Health & Safety updates from your Charlotte Symphony >> CLICK HERE

Sound of Charlotte Blog

CLTSymphony X Beatties Ford Strong



This fall, CSO musicians and the Beatties Ford Strong Project came together to create a video project that was inspired by and features the music of Brooklyn-based violinist and composer Jessica Montgomery, and showcases the Beatties Ford Strong Project, violinist/composer Lady Jess, musicians of the Charlotte Symphony, and Charlotte-based artists. 

Below, we hear from CSO violinist Jenny Topilow, educator/artist/social activist Ricky Singh, and Charlotte-based artists on how the collaboration was conceived, their reactions, and what comes next.


"We have been referring to the project as CLTSymphony X Beatties Ford Strong" Ricky says. "The X is intentional, for we feel that a title that is purposefully not combined respects each entity as having its own identity, and also allows for either side of the equation to be replaced or modified as the project evolves to encourage further community engagement."



"I've always been enamored with public art," Jenny shares, "murals and such that everyone can enjoy by simply being a member of the community; beautiful pieces by talented artists that become interwoven throughout the landscape and make a place more vibrant and colorful."

In February of this year, a quartet of CSO musicians played Jessie Montgomery's Strum for a CSO Off the Rails concert at Snug Harbor. According to Jenny:

We completely fell in love with the piece. We were slated to play it again, but when the pandemic hit, that performance was of course canceled. So, it occurred to me that it would be a lovely marriage to record 'Strum,' during this new virtual age, in front of public art in Charlotte, specifically works created by people of color.

Excited about the idea, I reached out to a muralist friend of mine, who got me in touch with Ricky Singh. Ricky is an artist, educator, community leader/activist, and one of the founders of the Beatties Ford Strong/Historic West End Project, an initiative to beautify neglected areas of the city through public art paired with community ownership, brought about as a reaction to the June 19, 2020 massacre on Beatties Ford Road, where four people were killed and several others injured.

My introduction to Ricky was the catalyst for the project to really take flight through intentional collaboration. We communicate well and ended up making a good team; we are mutually intent on the vision and are invested in being proactive and bringing the best of what we know to the table. All that being said, there is no way for me to truly express how grateful I am to Ricky. He is a beacon within the Charlotte community, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have formed a partnership with him.

There are so many artistic circles throughout Charlotte that are too often separated by class and race. The purpose of this project is to bring some of those circles together; not for one to overshadow another, not for one to do the other a favor, not for one to mold to the other, but for local creatives to do what they love all within the same space. We are committed to having more multi-faceted performances throughout Charlotte, through the lens of all art being accessible to all people, and with the ultimate objective of limitless circles overlapping to create a more connected city.


"My experience with the project was nothing like I ever experienced before," Artist Michael Grant shares. "This project captured both classical art and visual arts simultaneously. As an artist this project made me feel valuable and appreciated. It was such an honor to be a part of this moment of history and to collaborate with great artists as well." 

Artist Makayla Binter also shares that "[the project] was just so pure and enjoyable because of the connection between artistic forms, and just the positive energy that creating makes. It was a great experience to live paint and also meet some very talented artists in music that I had never met before."


Ricky and Jenny plan to unveil the finished video at an event on a large screen, where they would also auction off the pieces of art created during filming. It is not finalized, but they are hoping to utilize a space like Camp Northend, where people can come to a beautiful outdoor area and celebrate in a Covid-safe way. All proceeds would go to provide local youth programming tied to the arts. 

Credits:


Organized by Ricky Singh and Jenny Topilow

Featured Artists:
Michael Grant (@infamous_kiddo)
Makayla Binter (
@mkay_15)
Ricky Singh (
@mrrickysingh)
DJ Pauly Guwop (
@djpaulyguwop)
Lord Phly (
@lordphly)
Lute West (
@lute_west9)
Dancer: Jessica Thompson (
@babyhairprincess)
Spoken Word: Hannah Hasan (
@iamhannahhasan)
CSO Musicians: Jenny Topilow, violin; Lenora Leggatt, violin; Ben Geller, viola; and Sarah Markle, cello

Videographer/video & sound editor:

Bob Rydel
Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community, CSO Musicians.

How to Access CSO Virtual Concerts


A Purchaser's/Subscriber's Guide to Accessing CSO Virtual Concerts

We are thrilled to offer you the best seat in YOUR house to our new virtual concert series this season. If you're tuning in for the first time or coming back to watch again, keep reading for more information on how to enjoy the concert from the comfort of your own home.

How to Access CSO Virtual Concerts

 
Step 1:
A few days prior to the concert release date, you will receive an email from your Charlotte Symphony that includes a link to a password protected page on the CSO website. Simply click or tap the link to open the page.



Step 2:
After clicking the access link, enter the username and password provided in the email. Important: The username and password are case sensitive. Copy and paste when possible to avoid mistakes.



Step 3:
You're in! After successfully entering the login credentials, you will be able to view the concert on our website. Press the play button and enjoy! Important: The concert video will appear exactly at the stated start time. You may need to refresh the page (This icon  next to your address bar) for the video to appear.



Your access to each concert lasts for seven days, so feel free to watch again and again!
For more information about how to access the virtual concert from a variety of devices, including your computer, phone, or smart TV, please click here.

If you have any issues accessing the stream, please contact Patron Services at 704.972.2000 or ticketoffice@charlottesymphony.org. Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community, Virtual Concerts.

SLIDESHOW: A Home Run at Truist Field

Your Charlotte Symphony hit a home run at Truist Field on Saturday! Concert-goers were greeted by Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and enjoyed a beautiful program celebrating Charlotte with special appearances by mezzo-soprano Jennifer Wiggins, Charlotte Symphony Brass, and Charlotte Knight's mascot Homer the Dragon before enjoying a big fireworks finale. (Photos by Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights unless otherwise noted.)

1 / 15
It's a beautiful day in Uptown Charlotte as staff and musicians get ready for the concert on the infield.
2 / 15
Workers from Atrium Health check temperatures before concertgoers head into Truist Field to find their seats.
3 / 15
Charlotte Symphony President & CEO David Fisk meets with TV crews for interviews in the press box. (photo courtesy of the Charlotte Symphony)
4 / 15
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles welcomes the crowd under a skyline lit in CSO teal for the occasion.
5 / 15
The night's soloist, Jennifer Wiggins opens the concert with a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
6 / 15
Music Director Christopher Warren-Green conducts the CSO in Nkeiru Okoye's Charlotte Mecklenburg, a piece commissioned by the Symphony on the occasion of Charlotte's 250th anniversary.
7 / 15
Ms. Wiggins performs Che faro senza Euridice from Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice.
8 / 15
The Orchestra receives a standing ovation after a moving performance of Barber's Adagio for Strings.
9 / 15
Uh-oh... General Manager John Clapp has paused the concert for a conference on the mound with Warren-Green and Concertmaster Calin Lupanu.
10 / 15
In the meantime, Charlotte Knights mascot Homer the Dragon leads the crowd in an enthusiastic chorus of "Take me out to the ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.
11 / 15
After hitting it out of the part, Christopher Warren-Green takes one more swing for the fences before passing the proverbial baton to the Charlotte Symphony Brass.
12 / 15
Trumpet players Alex Wilborn and Jon Kaplan, French horn player Andrew Fierova, trombonist Tom Burge, and bass trombone player Scott Hartman came on in relief to finish the show.
13 / 15
After performing works by The Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, and Duke Ellington, the Charlotte Symphony Brass Players waved to a roaring crowd.
14 / 15
Fireworks light up the sky in Uptown Charlotte.
15 / 15
Socially-distanced fans enjoy a noisy and illuminating grand finale before heading home.
 
 

Find out how you can experience your Charlotte Symphony in-person or from the comfort of your own home! Explore our Reimagined Fall Season hereRead more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community.

A Home Run for Charlotte



The Charlotte Symphony will be sliding into a new home base on October 24 when we perform "A Concert for Charlotte" a special live event presented in partnership with the Charlotte Knights at Truist Field. The event is designed to celebrate Charlotte and bring our community back together safely through the power of music.

Under the baton of Music Director Christopher Warren-Green, "A Concert for Charlotte" will open with the Star Spangled Banner, sung by Charlotte-based opera singer Jennifer Wiggins. Wiggins will also step up to the plate to perform Che faro senza Euridice from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice. She had this to say about being part of this special event: 

"This performance at Truist Field will not only be my debut with CSO, but also will be the first time I've performed for a live audience since February. I'm excited for the opportunity to share my voice with Charlotte and to collaborate with an amazing group of world class musicians. I hope that the piece that I perform will allow people to find closure from any heartbreak they might be experiencing and help them realize it's okay to mourn the ones you've loved and lost."
Jennifer Wiggins
The concert will continue its celebration of Charlotte with Nkeiru Okoye's Charlotte Mecklenburg -- a piece commissioned by the Charlotte Symphony on the occasion of Charlotte's 250th anniversary which reflects the rich and diverse history of the city -- Rossini's Overture to L'Italiana in Algeri, Jessie Montgomery's Starburst, Barber's Adagio for Strings, John Williams's Air and Simple Gifts, and the final movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.

Finish the night with some peanuts and Cracker Jacks and enjoy a brilliant fireworks display that will light up the Uptown sky. 

Music Director Christopher Warren-Green said, "My hope is that everyone will join us at A Concert for Charlotte so that we can come together again through the power of music." Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community.

How to Stream Your CSO from the Best Seat in YOUR House

Now you can enjoy your Charlotte Symphony from the best seat in the house your favorite living room chair! 

We understand that not everyone will feel comfortable attending concerts in person at this time, but we're committed to bringing music to you, wherever you are! If technology feels like a barrier, we want to help. Check out our tips below and you'll be able to live stream the CSO right to your preferred device. 

Watch on your phone, tablet, or computer

When you purchase tickets to a CSO live stream or recorded performance, you will be provided a link CSO (sent via email up to 2 days prior to the concert date) and login information to a CSO website page. Simply click or tap on the link in your email, login in using credentials provided in the email, and enjoy the performance.

Watch on your TV


Android TV / Amazon Fire TV
Connect your device to the same Wi-Fi network as your TV, access the video using your phone, tablet, or computer (using the directions above), tap on the Cast icon on the video (Note: You may have to first tap on the YouTube logo on the video, opening the video in YouTube, for the Cast icon to appear), and select the name of your TV. When Cast changes color, you have successfully connected.

Apple TV
Connect your device to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV, access the video using your phone, tablet, or computer (using the directions above), tap the Cast icon on the video, and then choose your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible smart TV to connect.

Chromecast
If you have a Chromecast connected to your TV, simply connect your phone, tablet, or computer to the same Wi-Fi network as your Chromecast, download the Google Home app on your device (not necessary for computers), access the video on your phone, tablet, or computer (using the directions above), tap on the Cast icon on the video (Note: You may have to first tap on the YouTube logo on the video, opening the video in YouTube, for the Cast icon to appear), and select your Chromecast or TV name.

Smart TV Internet App
To watch on your smart TV, locate the internet or preferred search engine app (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Samsung TV Web Browser, etc.) on your TV's home screen and enter in the link URL provided by your CSO (sent via email up to 2 days prior to the concert date). From there, enter in the login information to access the page, and then click the full screen icon on the video.

Music Director Christopher Warren-Green has some of his own advice for how to enjoy our virtual concerts: "Get dressed, go into your living room, have a glass of wine, sit down and make sure no one interrupts you. Do that and watch our virtual concerts, and you'll get something extraordinary from it."

Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community, Virtual Concerts.

SLIDESHOW: A Joyful Return to Live Music

Your Charlotte Symphony held its first live concert since March on Tuesday night, and boy did it feel good! A little drizzle couldn't stop the music or the smiles on the faces of CSO musicians, staff, and excited concertgoers. 

1 / 10
Ticket Services Manager Meghan greeted concert-goers outside NoDa Brewing Co. with a smile that could be felt even through her layers of PPE.
2 / 10
Guests grabbed a cold one, sat with friends and family, and toasted to the Charlotte Symphony's first concert since March.
3 / 10
CSO principal cellist Alan Black and violinist Jenny Topilow warm up while video equipment is tested for the symphony's first ever live streamed concert.
4 / 10
Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees does a quick interview with Spectrum News before donning his "host" hat for the live and virtual audiences.
5 / 10
A little drizzle couldn't put a damper on new President and CEO David Fisk's excitement over hearing live music after such a long drought.
6 / 10
Undeterred by the rain, the CSO's die-hard fans pulled out umbrellas while Christopher James Lees and Suzie Ford, owner of NoDa Brewing, Co., welcomed them to the concert.
7 / 10
Associated concertmaster Joseph Meyer, violinist Jenny Topilow, principal violist Ben Geller, and principal cellist Alan Black opened the concert with Florence Price's String Quartet - a warm, lyrical work infused with the sounds of Price's African American heritage.
8 / 10
This couple found a dry spot under the trees to relax while Price's work was brought to life by the CSO's talented musicians.
9 / 10
In person tickets for this concert were sold out, but for the first time we also welcomed a live virtual audience!
10 / 10
Skies began to clear as the final notes of Haydn's String Quartet Op. 76, No. 2 rang out and the musicians received a warm standing ovation.
 
 

We hope you'll join us for another On Tap Live @ NoDa, either in person or virtually! Visit charlottesymphony.org/ontap for details. Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community.

CSO Musicians Perform in Virtual Colorado Music Festival



This summer, a number of the Charlotte Symphony's talented musicians participated in the 2020 virtual Colorado Music Festival.

Concertmaster Calin Lupanu was joined by Associate Concertmaster Joseph Meyer, Second Violinist Monica Boboc, Cellist Marlene Ballena, and Principal Harpist Andrea Mumm to perform Ravel's Introduction and Allegro and Dvořák's Terzetto in C Major, Op. 74 (I. Introduzione: Allegro ma non troppo & II. Larghetto).

Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community, CSO Musicians, Musicians.

Celebrating Charlotte with Google Arts & Culture


The Charlotte Symphony is thrilled to be partnering with Google Arts & Culture along with 12 other local cultural institutions to celebrate our hometown, Charlotte! The Queen City's Google Arts & Culture page explores the unique cultural DNA of Charlotte, told through stories that dive into everything from food favorites, sports stars, contemporary and fine art, regional history, performing arts, and more. Together with our cultural partners, we paint the picture of our thriving and creative city. 
On the Charlotte Symphony's page we've created exhibits where you can explore our rich history and see how we're inspiring and connecting with our community through exceptional musical experiences. You can also catch up with the CSO's musicians and see what they've been working on from home in our #CSOatHome exhibit.  


Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips. If Google's mission is to make the world's information more accessible, then Arts & Culture's mission is to make the world's culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. It's your doorway to explore art, history, and wonders of the world.  Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community.

WATCH NOW: Meet Incoming President & CEO David Fisk


We're thrilled to announce your Charlotte Symphony's next President & CEO: David Fisk, current Executive Director of the Richmond Symphony, begins his new position at the CSO on August 31.

Born in Great Britain, Fisk moved to the United States in 2002 to serve as Executive Director of the Richmond Symphony, where access to music for all and strong financial management were consistent themes under his leadership.

Fisk began his musical life at the age of eight in the choir at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He went on to receive his degree in music from Manchester University and a postgraduate diploma in piano accompaniment from the Royal Northern College of Music, where he also studied harpsichord, composition, and conducting. Prior to moving into arts management, Fisk worked for a number of years as a freelance composer/arranger, conductor, repetiteur, and orchestral keyboard-player.

Fisk is married to Irish soprano Anne O'Byrne. They have a daughter, Fionnuala or "Finn" (22) and son Oliver (19). Other than music, his hobbies include swimming and scuba diving - often off the coast of North Carolina - horseback riding, and motorcycling.

Watch the video below for a personal greeting from David Fisk!

Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community.

We're committed to a more equitable future



Our city and our nation are struggling right now - forced, once again, to confront the hard truths of systemic injustice and inequality that People of Color know all too well and face daily. We cannot, in good conscious, continue to stand by and wait for change to happen. 

The mission of the Charlotte Symphony is to connect and strengthen our community - our entire community - through exceptional musical experiences. We believe that music is a right, not a privilege; and that music can even be an agent for change. But we know that music alone is not enough. We recognize that we have not done enough to confront racial inequity in our organization or our industry, and we are truly committed to being part of the solution.

So where do we go from here? 

Last summer, the Charlotte Symphony began work with a consultant who conducted a listening and survey process to get perspectives from internal and external stakeholders and assembled an advisory group - comprised of staff, board, and orchestra members - to help guide us through the difficult work of changing our culture. This advisory group is creating an actionable, long-term plan to examine our racial and other disparities, both onstage and off, so our organization can truly be equitable, diverse, and inclusive. We are honored to have received a grant from the League of American Orchestras' Catalyst Fund to advance these essential efforts. 

We must strengthen our commitment to intentionally seeking out composers and performers of color, who are underrepresented in our industry, and commit to learning how to better serve the next generation through Project Harmony, our Youth Orchestras, and other education programs.

We realize that we have a lot of work to do, and we need the help of our staff, orchestra, partners, and especially the Charlotte community to hold us accountable as we move forward.   

In recognition of Juneteenth, the Charlotte Symphony will be closed on June 19. Our musicians, staff, and board will be provided with a list of suggested activities and resources so they may use this time to better understand, honor, and reflect on the meaning of this important day.

We serve the Charlotte community, and we want to hear from you. Please share with us your thoughts and suggestions at feedback@charlottesymphony.org.
Michelle Hamilton
Interim President and CEO 
Read more

Posted in Community. Tagged as community.

« Newer Posts Older Posts »

Archives