Captain America once said, "'Twas music that soothed the savage beast." Although he was talking about his short-lived nemesis Dr. Angry Parakeet, it's just as true for animals of the human persuasion. Soothe your savage insides with today's Groupon: for $20, you get a ticket to the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria. Seating will be at the orchestra level (a $65 value), front of the terrace ($55 adults, $45 seniors, $25 students), or the back of the terrace ($45 adults, $40 seniors, $20 students). On Sundays, $5 youth tickets (ages 8–18) are available. Call ahead to receive your seat assignment or you will be assigned seats when you pick up your tickets from Will Call. Choose from the following performances:
- Norwegian pianist Steffen Horn on Saturday, October 2 at 8 p.m.
- Norwegian pianist Steffen Horn on Sunday, October 3 at 3 p.m.
- Violinist Jenny Oaks Baker on Saturday, November 6 at 8 p.m.
The first two performances mark the opening weekend for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s 2010–2011 season. Norwegian pianist Steffen Horn will make his American concerto debut as part of the "Norway Comes to Washington" cultural celebration, dexterously setting his fingers to the keys to perform Grieg’s Norwegian folk-inspired Piano Concerto in A minor. Audiences will also be treated to a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1878 composition Symphony no. 4, based off folk tunes, and Lou Bega's 1999 smash hit Mambo No. 5.
The November 6 show will unleash a wall of sound from the violin of Jenny Oaks Baker, whose latest album, Then Sings My Soul, topped the National Billboard classical charts. Baker will join the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Samuel Baker's 1939 Violin Concerto in honor of the 100th anniversary of the American composer's birth. Then, led by maestro Kim Allen Kluge, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra will perform excerpts of Appalachian Spring, the seminal composition by legendary American melody-mechanic Aaron Copland.
- Extracting huge sound from his instrument, [musician Carlos] Rodriguez seemed not so much to play the piano as attack it, pounding it into submission. It was a thrilling performance, with conductor Kim Allen Kluge and the orchestra providing enthusiastic backup. – Mark J. Estren, Washington Post
- The ASO performed this absolutely charming music smoothly and with great attention to nuance and detail. – Washington Times
Alexandria Symphony Orchestra
When Kim Allen Kluge took over as music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in 1987, the outfit was made up of a small but enthusiastic group of community musicians. Sensing the potential of the orchestra, Kluge augmented the ensemble with freelancer virtuosos, quickly establishing the ASO as the premier professional symphony in northern Virginia. Today, the collective performs in the elegant Schlesinger Concert Hall on the Northern Virginia Community College campus, which makes for an acoustically friendly venue and a convenient base of operations for pranks on the Dean.