Annual NWSA Symphony Orchestra concert features guest artist Robert McDuffie, violin

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New World Symphony 2020 picture.Distinguished violinist Robert McDuffie will perform as soloist with the New World School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, under the baton of Maestro Alfred Gershfeld.

• Thursday, February 20, 2020, at 7:30 PM
• Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts - Knight Concert Hall
1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
General Admission $20; Students and seniors $10
Tickets at Information at 305-237-3622

The NWSA Symphony Orchestra Concert will feature the Prelude to Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, first performed in Paris in 1860. Inspired by Wagner’s fascination with the Middle Ages, the opera explores the boundaries of passionate forbidden love and its tragic ramifications. It is also the piece most widely known for Wagner’s bold and revolutionary move to push harmonic boundaries by building a chord consisting of an augmented fourth, augmented sixth, and augmented ninth above a bass note that later became known as the “Tristan Chord.”

The evening will also include Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor, one of the composer’s most famous works, highlighting word-renowned violinist Robert McDuffie. First completed in 1866, the work is scored for solo violin and a standard classical orchestra in three movements. It’s cadenza-like opening quickly moves into a steady, motivic beat pattern, followed by lush melodies that moves the listener seamlessly into a second movement filled with sublime harmonies throughout. The third movement is a fun-filled potpourri of virtuosic passages made up of beautiful phrases and orchestral climaxes that will surely bring audiences to their feet.

One of the composer's most celebrated works, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” will round off the evening of music. Composed in the very early 1800s, the work has widely been considered an important landmark in the transition between the Classical period and the Romanic era and marks the beginning of the composer’s creative middle period. The work was originally dedicated to Napoleon Buonaparte, who Beethoven believed embodied anti-monarchical ideals of the French Revolution. However, upon learning of Napoleon’s declaration as Emperor, Beethoven withdrew his dedication, tore the title page in half, had it recopied, and named the work Sinfonia Eroica, or Heroic Symphony.

Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie enjoys a dynamic and multi-faceted career. While appearing as soloist with the world’s foremost orchestras on five continents, he has also shared the stage with Rolling Stones pianist Chuck Leavell and the late Gregg Allman in “Midnight Rider”, and with actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith in Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Philip Glass dedicated his Second Violin Concerto, “The American Four Seasons”, to Mr. McDuffie. Mike Mills of the iconic band R.E.M. composed a Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra for him. Mr. McDuffie has been performing both of these works throughout the United States and abroad and has recorded both on the Orange Mountain Music Label. His discography also includes acclaimed recordings on Telarc and EMI. Upcoming performances include “An Evening of Georgia Music” tour with Mike Mills and Chuck Leavell, as well as a recital tour with Robert Spano. As soloist and conductor, McDuffie will perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Glass’ American Four Seasons throughout Italy with La Verdi Orchestra of Milan. Summer includes returning to the Aspen Music Festival and to the Boulder Colorado Music Festival. Robert McDuffie is the founder of the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy, where he has been given the prestigious Premio Simpatia by the mayor of Rome and will be awarded the Premio delle Muse at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. He is also founder of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, a conservatory for undergraduate and graduate students at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia. Robert McDuffie plays a 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin, the “Ladenburg”, which is owned by a limited partnership formed by Mr. McDuffie.

A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative and academic development through a curriculum that reflects the rich multicultural state of Florida. With programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, NWSA offers four-year BFA and BM college degrees, as well as the high school diploma. Through its rigorous curriculum and conservatory-style teaching NWSA empowers its students to become leaders in the arts. New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.