ASO debuts Unorchestrated Podcast

ASO debuts Unorchestrated Podcast

Akron Symphony Orchestra
Akron Symphony Orchestra

Rita Dove

The Akron Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce the debut of Unorchestrated, a podcast of Conversation, Music, Musicians and the Communities they serve.

The podcast, co-hosted by Music Director Christopher Wilkins and Director of Marketing Thomas Moore, will feature conversations with ASO musicians, guest artists, newsmakers in the music industry and special guests.

Unorchestrated premieres with a 14-part series featuring Akron-born poet Rita Dove, titled Sonata Mulattica with Rita Dove. The discussion will focus on her book of poems, Sonata Mulattica, which details the relationship between the black violinist George Bridgetower and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Unorchestrated podcast is available on:

Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize winner, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and the only poet honored with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. A graduate of Buchtel High School in Akron, she is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Sonata Mulattica, a collection of poems subtitled A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play, uses fact and fiction to tell the story of George Polgreen Bridgetower, the son of a Polish-German mother and an Afro-Caribbean father. Bridgetower travels to Vienna to meet Ludwig van Beethoven, whose subsequent sonata is originally dedicated to the young violinist, but a quarrel eventually leads to Beethoven publishing the work as the Kreutzer Sonata.

“The story being told is not just the story of his life but about the nature of fame, the nature of memory, public memory,” Rita said in a 2009 interview in The New York Times. “Into the mix we pour the story of this mulatto boy. It’s also a story about youth. Youth is exotic, as well as race.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the way history works, the way we decide what is mentioned. Here was the case of a man who made it into the history books, but barely. And who would have been, if not a household word, a household word in the musical world. That flame was snuffed out.”

Photo credits: Rita Dove photo by Fred Viebahn

Sonata Mulattica photo courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company