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Kenneth Grant's Clarinet Virtuosity to Shine in RPO's Wolfgang Wednesdays

June 25, 2009

Rochester, NY - Three of the most enchanting and invigorating pieces of classical music’s signature composer, Wolfgang Amadè Mozart, will take a grand stand next month in the second of two Wolfgang Wednesdays at the Performance Hall at Hochstein by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. On Wednesday, July 15 at 7:30 pm, Christopher Seaman and the RPO will show off Mozart’s most notable compositions, featuring RPO Principal Clarinet Kenneth Grant (The Robert J. Strasenburgh Chair) in the solo spot.

In the opening piece, the Overture to The Magic Flute, Mozart embraces the recurring themes of love and the triumph of good over evil. Despite its playful and comical libretto, The Magic Flute is regarded as one of the greatest operas of the entire repertoire. This piece is followed by a performance of Mozart’s one and only Clarinet Concerto, featuring the clarinet as a new instrument making its debut. In this composition, Mozart displays the range and agility of the instrument as well as its velvety and soulful qualities. The evening’s concert will wrap up with Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) composed in 1788. The last of his symphonies, this four-movement composition was revolutionary in its integration of both operatic and symphonic elements.  As the piece was written months before Mozart’s death, it is questionable whether the composer ever lived to hear a performance.
 
Kenneth Grant joined the RPO as Principal Clarinet in 1987. Prior to that time, Mr. Grant held the same position for 15 years with the Columbus Symphony.  He has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, and as the Assistant Principal Clarinet with Cleveland Orchestra during its European tour. His performances of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto won him critical acclaim in Japan as soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. A Buffalo native, Kenneth Grant received his education at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to his performing career, Mr. Grant also is Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Eastman School.

This concert is made possible with support from The Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess. General Admission tickets for these performances are $20 each or $36 for both concerts, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org; by phone (454-2100); in-person from the RPO Box Office, 108 East Avenue, 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Friday and on the following Saturdays: July 11, 18, 25, and August 1.  Tickets also can be purchased seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply. 

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