Fit for a president 


Although planners of the Clinton Presidential Center had many uses in mind for the facility, being the best place for chamber music probably wasn’t high on the list.

But the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra had long been looking for the biggest and best place to hold its Chamber Series, and when the Clinton Library came online, the ASO found its answer.

“Without a doubt, without a DOUBT,” David Itkin, the ASO music director, said with emphasis. “We love it, the audience loves it. It’s great.”

The ASO’s Sturgis Quartet will be joined Monday, March 20, by ASO performers David Belcher on piano and violinists Andrew Irvin and Meredith Maddox for “Rags and Riches,” featuring music covering three centuries by such composers as Ravel, Tchaikovsky, William Bolcom and more. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

In the past several years, the ASO’s three resident chamber quartets — the Sturgis, Quapaw and Rockefeller quartets — have tried their shows in the Symphony’s rehearsal facility in the Heights, at the Darragh Center in the Main Library on Rock Street, and at the Arkansas Arts Center.

“It took us awhile to find the right place,” Itkin said. “The room itself is acoustically lovely for chamber, it has all hard surfaces, all wood and glass, with a big high ceiling. It sounds lovely and is just the right size, seating just over 300 people.”

Itkin estimates that the previous sites were, at best, big enough for 200 to 250 people. Also, parking was a problem when the ASO used the Main Library.

At the Clinton Library, shows this year have been selling out, he said. The six-concert series was already two-thirds sold out to subscribers before any tickets were available to the general public. The move to what Itkin feels is the chamber groups’ permanent home has brought added attention, he said. And when people attend one show, they’re almost certain to return.

“To add to the acoustics, there is the marvelous view. People look past the performers through the completely glass wall toward the night skyline of downtown. The beauty of the hall is it sounds beautiful in there, you don’t need any help in there with microphones. It’s perfect.”

Shows often include guest artists, from the Symphony and on tour, with the four-person chamber groups. A surprise violinist is planned for October, Itkin said.

The March 20 program ends the Chamber series season. Ravel’s “Tzigane will show off the piano and violin talents in a piece inspired by Gypsy music. A Spanish style is evident in Navarra by Sarasate. Tchaikovskys String Quartet No. 3, Schoenbergs Phantasy and the opening, jazzy Graceful Ghost Rag by William Bolcom, for solo piano, round out the show.

Tickets are $25 through the ASO box office (666-1761 or www.arkansassymphony.org).



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

More by Jim Harris

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Watch the trailer for 'Shelter,' the Renaud Bros. new doc on homeless kids in New Orleans

    Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: From 'octoroon' to 'other'

    • Fantastic discussion - For my two cents if you a BIA Certificate of Degree of…

    • on January 21, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation