Spanish composer Simón García’s unique double bass concerto, featuring soloist Susan Hagen of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will highlight the season-ending Spring Concert of the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra (NSPO) on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at Swampscott High School. The program will also feature George Gershwin’s famous “An American in Paris,” Walter Piston’s “The Incredible Flutist” and George Walker’s “Lyric for Strings.”
Tickets will be available at the door for $30.00 – seniors and students, $25.00 – and children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.nspo.org.
NSPO Music Director Robert Lehmann acknowledged that a double bass is an uncommon solo instrument. “When one thinks of orchestral soloists, one rarely thinks of the double bass,” said Lehmann, who is also a violinist and frequent solo performer himself. “The NSPO is about to change that. I think the audience will be enthralled by the rich and powerful tones that Susan Hagen will draw from the double bass, which usually toils away in providing the foundation for the rest of the Orchestra’s sound. Sunday, the double bass comes front and center.”
Soloist Susan Hagen is the first female to occupy the principal bassist chair for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. In addition to her regular appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she has performed with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra and many other groups in the area in solo recitals. She is on the faculty at Berklee College of Music and is a frequent lecturer at Harvard University.
New York City native composer and pianist George Gershwin is renowned for his vast array of music that spanned popular, jazz and classical genres. “An American in Paris” is one of his best-known works for Orchestra, evoking the sights and energy of Paris that Gershwin experienced during a stay in the French capital in the 1920s. While the piece uses all the standard instruments of orchestral sound, perhaps its most memorable sound is that of horns emulating taxi cabs bustling through the city: Gershwin actually used four Parisian taxi horns for the 1928 premiere of the work at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
The concert concludes the 75th anniversary year of the NSPO and its 74th concert season, having lost its entire 2020-2021 season to the Covid pandemic. Staffed largely by volunteer players, the NSPO is committed to providing access to quality music at an affordable price to communities north of Boston. The Orchestra strives to develop, train and provide opportunities for young musicians while providing a large range of programs covering the full range of symphonic and pops repertoire for a diverse public. For full concert information, visit www.nspo.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NSPO is committed to the health and safety of all patrons and musicians. While the NSPO will not require Covid vaccination proof or other measures, patrons who are at high risk for infection are encouraged to wear a mask and always maintain “social distancing” inside Swampscott High School.