The Spokane Symphony introduces its 2006-07 season – and a potential new lead player – at two free concerts in area parks this weekend.
The symphony will play its sixth annual concert at Liberty Lake’s Pavillion Park on Saturday. On Monday, the orchestra returns to Comstock Park on Spokane’s South Hill for a 20th year for its traditional Labor Day performance.
Music Director Eckart Preu will conduct. But a new face will greet him as the symphony’s concertmaster, or lead violinist: William Harvey, one of five finalists for the full-time job.
One of them will be selected later this season to succeed Kelly Farris, who retired at the end of last season. Farris had served as concertmaster since 1969.
Harvey, a new graduate of New York City’s Juilliard School of Music, will occupy the concertmaster’s chair for the parks concerts and return Oct. 20 for the Opera House performance of Brahms’ “German Requiem.”
He received his master’s degree studying with Ronald Copes, second violinist in the Juilliard Quartet. At his graduation in May, he was awarded the William Schuman Prize, Juilliard’s highest honor.
Harvey served as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony and the New World Youth Orchestra.
Daisuke Yamamoto, a recent graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, will serve as the symphony’s concertmaster for a performance in Chewelah on Sept. 9 and for the opening concert of the classics series on Sept. 15.
Mateusz Wolski, currently concertmaster of the Annapolis (Md.) Symphony, will be in the first violinist’s chair on the opening night of the SuperPops series Sept. 30 and will return for a classics concert Oct. 6.
The symphony plans to announce the other two candidates for the position soon.
Preu, beginning his third season as the orchestra’s music director, also has just completed his first season as music director of the Stamford (Conn.) Symphony.
He will share the podium this weekend with Itron Chief Executive Officer LeRoy Nosbaum, who will wield the baton in a staple of outdoor concerts: John Philip Sousa’s march “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
The programs will begin with the well-known circus march “Entry of the Gladiators” and conclude with the fireworks of Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture.
In between, the orchestra will play traditional audience favorites such as Johann Strauss’ “Voices of the Spring,” along with excerpts from Broadway and Hollywood scores.
An unusual attraction will be a work for Alphorn and orchestra featuring the symphony’s principal horn player, Jennifer Scriggins-Brummett, playing an instrument considerably longer than she is tall.
Before the Comstock Park concert, guitarist Abe Kenney and bassist Chang Min-Lee will perform from 4 to 5 p.m.
Also at Comstock, area music, theater and other arts organizations will have booths to present information on their offerings for the 2006-07 season beginning at 4 p.m.