Music of three centuries will be performed at the Bijou Theatre, Sunday April 2 at 2:30. Resident Conductor James Fellenbaum will direct a pleasing program of Chamber Classics standards, with principal oboist Claire Chenette soloing in Mozart's Oboe Concerto. Respighi's soothing Ancient Airs and Dances and Tchaikovsky's robust Serenade for Strings round out the program.
Claire has been principal oboist with us since 2014, coming from Iowa via LA. It came as a pleasant surprise to me that she had settled here in the summer of 2014 just a couple blocks from our house. The coincidences were only beginning to appear, though, as I soon learned that her father, Jonathan Chenette, was the acting president of Vassar College, where my younger son Richard is currently a senior! When he was home on break, Richard was walking the dog and noticed a car with a Vassar sticker on it. “That's Claire's car,” I told him. Jonathan is a composer whose music has been performed by the KSO's Principal Woodwind Quintet. He was formerly on the faculty of Grinnell College in Iowa. There he was a fellow faculty member with Mark Dorr, who is also the personnel manager of the Des Moines Metro Opera where I (and several other present and past KSO members) have spent many summers. The Dorrs and the Chenettes were good buddies when Claire was growing up in Grinnell.
Respighi's neo-Renaissance music has a timeless sound that belies its 1932 composition date, and differs greatly from the grandiose tone poems he is known for, such as “The Pines of Rome.” Based on compositions by 16th- and 17th-century composers Besard, Roncalli, Garsi da Palma and some anonymous composers, this folio of airs and dances is unique among the three such suites in that it is the only one composed for strings only. Tchaikovsky's Serenade is also (obviously) for strings only, so please join us for the KSO's Spring String Thing! Just be advised that due to the Knoxville Marathon, Gay St. will be closed off to vehicles Sunday morning. I'm not sure when it will reopen, but do look out for and respect those runners who are bringing up the rear. As usual, there will be a shuttle bus to carry concertgoers from the State St. Garage to the Bijou, starting an hour before the concert and returning to the garage up to an hour afterwords.