CONDUCTOR GERARD SCHWARZ’S ALL-STAR ORCHESTRA,
THE MADE-FOR-TELEVISION CLASSICAL MUSIC SERIES, RETURNS
FOR A SECOND SEASON ON WNET THIRTEEN IN NEW YORK
BEGINNING JANUARY 10 AT 12:30 PM EST
Mr. Schwarz conducts leading musicians from major American orchestras
in four new episodes featuring symphonic masterpieces and works by contemporary composers;
soloists include violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and pianist Lola Astanova
Programs also air on Long Island’s WLIW-21 beginning January 10 at 3:30 PM EST
and New Jersey’s NJTV beginning December 20 at 6:00 PM EST
New York, NY (December 15, 2015) – The three-time Emmy® Award-winning All-Star Orchestra, under the direction of renowned conductor Gerard Schwarz, returns to public television with a new season of four episodes featuring Mr. Schwarz’s “all-star” team of top orchestral musicians, including prominent principal players from over 30 major U.S. orchestras. Featuring performances of symphonic masterpieces and contemporary works including a world premiere, the All-Star Orchestra programs seek to expose broad audiences to classical music through a format that is both informative and accessible. The All-Star Orchestra was filmed using multiple high-definition cameras that were allowed unlimited access to each performance, roaming freely among the musicians to provide the audience with the best visuals and behind-the scene access.
The second season begins airing on WNET Thirteen in New York on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 12:30 PM EST, with subsequent programs being shown January 17, 24 and 31 also at 12:30 PM EST. The programs air on WLIW-21 in Long Island on Sundays beginning January 10 at 3:30 PM EST and NJTV airs episodes two through four on Sundays beginning December 20 at 6:00 PM EST. (Check local listings or visit www.allstarorchestra.org for additional broadcast dates and times.) The All-Star Orchestra is distributed by American Public Television in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Season two programs include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in the original jazz-band orchestration with pianist Lola Astanova, Copland’s Music for the Theatre, composer Robert Beaser’s contemplative “Ground O,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben featuring concertmaster David Kim as violin soloist and principal horn Erik Ralske, Mozart’s Serenade No. 9, “Posthorn” and the world premiere of Samuel Jones’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. The All-Star Orchestra programs also include musical excerpts, interviews, and educational commentary by Mr. Schwarz, All-Star musicians, composers, and special guests.
“Season two continues our tradition of performing the greatest works of the symphonic repertoire and new works by living American composers with the best musicians from across America’s finest orchestras,” said Music Director Gerard Schwarz. “Through our partnerships with the Khan Academy and public television stations, we are inspiring millions of people of all ages around the world to value and appreciate the power of classical music.”
Mr. Schwarz’s All-Star Orchestra, similar to Major League Baseball’s All-Star team, is comprised of the finest orchestral “athletes” from leading orchestras across the country including those in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, the Tampa Bay Area, Washington, D.C., and more.
All-Star Orchestra members from the New York area include: New York Philharmonic musicians Marc Ginsberg (Principal Second Violin), Lisa Kim (Associate Principal Second Violin), Rebecca Young (Principal Viola), Nancy Allen (Principal Harp), and Joseph Alessi (Principal Trombone); Metropolitan Opera Orchestra musicians Jerry Grossman (Co-Principal Cello), Stephanie Martimore (Principal Piccolo), Pedro Diaz (English Horn) and Erik Ralske (Principal French Horn); New York City Ballet Orchestra Concertmaster Kurt Nikkanen; Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra musicians Shmuel Katz (Principal Viola), Randall Ellis (Principal Oboe) and Jon Manasse (Principal Clarinet, also at Orchestra of Saint Luke’s and the American Ballet Theater); and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra musicians Erik Wyrick (Concertmaster) and David Fein (Principal Percussion). A complete roster of All-Star Orchestra musicians is included in the press kit here.
Naxos of America has also released the complete second season on two DVDs on Friday, September 11, 2015. The DVDs are available for individual sale from Amazon.com, Arkivmusic.com and all participating retailers for $19.99 each. Programs from the first season were also released on DVD by Naxos of America and are available from the same retailers.
The All-Star Orchestra is an ensemble of prominent musicians from the major orchestras across the U.S. Together these musicians perform on one stage under the leadership of Gerard Schwarz, who led the Seattle Symphony for 26 years and now serves as its Conductor Laureate. The ensemble is featured in the All-Star Orchestra television series seen nationally on public broadcasting stations. The series has won the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Broadcasting Award and three Emmy® Awards in 2014 and 2015 including two for Special Event Coverage and one for Audio Post-Production. Programs from the first season are available to stream at http://www.thirteen.org/programs/all-star-orchestra/. In 2014, the All-Star Orchestra partnered with the Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/all-star-orchestra), the free educational website that has more than 15 million monthly users on average. The collaboration brings music education to the widely visited website that teaches math, science, economics, humanities and many other subjects. To date, All-Star Orchestra lessons and features on the Khan Academy website have garnered over 2.5 million unique page views.
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations since 1961. In 2014, APT distributed one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U. S. Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Rick Steves’ Europe, Live From the Artists Den, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Midsomer Murders, Vera, NHK Newsline, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its 10th year, Create® TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — is distributed by APT. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.
Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is the largest cultural and education institution in Oregon and southern Washington, delivering excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio, and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by its members.
SEASON TWO PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS:
Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Season 2, Episode 1: Rhapsody in Blue – Visions of New York
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Lola Astanova, piano
Copland: Music for the Theatre
Robert Beaser: Ground O
Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue is featured in the rarely heard original jazz-orchestra version from the 1924 premiere, with the Russian-American pianist Lola Astanova. This iconic work will be paired with Aaron Copland’s 1925 jazz-age classic Music for the Theatre. Robert Beaser’s Ground O offers a personal musical perspective of New York after 9/11.
Season 2, Episode 2: 1001 Arabian Nights – The Legend of Scheherazade
David Kim, solo violin
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s exotic orchestral showpiece Scheherazade is based on fantastical tales that – according to tradition – were told by the ingenious wife of a cruel Sultan so as to prolong her life for 1001 nights. Concertmaster David Kim conveys the voice of the wily heroine in virtuosic violin solos. This ever-popular work could be described as a musical magic carpet ride between the worlds of Arabian folklore and Russian romanticism. Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful orchestration offers many solo opportunities for the principal players.
Season 2, Episode 3: A Hero’s Life in Music
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
David Kim, solo violin
Erik Ralske, solo horn
Richard Strauss’ orchestral autobiography from 1899, Ein Heldenleben, is a unique documentary in music, scored for an extra-large orchestra – a sonic spectacular, and a showcase for the All-Star musicians, with extended solos by Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Horn Erik Ralske. In this highly pictorial music, the listener follows the “Hero” – identified as Strauss himself – as he asserts his independence, falls in love, confronts his critics, engages in battle, creates a legacy of peace, and eventually comes to life’s end.
Season 2, Episode 4: Mozart and a World-Premiere
Mozart: Serenade No. 9, K. 320, “Posthorn”
David Bilger, Posthorn
Samuel Jones: Concerto for Violin (world premiere)
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
Mozart’s popular “Posthorn Serenade” is followed by the world premiere of Samuel Jones’ Violin Concerto with renowned soloist Anne Akiko Meyers performing on the legendary Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin. This rare event of a classical music world-premiere on national TV will showcase the collaboration between composer, soloist, and conductor in bringing a brand-new concerto to life.