Arapahoe Philharmonic promises ‘exoticism’

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The Arapahoe Philharmonic performs its “60th Anniversary Celebration Concert” on Oct. 11, conducted by Devin Patrick Hughes in his first year at the orchestra’s helm. The orchestra plays in the large sanctuary of Mission Hills Church in Littleton.

Pianist Jamie Shaak will be featured soloist, performing the “Egyptian Piano Concerto” by Saint-Saens, which Hughes describes as “rarely played and undeservedly so.” Shaak, a Denver native, has a long history of performing with the orchestra.

Also on the program: Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” and Berlioz’s “Roman Carnival Overture.”

“Along with bringing in a scent of opera with Berlioz’s ‘Roman Carnival Overture’ (originally taken from his initially-failed, but wonderful opera ‘Benvenuto Celinni’), and a taste of ballet, this concert has a taste of exoticism,” Hughes said in a news release.

“Stravinsky’s music to the ‘Firebird’ was the beginning of a style that would shatter the music world by challenging the very nature of dance and art music. ‘The Firebird’ is marked by a gorgeous, rich and romantic, although at times foreboding, atmosphere and a triumphant finale, that would not be repeated in his following ballets, ‘Petrochka’ and ‘Rites of Spring.’”

The orchestra learned recently that it had received a grant of $10,000 from Colorado Creative Industries to support its 60th season celebration. It also receives funds from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and from individuals.

Future programs will include: “Carmina Burana” on Nov. 8; a holiday concert on Dec. 6; “Made in America” on Feb. 7; “Classic Traditions” on March 14 and “Love’s Arrow” (“Carmen” highlights in concert) on May 9.

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