Published on March 30th, 2023

Saturday, April 22, 2023 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
arx duo, percussion

Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances
Nick DiBernardino: Double Percussion Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7

We are excited to welcome Seattle’s arx duo to the stage for our April 22 performance, Dancing Mallets & Pulsing Percussion. Percussionists Garrett Arney and Mari Yoshinaga, who are arx duo, will perform the world premiere of Nick DiBernardino’s Double Percussion Concerto.

DiBernardino’s newest commission is a dream project, inspired by the qualities of arx duo in which he admires. “I have known arx for almost a decade and love many things about them,” he says, “their infectiously engaging personalities, and their commitment to imagining percussion instruments as seamlessly integrated members of the orchestra. Above all, I admire arx for their commitment to drawing together everyone in the room…”

Working closely with a large variety of composers and ensembles, arx duo is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that expands the percussion repertoire by commissioning, performing and workshop pieces from artists all over the world. arx duo has served as educators at many universities including Peabody Conservatory, Michigan State University, and currently serve as faculty for the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artists Summer Program

Beginning the evening’s program will be Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances. Originally composed for solo piano in 1915, Bartók developed an interest in his native folk music in his early 20s, noting, “I consider it my goal in life to continue my study of Romanian folk music, at least in Transylvania, and carry it to its end …” Bartok traveled to Transylvania numerous times, where he recorded and transcribed the music of the local population. These folk tunes provided the tunes, rhythms and harmonies that inspired his own compositions.

Beethoven’s renowned Symphony No. 7 will close out the program, one of the works the composer considered among his best. The piece’s four movements leave a poetic impression on listeners, with each movement varying from an extensive, slow introduction, to some of the most graceful, haunting music ever composed. While one critic wondered if Beethoven was intoxicated at the time of the composition, French writer and Beethoven’s biographer, Romain Rolland, responded, “It was indeed the work of an intoxicated man, but one intoxicated with poetry and genius.”