Stars of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Shine in Concert

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra prides itself on offering a range of talent from both Indiana and elsewhere to Indianapolis music lovers. While most weekends at Hilbert Circle Theatre welcome a guest conductor or musician, this Friday and Saturday join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to celebrate a few Indianapolis artists. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra presents Stars of the ISO May 14 and 15 in Indianapolis downtown’s Hilbert Circle Theatre, a showcase of Hoosier musicians. This Indianapolis art event features original work from mainstays of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Don’t miss this enthralling concert event at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Seven ISO musicians take center stage at this Indianapolis performing arts venue to share their special talents in the spotlight. Concertmaster Zach De Pue (violin) will perform Henryk Wieniawski’s charming Violin Concerto No. 2. The Symphony also performs three additional selections: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 (“Prague”), Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite and James Beckel’s In the Minds Eye: Images for Horns and Orchestra.

Beckel is a long time performer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, playing the position of Principal Trombone. His original composition makes its debut at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra this weekend and features all five members of the ISO Horn section: Robert Danforth (French Horn), Richard Graef (French Horn), Jerry Montgomery (French Horn) Jill Boaz (French Horn) and Julie Beckel (French Horn).

Visual artists and composers have collaborated many times in the past. Beckel explored this idea while creating his composition, using pieces at the Indianapolis Museum of Art as the impetuous for his work. One of the most famous example is Stravinsky’s collaboration with Picasso on Pulcinella. Often times, similar schools of thought in music and in art occur simultaneously throughout history. In the same vein, Beckel employs the use of musical effects, which mimic brush stroke techniques. Beckel used five paintings at the IMA as the basis for his original piece.

The first movement of the piece is called “Random Abstract,” and is based on the work of contemporary artist Ingrid Calame. One of her works uses tire tracks on the cement of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Indianapolis 500 as inspiration. Written in two perspectives, the first movement reflects on the point of view of the artist and of the viewer. Taking the legendary Jackson Pollack as his guide, Beckel imitates the rhythm of brush strokes made to music through short chromatic chords.

The second movement is titled “Daniel in the Lion’s Den,” and is based on a painting of the same name by Robert E. Weaver. Beckel explores this biblical subject by Weaver, saying it is “the most stunning” he has ever seen. His music, as well as the painting, address the concept of faith. Sending Daniel through a host of trials and tribulations as he prepares to be tested by God in the lion’s den makes for a piece rife with conflict and tension.

The final movement of the piece is called “Reflections,” and is based on three paintings: “Roussillon Landscape” by Georges-Daniel DeMonfried, “The Channel of Gravelines” by Georges Seurat and “The Regatta Beating to Windward” by Joseph M. W. Turner. Beckel’s music takes patrons on a journey through each painting with a focus on the various landscapes depicted in each.

Beckel’s original composition promises to be an interesting walk through the Indianapolis art galleries of the IMA. Tickets to this Indianapolis event are $16.00 to $68.00. Show times for Stars of the ISO are Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15 at 8:00 pm. Before the concert grab dinner at any of these delectable Indianapolis restaurants. Afterward, take a stroll around Monument Circle and marvel at the Solders’ and Sailors’ Monument, or head to any of these refreshing Indianapolis bars for cocktails.

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Stars of the ISO
May 14 and 15

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Hilbert Circle Theatre
45 Monument Circle
Indianapolis, IN 46204