Spend a summer evening with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the City of Akron at a free Summer Parks Series Concert at Forest Lodge Park on July 30 at 7:30 pm.
Christopher Wilkins conducts Beethoven’s towering Ninth Symphony with its famous finale, the “Ode to Joy.” Cleveland Institute of Music-trained composer and pianist Jerod-Tate leads his own work, Clans, drawing on the culture of his Chickasaw heritage. University of Akron’s Dr. LaDonna Blue Eye, citizen of the Choctaw Nation, narrates the story.
Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony stars the king of instruments, and it packs a powerful punch. The work is part spiritual journey, part sonic theater. Perkinson’s Worship, an orchestral fantasy on the familiar hymn tune, Old 100th, moves between jazz, gospel, and classical styles. Brilliant, sumptuous, and transcendent, Respighi’s Church Windows takes its title from celebrated Italian stained-glass artwork.
William Grant Still’s spirited and sophisticated "Festive Overture" exhibits traditional architecture, but exudes Hollywood style. It lies halfway between jazz and classical music. Dvořák’s warm-hearted, ecstatic, and deeply lyrical "Cello Concerto" is a showcase for both soloist and orchestra. The brooding intensity of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” Symphony—his final work—wields an inexorable power over audiences.
Arvo Pärt borrows from the sound of ancient chants to create a style of purity and austerity. Mozart’s 29th Symphony is among his earliest masterpieces: imaginative, unpredictable, balanced, and perfect. Jazz musician-composer-arranger Mary Lou Williams holds a unique place in the development of jazz, especially through the incorporation of classical music into her work. Akron’s EarthQuaker Devices soars to new heights in a sequel to 2022’s live ASO recording.
Concerts are free, but donations will be gratefully accepted.