02/17/04 — Appalachian Symphony in free performance

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Appalachian Symphony in free performance

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on February 17, 2004 2:02 PM

The Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of former Goldsboro resident James Allen Anderson, will present a concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Dillard School, weather permitting.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

The orchestra is an 80-plus member performance ensemble comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from the Hayes School of Music as well as student musicians from across the campus and the community.

The ASO presents five to six concerts a year and performs literature from the orchestral repertoire spanning the baroque to the contemporary.

Scheduled to be performed are Franz Liszt's "Totentanz for Orchestra and Piano E," Max Bruch's "Romance for Viola and Orchestra," Edvard Grieg's "Piano Concerto in A minor, 1st movement" and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio espagnol."

The concert is a return home for Anderson, who was born in Okinawa, Japan, and raised in Goldsboro.

Anderson began his first year as director of orchestral activities for Appalachian State in the fall of 2002.

He received his formal training as a conductor and pianist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. His principal conducting mentors have included David Effron, Mark Gibson, Tonu Kalam and Otto Werner-Mueller, with studies in piano under Michael Zenge and Francis Whang.

Anderson studied piano, composition and conducting at an early age. His commitment to championing new music developed during his training at UNC, where he was involved with premieres of student works through the New Music Ensemble. This enthusiasm continued while at Eastman, where he again premiered student works and assisted in the preparation of new music by faculty composers.

In 1997, as part of Eastman's 75th anniversary, Anderson was selected to conduct the world premiere of the newly revised "Overture in Praise of Folly" by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker. His commitment to new music endures to this day, with recent world premiere performances of works by David Maslanka ("11:11 A Dance at the Edge of the World") and Daniel Bukvich ("The Glittering Hill").

Anderson has held positions with the Eastman Opera Theatre, Triangle Opera, Theater on the Ridge, Pauper Players, and most recently with the University of Montana's Music Department and Missoula Children's Theatre in their fully staged performances of "Die Fledermaus." He is in demand as a guest conductor and has served as Music Director of the Butte Symphony Association and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Montana.

Anderson is a frequent adjudicator and clinician on both the state and regional levels. He also continues to be active as a pianist in opera and orchestral settings. In 1998, he was selected by maestro Christoph von Dohnanyi to perform with the Eastman Philharmonia in the world premiere of Samuel Adler's "Cello Concerto."

Last March, Anderson participated in the American Symphony Orchestra Leagues' National Conductor Preview, and he recently returned from Karkov, Ukraine, where he competed in the first Vakhtang Jordania/New Millennium International Conducting Competition and "was a Third-Round diploma laureate and major prize winner."

He lives in Blowing Rock with his wife, Davina, and their children, Mitchell, Hannah and Savannah.