Friday, November 11, 2011

Mickelthwate replaces indisposed Volkov in Nov. 17/19 Atlanta Symphony concerts

Program adds Beethoven, drops Ruggles and Seeger

by Mark Gresham

Alexander Mickelthwate, music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will replace an indisposed Ilan Volkov as guest conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's upcoming concerts on November 17 and 19. Word is that illness prevents Volkov from traveling.

Mickelthwate is a former assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, having made his ASO debut in 2001. His most recent appearance with the orchestra was in 2005. While in Atlanta, Mickelthwate was also one of the co-founders of new music group Bent Frequency. The 2011-'12 season is Mickelthwate's fifth with Winnipeg Symphony.

With the change of conductor comes a programming change: Beethoven’s "Leonore Overture No. 2" replaces two previously planned, rarely-heard American works: Carl Ruggles’s "Angels" and Ruth Crawford Seeger’s "Andante For Strings," adapted from one of the movements of her sole String Quartet.

The rest of the program remains as planned. ASO principal flute Christina Smith performs Mozart’s "Flute Concerto No. 1," and the concert concludes with the "Symphony No. 2" of Jean Sibelius. Conveniently, Mickelthwate was already scheduled to lead the Winnipeg Symphony in a performance of the Sibelius on December 2 & 3.

More information about concert details and tickets may be found here. □

Photo of Alexander Mickelthwate courtesy of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

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