel music all within a symphonic framework for orchestra.
As a not-for-profit arts organization, Soulful Symphony is dedicated to the preservation of African-American cultural expression and to the presentation of symphonic music. Soulful Symphony is a repository for the exploration of diverse musical expressions: classical, jazz, gospel and popular forms capturing a universal language that gives all cultures common ground.
In 2004, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra forged an historic joint venture with Soulful Symphony, partnering with the organization to bring their unique brand of music to new and diverse audiences throughout Maryland. Since partnering with the BSO, Soulful Symphony has performed to sell-out houses at both the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore and the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda.
Darin Atwater, Artistic Director
Composer, conductor and pianist Darin Atwater is regarded as one of the leading artists of his generation. His skills in the idioms of classical, jazz and sacred music have earned him a distinguished international reputation. Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Prince George's County, Md., Mr. Atwater made his orchestral debut as both composer and pianist in May 1995 with the National Symphony Orchestra, premiering Maschil for piano and orchestra. Engagements with major orchestras, a European tour and world premieres of his numerous compositions followed. In June of 1998, Mr. Atwater, welcomed by former President and Mrs. Clinton, performed with the Morgan State University Choir in a celebration of gospel on the south lawn of the White House.
February 2000 marked the premiere of Song in a Strange Land, a contemporary exploration of Spirituals that featured Wynton Marsalis, Karen Clark-Sheard, Kim Burrell and the debut of Soulful Symphony. Praise has been unanimous: The New York Times described Mr. Atwater as a composer with a "muscular imagination," and The Baltimore Sun wrote that "Atwater has an uncommon ear for instrumental coloring and the urban beat."
Mr. Atwater is the founder and artistic director of Soulful Symphony. Among his many honors and recognitions, Ebony magazine dubbed him one of the "30 Leaders of the Future," and the Baltimore Business Journal placed him on their exclusive "40 under 40" list. Mr. Atwater is a recently appointed trustee for Maryland Citizens for the Arts and also serves on the music team at Celebration Church in Columbia, Md.
2007-2008 SEASON CALENDAR
A Great Joy
Saturday, December 8, 2007 at 8:00 p.m.-Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (JMSH)
Soulful Symphony opens its season with a joyful holiday program, featuring traditional Christmas music with a gospel twist, the beloved Soulful Symphony Chorus and soloists.
The State of Maryland's 22nd Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-(JMSH)
Soulful Symphony celebrates the life and legacy of the great civil rights leader with the State of Maryland's 22nd Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, February 22, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-JMSH
Soulful Symphony jazzes up the concert hall with fresh takes on classical favorites, including Darin Atwater's world premiere arrangement of Ravel's Pavane and Duke Ellington's arrangement of Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. The program also includes David Baker's Jazz Suite for Clarinet and Full Orchestra.
Say Amen Somebody
Friday, May 2, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-The Music Center at Strathmore
Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.-JMSH This hand clappin', foot stompin' program features the music of gospel-great Donald Lawrence.
Tickets range from $15 to $55 and are on sale now through the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Ticket Office, BSOmusic.org, 410.783.8000 or 877.BSO.1444.