Associate Concertmaster Madeline Adkins Leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, Jan. 16
Assistant Principal Oboist Shea Scruggs makes his solo debut in Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor
Baltimore, Md. (November 11, 2009) – Associate Concertmaster Madeline Adkins will direct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a Baroque concert featuring Handel’s celebratory Music for the Royal Fireworks as part of the Casual Concert Series on Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 11 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Assistant Principal Oboist Shea Scruggs, who joined the BSO this season, will make his solo debut in Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor. Also on the program is Carlo Farina’s Capriccio stravagante and J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, which features the famous “Air on a G String.” Please see below for complete concert details.
German-born George Frideric Handel spent most of his life living in London composing operas and oratorios such as the beloved Messiah. Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) is one of two famous instrumental works (the other is Water Music) that Handel composed for King George I. Music for the Royal Fireworks was originally intended to be performed outside during a fireworks display celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. During the Baroque era, wind and brass instruments were included in orchestral music mainly for outdoor and celebratory events. Since this ensemble requires an unusually large number of wind and brass instruments for the time, the festivities must have been quite elaborate.
J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 is a Baroque dance suite that was composed in the 18th century. The suite is comprised of five movements, the second of which, “Air,” is one of the most well known musical movements of all time. German violinist August Wilhelmj (1845-1908) arranged “Air” for the violin, which has come to be known as “Air on a G String.” Since then, this movement has been arranged for multiple ensembles and solo instruments, and is often performed at weddings.
Antonio Vivaldi is famous for having written hundreds of concerti. Such a prolific production in a musical genre required not only talent, but also an ability to create a formal structure that could be used multiple times to produce fresh results. Vivaldi’s concerti are recognizable for their ritornello form, which alternates tutti (“all” or “together” in Italian, meaning full ensemble) with solo passages. Typically the tutti passages are repeated to give a sense of stability or “return” (ritornello means “return” in Italian), while the solo passages are more virtuosic and exploratory. Newcomer to the BSO and assistant principal oboist Shea Scruggs will make his solo debut with the Orchestra in Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor.
Carlo Farina (1600-1639) was an Italian Baroque composer. Well-known for his virtuosic abilities on the violin, Farina not only contributed many works to the violin repertoire, but also helped to extend violin technique. Capriccio stravagante (1627) highlights the violin’s virtuosic abilities as Farina calls on the instrument to imitate animal sounds, as well as the sounds of other instruments.
Madeline Adkins, leader and violin
In April 2005, Madeline Adkins was appointed to the position of associate concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Yuri Temirkanov. She joined the Orchestra in 2000 as assistant concertmaster and has appeared frequently as a soloist with the BSO, performing works by Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Bach, Vivaldi and Prokofiev. Other recent engagements include a recital for the “Embassy Series” at the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Adkins received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the University of North Texas and her master’s degree from the New England Conservatory where she studied with James Buswell. She has served as guest concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony, as well as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa.
Ms. Adkins won first prize in a number of competitions, including the Stulberg International String Competition, the ASTA National Solo Competition and the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition. She was also a second prize winner in the Irving Klein International String Competition. Since 1989, Ms. Adkins has been active in early music, having performed baroque violin with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the Dallas Bach Society and currently with Pro Musica Rara of Baltimore.
The daughter of noted musicologists, Ms. Adkins is the youngest of eight children including four violinists, two cellists and a soprano. In 1994, the Adkins String Ensemble debuted in the Dallas Symphony’s Meyerson Hall, a performance that was later honored by the Dallas Morning News as one of its “Top Ten Concerts of the Year.” The group presents a yearly chamber music series in Dallas and their latest recording features works by Brahms, Bridge and contemporary composer Douglas Briley.
Shea Scruggs, oboe
Shea Scruggs graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004 where he was a student of Richard Woodhams, the esteemed and longtime principal oboe of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The following year he completed a degree in English Literature from Swarthmore College. In 2009 he was appointed the BSO’s assistant principal oboe.
Mr. Scruggs has performed widely with American orchestras, holding positions as acting principal of the Cincinnati Symphony and principal oboe of the San Francisco Opera. He has also performed in the sections of the Chicago Symphony and The Philadelphia Orchestra and as guest principal with the Atlanta Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony.
Mr. Scruggs has taught masterclasses at Oberlin University, the University of New Mexico, the San Francisco Conservatory and to the oboe students of El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela.
COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
Casual Concert: Royal Fireworks Music
Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Madeline Adkins, leader and violin
Shea Scruggs, oboe
J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3
Vivaldi: Oboe Concerto in D Minor
Carlo Farina: Capriccio stravagante
Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
Tickets for these performances range from $25 to $60 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.