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The Paducah Symphony Orchestra 2017-2018 Season Begins Tonight: Bernstein, Gershwin, and Sgambati

The Paducah Symphony Orchestra performs at the Luther F. Carson Center
Paducah Symphony Orchestra
The Paducah Symphony Orchestra performs at the Luther F. Carson Center

The Paducah Symphony Orchestra opens it’s 2017-2018 season this Saturday. On Sounds Good, George Eldred speaks with Maestro Raffaele Ponti about the performance.


The show starts off with Leonard Bernstein’s overture to Candide. Ponti says he is opening and closing the season with Bernstein to celebrate the composer’s 100th anniversary. Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess follows. Ponti says he paired Bernstein and Gershwin together because the two share similar yet opposite backgrounds. Bernstein was classically trained but all of his pieces have a jazz idiom, whereas Gershwin came from New York’s jazz scene but stayed involved with Carnegie Hall because he wanted to be recognized as a classical musician.

The performance ends on the First Symphony by Italian composer Giovanni Sgambati, a name which may be new to many. Ponti says this season will feature a diverse selection of composers.


“The more I delve into these scores and listen and study, I think to myself, ‘Why are we not hearing this great repoitoire being performed more frequently?’ because it could have a foothold on the main stage,” Ponti said. “The thing is, is that our ear gets a little bit thin because people keep playing the same top 50 greatest hits of classical music and we forget these names of other composers from the 1800s.”


The opening show starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at The Grand Lodge.


George Eldred has lived most of his life in Princeton, Kentucky except for a 15 year stint of studying music in Sewanee, Tennessee and Lawrence, Kansas and working in camera and photo finishing shops in the Washington, DC area. George first went on the air around the 4th grade when the local station in Princeton used to get elementary school students to read children's books from the library on the air.
A proud native of Murray, Kentucky, Allison grew up roaming the forests of western Kentucky and visiting national parks across the country. She graduated in 2014 from Murray State University where she studied Environmental Sustainability, Television Production, and Spanish. She loves meeting new people, questioning everything, and dancing through the sun and the rain. She hopes to make a positive impact in this world several endeavors at a time.
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