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Phoenix Symphony performs two January concerts

The Phoenix Symphony will perform Ferde Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite” and more. (Courtesy)

The Phoenix Symphony will perform Ferde Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite” and more. (Courtesy)

The Phoenix Symphony is returning to Prescott for two January concerts, the first of which is Sunday, Jan. 13, and features a patriotic program lead by guest conductor Matthew Kasper.

Pieces for the concert include Ferde Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” Charles Ives’ “Symphony No. 2” and Samuel Barber’s “Second Essay for Orchestra,” according to a news release from Sue Bray, member of the Yavapai Symphony Association Board of Directors.

Completed in 1931 and originally called “Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon,” Grofe composed the “Grand Canyon Suite” after a 1916 trip to the famous canyon. Prescott audiences should be captivated by the piece, Yavapai Symphony Association President Arlon Inman said.

“It consists of five movements (titled) ‘Sunrise,’ ‘Painted Desert,’ ‘On the Trail,’ ‘Sunset’ and Cloudburst’ – all elements of the Grand Canyon with which we Arizona residents are so familiar.”

Ives composed “Symphony No. 2” in the early 1900s while a student at Yale University and the piece premiered in 1951 directed by Leonard Bernstein. Popular American tunes such as “Camptown Races” and “America the Beautiful” are alluded to within the piece and reshaped into original themes.

Barber’s “Second Essay for Orchestra” was written in 1941 and has three major themes beginning with a quiet fanfare from a solo flute joined gradually by the entire orchestra.

The second January concert is Sunday, Jan. 27, and features Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. 6 (Music of Angels)” and “Symphony No. 38 (Prague)” alongside “Entra’acte No. 3,” “Romance,” “Erlkonig” and “Schwanengesang” all by Franz Schubert.

“We’re delighted to be offering two Phoenix Symphony concerts during January,” Inman said.

Both concerts begin at 3 p.m. with a free pre-concert lecture about the performance at 2 p.m. in the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St.

Tickets range from $29 to $42 and are available at the Yavapai Symphony Association office, 228 N. Alarcon St. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and the Friday before each concert, or by calling 928-776-4255. Full-time college students can purchase any available ticket for $10.

The Yavapai Symphony Association is also offering a $10 per person discount for concert goers who purchase tickets to both performances.

For more information about the Yavapai Symphony Association, visit

By Jason Wheeler, follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels, reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037.

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