The Mobile Symphony Orchestra (MSO) presents a rich program of classical music exploring how music brings people together on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2:30 p.m., at the historic Saenger Theatre in downtown Mobile. The concert features Zuill Bailey, one of the premier cellists in the world.
Grammy-winning Zuill Bailey is an internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, artistic director and teacher. In 2017 Bailey won the best classical instrumental solo Grammy for his live recording with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Under the direction of guest conductor André Raphael, the concert opens with music from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. Bailey joins the orchestra for Franz Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concert No. 2. The program ends with Edward Elgar’s celebrated Enigma Variations, a series of vivid musical portraits of his closest friends.
“Elgar’s Enigma Variations have not been played in Mobile for several years, and the masterful guest conductor André Raphel brings his iconic interpretation to this piece,” MSO Music Director Scott Speck says. “This concert also marks the triumphant return of cellist Zuill Bailey, playing the rarely-heard second cello concerto of Joseph Haydn – a classical masterpiece that also happens to be a Mobile premiere.”
Tickets are $15-$75 and can be purchased online at www.mobilesymphony.org, by phone at 251-432-2010, or at the symphony box office, 257 Dauphin Street. Student tickets are $10. Through the MSO Big Red Ticket program sponsored by Alabama Power, students in grades K-12 can attend the Sunday performance free when accompanied by a paying adult. More details can be found online at www.mobilesymphony.org.
Concertgoers can learn more and enhance their experience at MSO’s Take Note. Guest conductor André Raphel, music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, will give an informative pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. before Saturday’s performance and at 1:30 p.m. before Sunday’s concert in Room 1927 adjacent to the Saenger entrance on Joachim Street. Take Note is supported by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The concert is sponsored by Volkert, the J.L. Bedsole Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and Lowell and Bobette Friedman.
The Mobile Symphony has been a regional orchestra for the central Gulf Coast since 1997. Scott Speck serves as music director. In addition to offering a full season of classical and pops concerts, the orchestra serves the area with a wide range of educational and outreach programs including student performances, a string academy and a youth orchestra.