Two symphonies. One summer night.
This Sunday evening (July 28), local residents and visitors alike have a choice of two orchestral performances, a mere 30 miles apart: the Grand Rapids Symphony on the shores of Lake Leelanau and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen’s open-sided amphitheater on Green Lake.
It’s a classical music milestone for the area, and also one heck of a coincidence. But both organizations say the mere fact that people have such a choice is pretty special for a relatively small community like Traverse City.
The Ticker brings you a preview of both musical treats:
Grand Rapids Symphony at Fountain Point
The 83-year-old Grand Rapids Symphony is recognized as one of the leading regional orchestras in the country. It will be the group’s first summertime performance in the area, having performed in the fall at Interlochen a dozen or so years ago, says Associate Conductor John Varineau.
Varineau will be leading the touring orchestra of nearly 50 musicians at Fountain Point Resort in Lake Leelanau. A theme of water and pastoral landscapes flow through the musical selections, Varineau notes, including Handel’s Water Music, two movements from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 and other compositions by Mendelssohn, Butterworth and Haydn.
The symphony will also perform three Celtic songs as they join local favorite and special guest Song of the Lakes in the pieces specifically scored for the orchestra.
It is the sixth major concert the resort has hosted since Memorial Day. “Music is a very important part of my vision for the future of Fountain Point,” says Erik Zehender, whose great-grandfather purchased the resort in 1936 and who now manages it with his mother.
The lawn concert is picnic and kid-friendly (free to all students and children). It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for adults are $28 in advance and available at Oryana or www.mynorthtickets.com and $35 at the door. Note: Arriving by boat is welcomed.
World Youth Symphony at Interlochen
A half-hour away, Andreas Delfs will lead Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO) at Kresge Auditorium on Sunday at 8 p.m. Originally from Germany, Delfs is currently the conductor laureate of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the principal conductor of the Honolulu Symphony.
Delfs will lead the students in a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. He arrived at Interlochen on Monday and has been rehearsing the piece with students all week, says Chris Gruits, the new executive director for Interlochen Presents. Delfs was last at Interlochen in 2011.
The WYSO is the top orchestra at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and comprised of the most advanced high school musicians from widely different backgrounds. Sunday’s performance is the capstone performance of their six-week study at the camp.
Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, $8 for students and available online.
Looking Ahead: Traverse City's own symphony, the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, will kick off its 2013-14 season on Sun., Sept. 29, with international cellist Suren Bagratuni performing Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony. View the entire season’s performance schedule here.