PORTLAND — Portland Symphony Orchestra will present an evening celebrating one of the world’s earliest woodwind instruments, the flute. The Tuesday Classical concert will feature Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 8, under the direction of guest conductor Tito Muñoz. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Merrill Auditorium.

The evening will begin with Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, followed by Khachaturian’s Flute Concerto featuring PSO member and principal flutist Lisa Hennessey, and conclude with Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 8.

The Magic Flute was Mozart’s last great opera, he conducted the first two performances before falling ill and eventually dying after its 67th performance. The piece exudes Masonic imagery, ritual, and philosophy. The Magic Flute became Mozart’s greatest operatic success and his interactions during its production show a contentment that had seemed to elude him in earlier years.

Khachaturian’s Concerto was influenced largely by the Armenian folk music of his youth, which featured long, improvisational melodies, rhythms, and colors. Originally written for violin, Khachaturian developed a relationship with French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal, who was eager to collaborate with the composer and eventually reworked the piece for the flute. The first movement, joyful and buoyant, leads into a dramatic and dark second movement before returning to the piece’s original jubilance in the finale.

The second half of the program is dedicated to Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 8. The first movement of this work is surprisingly dark and pensive, while allowing the lighter sounds to shine through. The flute, resembling a bird call, leads listeners through an incredibly rich harmonic landscape.

Known for his versatility, Tito Muñoz began his musical training in the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program as a violinist before moving into the realm of conducting. He is currently the Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy in France; previous experiences have included appearances with symphony orchestras of Alabama, Cincinnati, Houston, and many more. His commitment to developing young musicians has led to ongoing relationships with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and the Portland (Ore.) Youth Philharmonic.

Lisa Hennessy, PSO principal flutist, is a skilled musician with experience playing the flute, alto and bass flutes, piccolo, and piano. Hennessy is a member of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and frequently plays with the Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Philharmonic, and a number of other New England orchestras. While in school, she studied with Byron Hester, principal flutist of the Houston Symphony, and renowned flute soloist Paula Robison.

The Tuesday Classical performance is preceded by a Concert Conversation in the Rehearsal Hall at Merrill Auditorium an hour and 15 minutes prior to the concert’s starting time, and followed by a PostConcert Q&A with the artists on stage.

The concert can be heard on MPBN at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12.

Tickets range from $25-$75 and are available at 207-842-0800, www.porttix.com, or the box office at 20 Myrtle St., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: