WMS Masterworks Concert to Feature Czech Nostalgia, Celtic Spirit and Poetic Songs on April 18 and 19

Soprano Martha Guth with Also Perform at The Block on April 16

Muskegon, Michigan, April 1, 2014 – The West Michigan Symphony Masterworks concerts on Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19 will feature Czech nostalgia, Celtic spirit and poetic songs performed by soprano Martha Guth.

Music Director Scott Speck will direct the WMS in performances of:
• Aaron Jay Kernis’ beautiful “Simple Songs” featuring Guth
• Felix Mendelssohn’s atmospheric Scottish Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56

Conducting Assistant to the Music Director Andrew Koehler will direct:
• Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu’s Overture for Orchestra.

The concerts will be held at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m.

“As winter finally begins turning to spring in West Michigan, we present a concert of powerful, atmospheric, and ultimately optimistic music,” Speck said. “All three works are dramatic, tuneful, and full of aesthetic delights. These are three of my favorite pieces, and I’m thrilled that our audiences will be able to hear them all in one program.

“I’m particularly delighted to welcome Andrew Koehler to the Frauenthal Stage. Andrew has been the West Michigan Symphony’s secret weapon. Over the past several seasons, Andrew has covered me for many concerts, and he has occasionally come in to prepare the orchestra before my arrival. He is a fine conductor, and it’s a pleasure to finally share his talents with the West Michigan Symphony audience in the Overture by Martinu.”

Acclaimed for her top range, rare breath control and legato, Guth has emerged onto the international classical music scene as a persuasive and passionate artist. The young soprano has sung under world-renowned conductors such as maestros Seiji Ozawa, Helmut Rilling, Robert Spano and Richard Bradshaw. On the concert stage, Guth has sung with many prominent orchestra’s including the Bach Akademi Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Symphony.

Guth is passionately devoted to recital repertoire, and it’s in song and chamber music that her polished craft and collaborative spirit shines.

Guth will also perform a program which has been titled “Words. Music. Hummus.” at The Block, the Symphony’s new, intimate venue, on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. She will be accompanied by Kelly Karamanov, WMS principal piano.

Her repertoire is based on the work of noted poets and will include:
• Duparc’s “ L’Invitation au Voyage,” Charles Baudelaire
• Wheeler’s “Wasting the Night,” Edna St. Vincent Millay
• Rachmaninov “Do Not Sing to Me Again,” Alexander Pushkin
• Tchaikovsky’s “Do Not Speak to Me,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
• Liszt’s “O Quand de Dors,” Victor Hugo

Single tickets for the Masterworks’ concert range from $17 to 47 and may be purchased online at www.westmichigansymphony.org; by calling 231.726.3231, ext 223; or in person at the WMS ticket office on the first floor of 360 W. Western Ave. Student tickets are $5 for this concert but are not available online. College students must present a valid ID when they purchase tickets.

Tickets for The Block performance start at $20 while student tickets are $10. Doors for the performance will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at any of the options listed above.

For more information, contact 231.726.3231 or info@westmichigansymphony.org.

About West Michigan Symphony
As one of the few professional regional orchestras in Michigan, West Michigan Symphony has played a leading role in the region’s cultural community for nearly 75 years. WMS serves a regional audience with eight pairs of concerts annually, along with dozens of educational and outreach activities for children and adults. Earlier this year, the organization also launched The Block, a new and intimate concert venue in downtown Muskegon that will host a wide range of performers. WMS also oversees operations for the West Michigan Youth Symphony and the newly formed WMS Children’s Choir. For more information, visitwww.westmichigansymphony.org.

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts