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Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s “The Dramatic” Valentine’s Weekend | News Release | ASO

Emerging Artists Shine for ASO’s The Dramatic on Valentine’s Weekend
Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Presents Romantic Classics with an Italian Flare

Alexandria, VA— Grab your sweetheart and join the ASO for The Dramatic this Valentine’s Day.  Led by Music Director and Conductor Kim Allen Kluge, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra delves into romantic classics from the Italian canon on Saturday, February 13 (8:00 PM) at Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and on Sunday, February 14 (3:00 PM) at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria.  Continuing with the 2015-2016 season theme of “Symphony & Cinema,” The Dramatic presents Nino Rota’s film score to The Godfather paired with Italian masterpieces that inspired his iconic score.

The Dramatic explores the style of Verismo (realism) through Rota’s score and the works of Puccini, Mascagni and Respighi.  “Martin Scorsese asked Rota to embody the highly emotional and realistically dramatic element of Verismo in his film score,” notes Maestro Kim Allen Kluge.  “This supercharged Italian tradition lends earthy and passionate sensuality, uncluttered by overt intellectuality, and runs as a common thread through each piece on this program.  It’s music that comes straight from the heart!”

Headlining the program with love duets from Puccini’s La Bohème and Madama Butterfly are up-and-coming opera stars Kerriann Otaño (soprano) and Michael Brandenburg (tenor), both in their second season with the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.  Mr. Brandenburg most recently appeared as Don José in Carmen with the WNO, and Ms. Otaño donned the role of The Witch in WNO’s Hansel and Gretel.  WNO’s resident-training program, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist program offers two years of residency to artists on the verge of international careers, launching and mentoring their emergence into the professional opera world.

Also featured on the program, performing Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto, are mother and daughter team Frances Borowsky and Cecylia Barczyk. Ms. Borowsky was honored with the 2013 Mary Graham Lasley Scholarship Award, co-sponsored by the Symphony Orchestra League of Alexandria (SOLA) and the Alexandria Symphony.  Now in its 40th year, the Lasley Scholarship recognizes emerging talent and offers performance opportunities with the orchestra.  Since winning the competition, Ms. Borowsky has performed with orchestras and festivals around the world.  She frequently composes and tours with her brother (violinist Emmanuel Borowsky) and sister (pianist Elizabeth Borowsky).  The ASO is pleased to feature Ms. Borowsky with her mother, renowned cellist Cecylia Barczyk.  Besides a heavy touring schedule, Ms. Barczyk conducts master classes throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America.

“The ASO has always promoted young talent,” comments Maestro Kluge.  “This love-themed program will sparkle with youthful brilliance from the emerging artists featured.  The audience will be swept away by the passion of this performance.”

The ASO’s 72nd Season: Symphony & Cinema continues on April 2 and 3 with Lushness & Lyrical celebrating the music of James Newton Howard and his classical influences. Youth, student, military and group discounts available.  To purchase tickets and for more information, visit www.alexsym.org or call 703-548-0885.




Puccini, The Godfather & High Drama 

Kim Allen Kluge, conductor

Frances Borowsky, cello

Cecylia Barczyk, cello

Kerriann Otaño, soprano

Michael Brandenburg, tenor


PUCCINI: Love duets from La Bohème & Madama Butterfly

RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome

ROTA: Music from The Godfather

VIVALDI: Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor


Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 8:00 PM
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall

Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM

George Washington Masonic Memorial



Tickets: Adult: $20-$80. Student: $10 (with ID). Youth: $5 (age 18 & under). Military, senior and group pricing also available.  Purchase online at www.alexsym.org or call 703-548-0885.


Pre-concert chat with Victoria Gau presented one hour prior to each performance.


Free parking provided by the ASO at both venues. The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center is accessible by Metro bus lines 7A, 7B, 7F, 7Y, 25A, 25C and 25E, as well as DASH bus line AT6. The George Washington Masonic Memorial is accessible by the Blue and Yellow metro line, numerous Metro, Dash and Richmond Highway Express bus lines, and the King Street Trolley in Old Town, Alexandria.








Tchaikovsky, Howard’s Peter Pan & Romanticism 

Kim Allen Kluge, conductor

Jenny Oaks Baker, violin


TCHAIKOVSKY: Waltz from Swan Lake

BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy

SMETANA: The Moldau from Má vlast

HOWARD: Peter Pan Suite (2003)


Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 8:00 PM
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall

Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 3:00 PM

George Washington Masonic Memorial




Gershwin, Zimmer’s Batman & Eclecticism

Kim Allen Kluge, conductor

Thomas Pandolfi, piano



GERSHWIN: An American in Paris

KLUGE & KLUGE:  American Concerto for Piano & Orchestra*

ZIMMER: Concert Suite from The Dark Knight (2008)


*World premiere


Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 8:00 PM
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall



Frances Borowsky, cello

Gracing the stages of over thirty countries, Frances Borowsky is quickly establishing herself as one of the most sensitive artists of her generation. A dedicated citizen of the world, Frances embeds her memories of Norwegian fjords, Parisian chocolates, and friendly Belgian cows into the rich tapestry of her explosive interpretations. Recent performance highlights include soloing with the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with her siblings, a recital in Paris with pianist Georges Beriachvili, and collaborations with faculty and students of the Alanus Hochschule for an interactive and interdisciplinary audiovisual performance at the senseLAB Symposium. As a precocious college student, she graduated from the Honor’s College of Towson University at eighteen. Her mother, acclaimed cellist Cecylia Barczyk, was her primary instructor from childhood through her studies at Towson University. Ms. Borowsky continued her education under Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University (M.M.), and recently earned a second master’s degree from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Musical Arts program at the University of Maryland and studies with Eric Kutz.

Cecylia Barczyk, cello

Cecylia Barczyk has achieved international recognition as a complete artist, successful teacher, and humanitarian. She has given concerts, recitals, and masterclasses throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and has appeared as a soloist with prominent orchestras including those of Amman, Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Jakarta, Leipzig, London, Moscow, New York, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Seoul, Shanghai, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Taiwan, Tel Aviv, Tianjin, Tokyo, and Warsaw. Ms. Barczyk has frequently performed on radio and television and has recorded much of the standard and new cello literature  – as well as works composed especially for her – on the Muza, ICRecords, Melodya, Relief, and CRS labels. She won prizes in prestigious music competitions including the Danczowski Cello Competition (Poznan), Pablo Casals Cello Competition (Budapest), Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow), Aldo Parisot International Cello Competition (Brazil), J.S. Bach International Competition (Leipzig), Cassado International Cello Competition (Florence), and W.C. Byrd Young Artists Competition (Michigan). Ms. Barczyk is on the faculty of Towson University and directs the annual International Cello Festival, which she founded in 1986. In 2003, she was appointed Artistic Director of the Intermuse International Music Institute and Festival USA, a ten-day summer music program. Recent performance tours have taken Ms. Barczyk to Cuba, Canada, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.


Michael Brandenburg, tenor

A native of Austin, Indiana, American tenor Michael Brandenburg is in his second season of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. This season he was seen as Don José in Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Performance of Carmen at WNO and made his role debut as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at North Carolina Opera. Last season with WNO, he appeared as the Steersman in The Flying Dutchman. In the summer of 2015 he sang the role of Macduff in Macbeth at The Glimmerglass Festival, where he will return in 2016 in the leading role of Rodolfo in a new production of La bohème. A 2013 national grand finals winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he was also a grand prize winner at The George London Foundation Competition, a recipient of the Emerging Artist Award at Opera Index Vocal Competition, and a winner of the Bel Canto Competition in Chicago. Previous roles include the title role in Werther and Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and Alfredo (cover) in La traviata at Des Moines Metro Opera. He began studying voice while pursuing a master’s degree in aquatic biology at Ball State University and earned his Performer Diploma from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.


Kerriann Otaño, soprano

Originally from Long Island, New York, American soprano Kerriann Otaño is in her second season of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. This season she appeared with WNO as The Witch in Hansel and Gretel and as Mary Custis Lee in the world premiere of the revised version of Appomattox; last season with WNO she sang the role of Katherine in the world premiere of Penny and the role of Sister Valentine in Dialogues of the Carmelites. In the summer of 2015 she sang the leading role of The Countess in Wolf Trap Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro. She is an alumnus of the Fort Worth Opera Studio, where she made her festival debut as Despina in Così fan tutte. In the summer of 2014 she joined The Glimmerglass Festival Young Artists Program, covering the role of Roberta Alden in An American Tragedy. She advanced to the regional level of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was awarded second place in the Mid-South region. In the 2013-2014 season she was seen as an apprentice artist with Sarasota Opera and Central City Opera, where she covered Queenie in Show Boat and was heard as Berta in the family performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia. She holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from Mannes College, where she sang Maria Corona in The Saint of Bleecker Street under the baton of Joseph Colaneri. She completed her Bachelor of Music at Indiana University.

Frances Borowsky, cello



Cecylia Barczyk, cello



Kerriann Otaño, soprano



Michael Brandenburg, tenor



Maestro Kim Allen Kluge




Victoria Gau, pre-concert lecturer



Alexandria Symphony Orchestra


February 13 & 14, 2016

I love Italy. It is the only country in the world where you can hear young and old alike literally singing opera in the streets! After all, Italy gave birth to opera. There is an innate musicality to the Italian language with its lilting accents and sing-songy rhythms. (That is why it is so difficult to sing Italian opera in English with its irregular and complex accentuation that is foreign to the Italian sound-world.) There is also in the Italian temperament an earthy and passionate Mediterranean sensuality and a gusto for living that begs to manifest itself in, well…breaking out in song! And this operatic and melodic sensibility can also be heard in Italian instrumental music.

Nino Rota is in a direct line of Italian composers that includes Puccini and Resphigi. All three composers share a similar aesthetic that includes a heightened sensuality that relishes in passionate melodies. Their music has an emotional directness that is uncluttered by overt intellectuality. The music is highly sophisticated but the complexity is hidden below the surface. Theirs is a music that seems to come straight from the heart!

See you at the concerts!
Maestro Kim Allen Kluge Alexandria Symphony Orchestra

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