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National Symphony Orchestra to perform in Riceland Hall March 24 as part of 2009 American Residency in Arkansas

March 3, 2009 -- The Fowler Center presents the National Symphony Orchestra in concert as the opening event of the symphony’s 2009 American Residency in Arkansas. The concert will take place on Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m., in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro.

The American Residency program is a one-of-a-kind outreach project of the National Symphony Orchestra of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  In 1992, Principal conductor Iván Fischer will conduct the members of the National Symphony Orchestra on stage in ASU's Riceland Hall, Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m.the Na
tional Symphony Orchestra (NSO) began the American Residency program as a project unique throughout the world. On behalf of the orchestra, the nation's center for the performing arts accepts one residency invitation each year, making a state or a region the focus of a host of activities. The National Symphony Orchestra has never been in Arkansas before, and it will not return to Arkansas for 50 years.

The goals of the project are: to share all elements of classical instrumental music throughout a given region; to explore the diversity of musical influences within the state; and to give the region a musical voice in the nation's center for the performing arts through t
raining programs, career development opportunities, and commissions.

The Arkansas Arts Council invited the Kennedy Center to choose Arkansas as the site of the NSO’
s 2009 American Residency. Between Tuesday, March 24, and Tuesday, March 31, the members of the orchestra will participate in approximately 150 education and performance activities throughout the state. The residency is funded by the Kennedy Center through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, as it has been since 1994. Since 2006, the chamber music and outreach performances have been supported by the Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund for chamber music and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

There will be a total of six orchestral concerts in the state, including an NSO Young People’s Concert in Helena. Dozens of educational and outreach activities and other events are being planned.

The repertoire for Arkansas’s evening concerts will include the overture to Wagner’s opera “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” Hungarian composer Leó Weiner’s “Serenade, “ three dance episodes from Bernstein’s “On the Town,” and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7. Principal conductor Iván Fischer will conduct.

“This will be my first American Residency,” stated Iván Fischer. “When I first heard of this great, unique initiative of the National Symphony Orchestra, I thought it was a brilliant idea. I am very happy to participate. The American Residency is one of the signature projects of the National Symphony Orchestra and our musicians are incredibly committed and generous with their time and talents. The National Symphony Orchestra will also interact with our teachers, students and artists while in Arkansas.  The orchestra will invite up to six students to Washington to participate in the Summer Music Institute next June, and it will award a Teacher Fellowship to one Arkansas teacher, custom-designed to further that teacher’s career goals. Finally, the NSO will commission a chamber work from an Arkansas composer. This intensive involvement will only add to Arkansas’s national reputation as a leader in arts education programming.”

Since its inception in 1992, a hallmark of the American Residency project has been its responsiveness to the artistic and educational wishes of each state. Each state prepares a list of requests, ranging from in-school appearances to workshops for teachers to full orchestral concerts, and prioritizes those requests for the National Symphony Orchestra, with the orchestra then fulfilling as many of those requests as logistics, scheduling and budgetary limitations allow.

Tickets for this event may be purchased by calling (870) 972-2781 or 1-888-278-3267. Tickets may be purchased online at Ticket prices are $30 and $20.  Proceeds from ticket sales will be given to the ASU Music Department for their scholarship fund. On performance evenings, the box office in Fowler Center opens one hour prior to the event.

For more information, call the Fowler Center at (870) 972-3471. For more information on the NSO’s 2009 Arkansas Residency program, visit, or visit for information about the Kennedy Center’s American Residency program.




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