Astral announces 2018/2019 season

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Astral announces its 2018/2019 Astral In Concert season. The season features Astral’s signature Center City Concerts series, which presents programming of time-honored masterworks, rarely heard chamber music gems, and new works made possible by Astral’s Micro-Commissioning Program. Astral also continues both its popular Astral Circle salon series in homes in and around Philadelphia, and its Astral At Dizengoff series, and enters into a new partnership with WRTI-FM.

“The 2018/2019 season features our remarkable artists redefining what it means to be a classical musician in the 21st century. We kick off the season with a block party presented with our partners at WRTI that includes Annie Wu’s beat-boxing flute, double bassist Xavier Foley performing his own compositions, and the world premiere of a new work for cello and electronics featuring Christine Lamprea, commissioned via Astral’s Micro-Commissioning Program. Our recitals feature Astral artists using music to make provocative statements about art and society—both in traditional concert venues, and through our continuing music and dining events with iconic Philadelphia restaurant Dizengoff. We cap off the year with a chamber concert featuring a consort of our fantastic string soloists performing a rarely heard masterpiece by Olli Mustonen. It’s a season resonant with the possibilities of being a young musician in today’s world, featuring a new generation of musicians who are creative, collaborative, and responsive.”—Dan Visconti, Artistic Director


Astral & WRTI Block Party
Saturday, September 15, 2018, 3:00-5:00pm (Rain date: Sunday, September 16, 3:00-5:00pm)

Astral and WRTI team up for a free block party in Midtown Village. Emceed by WRTI host Debra Lew Harder, enjoy picnic fare and performances by three dynamic Astral artists, featuring the Philadelphia premiere of Vivian Fung’s Humanoid for cello and electronics. Christine Lamprea, cello; Xavier Foley, double bass; Annie Wu, flute. Location: 1213 Walnut Street corridor

2018 National Auditions Winners Concert
Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 7:00pm

Selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants from across the United States, Astral’s 2018 National Auditions Winners are among the finest rising-star classical musicians of their generation. Be the first to hear them in this thrilling showcase of Astral’s newest artists. Venue: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 Broad Street, Philadelphia

Zhenni Li, piano—Debussy On The Orient Express
Sunday, October 28, 2018, 3:00pm

Zhenni Li presents a celebration of Debussy’s 100-year anniversary with piano works by the master, including Poisson d’Or and two of his beloved Préludes. Also on the program is Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor, Bowen’s Phantasy for Viola and Piano, Albeniz’s Navarra, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Through Astral’s Micro-Commissioning Program, Ms. Li also premieres a work for solo piano by Samuel Zyman. Venue: American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Rolston String Quartet
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 7:30pm

“An electrifying performance” (Strings Magazine). The Rolston String Quartet electrifies in its Philadelphia debut concert, with works by Mozart and Ligeti, as well as Beethoven’s beloved Opus 130. Venue: Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

Danbi Um, violin; Orion Weiss, piano
Sunday, January 27, 2019, 3:00pm

The Strad calls violinist Danbi Um “utterly dazzling,” with “a marvelous show of superb technique.” Astral presents Ms. Um in a dazzling performance of works by Korngold, Enescu, Strauss, Bloch, and Kreisler. Venue: American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Timotheos Petrin, cello
Sunday, February 24, 2019, 3:00pm

A rising star among cellists, Timotheos Petrin performs a century-spanning program with masterworks by Debussy, Bach, Stravinsky, Messiaen, and Prokofiev. The performance includes the world premiere of Estonian composer Riho Esko Maimets’s work for piano trio, made possible by Astral’s Micro-Commissioning Program. Venue: American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Viktor Valkov, piano
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 3:00pm

Award-winning pianist Viktor Valkov debuts in Philadelphia with a program befitting his talent and artistic reach. Highlights include Debussy, Bartók, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, and Nenov’s Miniatures. Venue: American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall, 427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

String Consort: Brahms, Sibelius & Mustonen
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 7:30pm

This exploration of strings in varying numbers begins with the String Sextet No. 2, in which the richness of string sonority is unrivaled in Brahms’s chamber music writing. Sibelius’s “Voces Intimae” string quartet is just that—an intimate exchange of the string voices. The concert culminates with Olli Mustonen’s second Nonet (two quartets and double bass), a thrilling work that brings the season to a close in an explosive vivacissimo! Venue: Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia

A distinct classical music experience in Philadelphia, the Astral Circle is a series of 6 elegant salon performances in beautiful homes and venues in and around the city. During these popular events, guests enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres before the concerts, share a delectable dinner afterwards with fellow music lovers, and are among the first to meet Astral’s newest artists.

Join Astral for the third season of Astral At Dizengoff when we slip out of the concert hall for a cozy evening of classics and cocktails. Astral artists curate this contemporary listening experience, side-by-side with the celebrated cuisine of the restaurants Dizengoff and Abe Fisher. Dates to be announced in the fall of 2018.

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