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Falling for Orchestra: A Season of Events

Published September 23, 2022

Falling for Orchestra: A Season of Events

by Scott Faulkner

With the end of heat and smoke, we hope, comes the beginning of the season for Reno’s orchestras. In the coming days both the Reno Phil and Reno Chamber Orchestra will launch what stand to be an inspiring, engaging, and entertaining season of concerts. Here’s a preview of what’s on tap in the coming month.

Reno Phil “The Elements of Music”— Free Family Concert
September 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Maestro Laura Jackson leads the Phil in a fun and free concert for all ages. This one-hour, no-intermission program introduces kids young and old to the symphony orchestra through performances of beloved music written over the centuries from Beethoven to Hollywood. There are no tickets for this first-come, first-served event, which will be held at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

Photo Credit: Reno Chamber Orchestra

Reno Chamber Orchestra “The Spice of Life
October 8 at 7:30 p.m.
October 9 at 2:00 p.m.

Virtuoso violinist Adrian Anantawan joins the RCO and Maestro Kelly Kuo in a performance of Clarice Assad’s Concerto for Violin. Born without a right hand, Anantawan performs with a prosthesis which allows him to use his bow incredibly skillfully. A graduate of Curtis, Yale, and Harvard this brilliant and articulate man advocates for arts access for folks of all abilities through his artistry as well as his intellect. Watch his inspiring TED Talk here. The program also features Gabriel Faure’s Masques et Bergamasques and Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 2. Both performances take place in Nightingale Concert Hall on the University of Nevada campus.

Reno Phil “Scheherazade
October 15 at 7:30 p.m.
October 16 at 4:00 p.m.

The Reno Phil’s first Classix concert of its 54th season is all about journeys, stories, adventures, and colors. Rimsky-Korsakov’s evocative journey through the legendary One Thousand and One Nights showcases the talent of the Reno Phil’s musicians to great effect. Especially, Scheherazade features concertmaster Ruth Lenz, as she and her violin spin out this epic tale. 

Perhaps the most beloved composer for piano and orchestra is Sergei Rachmaninov. His lush and virtuosic writing has captivated audiences across the decades. In addition to the four piano concerti he composed, his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini might be his most well-known work. As the title describes, the piece takes a well-known melody, originally for solo violin by legendary violinist and composer Nicolo Paganini, and explores its possibilities in this powerhouse piece. For those of us old enough to remember, the heartbreakingly beautiful 18th variation was the theme to the 1980 Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour film “Somewhere in Time.” 

For the last couple of decades, the Reno Phil has enjoyed an incredible partnership with the Davidson Institute for profoundly gifted students, featuring a different Davidson Fellow each year. This year’s Fellow is piano soloist is Wiley Skaret, who is the soloist on the Rachmaninov. Composer Carlos Simon is a hot commodity on the classical music scene today, and music from his Tales: A Folklore Symphony opens the concert with energy and atmosphere.

Reno Phil “Ghostbusters
October 27 at 8:00 p.m.
Grand Theatre at the Grand Sierra Resort

With Halloween around the corner, the Reno Phil battles ghosts on the Grand Theatre stage. Or rather, the orchestra will provide a live performance of the soundtrack to the 1984 classic film as it plays on a massive screen above it. Who ya gonna call…? The Grand Sierra Resort box office. Or you can click here for tickets and information. 

And these are just the tip of the iceberg for the Phil and RCO. Both orchestras will perform concerts in November, and December brings Spirit of the Season, The Nutcracker, and the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. In a recent RGJ editorial, EDAWN CEO Mike Kazmierski calls for our area to be a year-round ‘art town.’ The Reno Chamber Orchestra and Reno Phil are proud to be/been doing their part to bring this about.

Scott Faulkner is principal bassist of the Reno Phil and Reno Chamber Orchestra.

More from Scott Faulkner

Thoughts on Leadership by Scott Faulkner — August 26, 2022

Greetings from New York City! by Scott Faulkner — July 29, 2022

H. Elizabeth Lenz  by Scott Faulkner — July 1, 2022

A Thousand Blended Notes  by Scott Faulkner — June 3, 2022

Music Not to be Missed in May  by Scott Faulkner — May 6, 2022

Classical Music Galore  by Scott Faulkner — April 8, 2022

Chord Changes by Scott Faulkner — April 1, 2022



This PBS Reno series delves into the local arts scene, looking at the lasting impact the arts have in our communities and beyond.