GALLIPOLIS — Ohio Valley Symphony audiences are in for a double delight when guitarist Tim Berens and double bassist Frank Proto team up for a concert April 27 on the stage of the historic Ariel Opera House stage. The 7:30 p.m. concert is led by guest conductor Peter Stafford Wilson and features a premiere by noted American composer Frank Proto.
Grammy-nominated Proto is a prolific composer covering a variety of genres including operas, concertos, chamber music, young peoples and pops compositions, jazz (notably a concerto for Doc Severinson) and now, a special composition for The Ohio Valley Symphony. Proto has written for other greats such as Duke Ellington, Roberta Peters, Cleo Laine, Dave Brubeck, Richard Stoltzman, Sherill Milnes and many others. A long time composer for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra with over 25 works for them, Proto has also been commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and his works and recordings have been heard world wide.
Proto’s long time friend and collaborator, Tim Berens, will join him onstage for this world premiere of Suite Español after Falla for guitar, double bass and orchestra. Berens will showcase his many facets of talent as a soloist, narrator and arranger and the second half of the program is music he has arranged including a recent OVS premiere of Simple Gifts written for The Ohio Valley Symphony. Berens has a masterful turn with classical pieces adding a jazz flavor as evidenced by his treatment of Faure’s Pavane and Sicilienne (also a premiere). His musical rendition of a true life story his arrangement of Zawinul’s Birdland will lift everyone’s spirit, supporters say.
Maestro Peter Stafford Wilson is in his seventeenth season as music director of Ohio’s Springfield Symphony winning international attention to the organization. The series, “Night Lights,” has enjoyed increasing sales and attendance and he and the orchestra are the recipients of an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Wilson enjoyed a long tenure with The Columbus Symphony Orchestra serving as associate conductor leading the ensemble on many classical and pops concerts and he won awards for his programming for the youth orchestra as well.
The OVS is devoted to bringing great music played by great artists to the Ohio Valley region – and making orchestral music easy to love. The doors are open and the public is welcome to attend OVS rehearsals for free at 7-10 p.m. on Fridays and 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays on concert weekends. Open rehearsals are a wonderful way for young and old alike to listen to live symphonic music when schedules and timing do not allow them to attend concerts. They also offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes into preparing an orchestral performance.
Concertgoers — new or veteran — have another chance to learn more about the music with a free pre-concert chat in the third-floor Ariel Chamber Theatre, the pre-concert talks are interactive and informal and begin at 6:45 p.m.
Tickets for The Ohio Valley Symphony’s concerts are $24 for adults, $22 seniors and $12 for students. Tickets are available on the website at arieloperahouse.org or ohiovalleysymphony.org or at the box office. Funding for The Ohio Valley Symphony is provided in part by the Ann Carson Dater Endowment. The Ariel is located at 426 Second Ave. in downtown Gallipolis and is an ADA accessible facility.