Author: kenmeltzer

Ken Meltzer is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Program Annotator and “Insider.” He is the author of the Atlanta Symphony’s program notes, and is a visible and active presence throughout the community as a public voice for the Atlanta Symphony. He hosts the Orchestra’s “Inside the Music” pre-concert lectures and the weekly radio show, “Meet the Classics,” on Atlanta’s AM-1690. Ken began working for the ASO in 2005, when he and his wife Carolyn (the Chair of the Department of Radiology at Emory Hospital) moved to Atlanta from Pittsburgh. From 1994-2005, Ken was the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Program Annotator. Ken also appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony as narrator in Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale, ” and Benjamin Britten’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” With the Atlanta Symphony, Ken has narrated the “The Young Person’s Guide” and Vincent Persichetti’s “A Lincoln Address.” Ken’s program notes have been featured in recordings on the ASO Media, EMI, Boston Records, Four Winds, and Curtain Call labels. He serves a consultant to such performing arts organizations as the Kansas City, Charlotte and Knoxville Symphonies, and the Savannah Music Festival. Ken also reviews classical music recordings for Fanfare Magazine. In his spare time, Ken enjoys volunteering for animal rescue efforts, and chasing little white balls around local golf courses.

January 7, 8, &9, 2016 Podcast

On Thursday, January 7, and Saturday, January 9, at 8:00p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Guest Conductor Ludovic Morlot leads a program that opens with the Overture to Johann Strauss’s operetta, Die Fledermaus. Next is a work inspired by Strauss’s music, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Straussiana. Our scheduled soloist, Christopher Rex is ill, and so the Korngold Cello Concerto will be replaced by three Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms. The first half concludes with Johann Strauss’s Vienna Blood Waltzes. The second half of the program features the Brahms Symphony No. 3.  The concert of Friday, January 8, at 6:30p, performed without intermission, features the Brahms Third and Fledermaus Overture. Unknown-2

October 8, 10, and 11, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, October 8 and Saturday, October 10, at 8:00p, and Sunday, October 11, at 3:00p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles leads a program that opens with Anton Webern’s orchestration of Franz Schubert’s Six German Dances. Christina Smith and Elisabeth Remy Johnson are the soloists in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra. The second half of the program begins with Claude Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”. The concert ends with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.  The program will also be repeated at Kennesaw State University on Friday, October 10, at 8:00p.

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October 1, 2, and 3, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, October 1, and Saturday, October 3, at 8:00p, at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Music Director Robert Spano leads a program that opens with the Concerto for Orchestra, by “Atlanta School” composer Jennifer Higdon. Jonathan Biss is the soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor,” by Ludwig van Beethoven. The “Casual Fridays” concert of Friday, October 2, at 6:30p, performed without intermission, features the first movement of the Higdon Concerto for Orchestra, and the complete Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto.

The “Inside the Music” pre-concert talk, free to all concert ticketholders, takes place on the stage of Symphony Hall on Thursday, October 1, at 7:00p, one hour prior to the concert.  Jennifer Higdon will be my special guest.Unknown

September 24 and 26, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, September 24 and Saturday, September 26, at 8:00p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Music Director Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform concerts that open with the Atlanta Symphony premiere of Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!, by contemporary Israeli composer Avner Dorman. Percussionists Thomas Sherwood and Charles Settle are the soloists. The second half of the program features the great Symphony No. 5 by Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.Unknown-2

June 4&6, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, June 4, at 8:00p, and Saturday, June 6, at 7:30p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, the ASO concludes its 2014-15 classical subscription season with complete performances of Camille Saint-Saëns’s biblical opera, Samson and Delilah. Music Director Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and a cast of international opera stars.Unknown-1

May 28 & 30, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, May 28, at 8:00p, and Saturday, May 30, at 7:30p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Music Director Robert Spano leads a program that opens with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premiere of Jean Sibelius’s brief tone poem, The Bard. Yefim Bronfman is the soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The program concludes with Scheherazade, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

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May 14&16, 2015 Podcast

images-1On Thursday, May 14, at 8:00p, and Saturday, May 16, at 7:30 at Atlanta Symphony Hall, guest conductor Roberto Abbado returns to conduct a program that opens with the Roman Carnival Overture, by Hector Berlioz. Sergei Krylov is the soloist in the Atlanta Symphony premiere of Nicolo Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The second half of the program features Luciano Berio’s arrangement of Luigi Boccherini’s “Nighttime Retreat in Madrid.” The concert concludes with the Symphony No. 4, the “Italian” Symphony, by Felix Mendelssohn.

May 7&9, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, May 7, at 8:00p, and Saturday, May 9, at 7:30p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, composer John Adams is the guest conductor in a program that opens with The Enchanted Lake, by Anatoli Liadov. The first half concludes with The Pines of Rome, by Ottorino Respighi (pictured). On the second half of the concert, Leila Josefowicz is the soloist in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra premiere of Mr. Adams’s Scheherazade.2, Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra.

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April 30, May 1 and 2, 2015 Podcast

On Thursday, April 30, at 8:00p, and Saturday, May 2, at 7:30p at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Music Director Robert Spano leads a concert that opens with the world premiere of Imaginary Numbers, by Atlanta School Composer Michael Gandolfi. Soloists are Atlanta Symphony Principals Elisabeth Koch Tiscione, Laura Ardan, Keith Buncke, and Brice Andrus. The first half of the program ends with the Suite from Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird. Jean-Yves Thibaudet is the soloist in Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. The program concludes with George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The First Fridays concert, performed without intermission, takes place on Friday, May 1, at 6:30p, and includes the Stravinsky, Ravel and Gershwin works.

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