June 25, 2024
Annapolis, US 74 F

How the Grinch almost stole Christmas from the ASO

When COVID-19 precautions ramped up in early November, Edgar Herrera was faced with a difficult decision.

“We launched our virtual concert series in September,” said Herrera, executive director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. “The first two performances exceeded our wildest dreams, but as we prepared for December, pandemic-related rules changed and our 70-member orchestra could not practice or perform together, making the presentation of our December 18th Holiday Classics concert and December 3rd ASO Chat with Dr. Rachel Franklin an impossibility. What could we do?”

Refusing to abandon the momentum of the successful virtual season, Herrera and ASO Music Director Maestro José-Luis Novo decided to turn a negative into a positive by “gifting” 12 days of music to the public.

Beginning December 14 and continuing through December 25, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will offer Holiday Harmony: 12 Musical Days of ASO, daily performances including full orchestral movements, special solo pieces and jazz versions of holiday music. These performances are free and can be accessed by signing up at AnnapolisSymphony.org/HolidayHarmony

Also, in lieu of the previously scheduled Holiday Concert, ASO subscribers and Symphony+ members are invited to a virtual Beethoven Birthday Bash on December 18, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of his birth. The performance will include the first three movements of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony plus the Leonore 3 Overture by the ASO at Strathmore, José-Luis Novo conductor.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Give live music! The Symphony+ All Access Household pass ($99) can be enjoyed by all ages, from anywhere in the world. Symphony+ includes all ASO Live! live stream performances, pre-concert ASO Chats, unlimited ASO RePlay and bonus content such as the Beethoven Birthday Bash. Single tickets are also available ($49) for upcoming live stream performances. The ASO Virtual Box Office is open 24/7 for your convenient shopping at SymphonyPlus.org

“So many families are making the tough decision to forego in-person gatherings over the holidays to keep everyone COVID safe,” said Herrera. “Watching our free 12 Days of Music or giving a Symphony+ Household pass as a gift, allows families and friends to unite virtually and share a wonderful evening of music.”

The schedule for Holiday Harmony: 12 Musical Days of ASO: 

  • Monday, December 14
    • Six pieces from the Nutcracker Suite by P. I. Tchaikovsky: Overture -Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy- Russian Dance, Trepak – Arabian Dance – Chinese Dance- Dance of the Mirlitons
    • Robert DiLutis, clarinet
    • Rachel Franklin, piano
  • Tuesday, December 15
    • Pines of Rome 1st mvt. “The Pines in the Villa Borghese” by Ottorino Respighi
    • ASO at Strathmore, José-Luis Novo, conductor
  • Wednesday, December 16
    • Angel Gabriel (traditional Basque)
    • Rachel Franklin, piano
    • Jonathan Miles Brown, fretless bass
    • Psalm 104 – Barchi nafshi et Adonai (Babylonian Jewish Chant/arr. Sonos Trio)
    • Sonos Trio-Christian Tremblay, violin; Rachel Franklin, piano; Jonathan Miles Brown, fretless bass
  • Thursday, December 17
    • The Holly and The Ivy (traditional British)
    • Sing We Now of Christmas (traditional French)
    • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (traditional British)
    • Al Hanisim (traditional Jewish) & Ner Li by D. Samburski
    • Pat-a-Pan by Bernard de La Monnoye
    • Fatma Daglar, oboe
    • Rachel Franklin, piano
  • Friday, December 18
    • Pines of Rome 2nd mvt.  “Pines Near a Catacomb” by Ottorino Respighi
    • ASO at Strathmore, José-Luis Novo, conductor
  • Saturday, December 19
    • Rumanian Christmas Carols Sz. 57 by Béla Bartók – No’s 1,2,3,5,7, 8 & 10
    • Sonos Trio: Christian Tremblay, violin; Rachel Franklin, piano; Jonathan Miles Brown, fretless bass guitar
  • Sunday, December 20
    • Salut d’amour by Edward Elgar
      Madonna, du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein (When Day Is Done) by Robert Katscher/ arr. Jonathan Jensen
    • Netanel Draiblate, violin
    • Lura Johnson, piano
  • Monday, December 21
    • Greensleeves (traditional British) /arr. Daniel Kelley
    • Ebats Folatres (Boisterous Frolicking) from Suite Champêtre by M. Boucard
    • Silent Night by Franz Gruber/arr. William Zinn.
      Kimberly Valerio, flute
    • Anthony Valerio, French horn
  • Tuesday, December 22
    • Wexford Carol (traditional Irish)
    • Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Felix Mendelssohn
    • Québécois fiddling tune: Reel de Rimouski (traditional French Canadian)
    • Sonos Trio: Christian Tremblay, violin; Rachel Franklin, piano: Jonathan Miles Brown, fretless bass
  • Wednesday, December 23
    • Pines of Rome 3rd mvt. “The Pines of the Janiculum” by Ottorino Respighi
    • ASO at Strathmore, José-Luis Novo, conductor
  • Thursday, December 24
    • Pines of Rome 4th mvt. “The Pines of the Appian Way” by Ottorino Respighi (6’)
    • ASO at Strathmore, José-Luis Novo, conductor
  • Friday, December 25
    • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane
    • My Favorite Things by Richard Rogers & Oscar Hammerstein
    • Sonos Trio: Christian Tremblay, violin; Rachel Franklin, piano; Jonathan Miles Brown, fretless bass
  • Saturday, December 26 BONUS
    • Broadcast on 91.5FM WBJC Music in Maryland, 6pm
    • Concerto and soloist TBA
    • Love Scene from Romeo and Juliette by Hector Berlioz
    • Háry János Suite by Zoltán Kodály
    • Petra Berenyi, cimbalom


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