Tigran Arakelyan

Guest conductor leads Port Townsend Community Orchestra

PORT TOWNSEND — Guest conductor Tigran Arakelyan will lead the Port Townsend Community Orchestra in a spring concert at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Arakelyan is a finalist in the orchestra’s search for a new music director. He will present a talk at 1:15 p.m. before the free concert at Chimacum High School, 91 W. Valley Road.

Giochino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” will start the concert. Also included will be the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1.

“Tournament of Temperaments” by Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, selections from “Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin and “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius will round out the program.

Arakelyan, an Armenian-American conductor, is the music director of the Bainbridge Island Youth and Federal Way Youth Symphony orchestras. He held associate and assistant conducting positions with California Philharmonic, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Rainier Symphony and Northridge Youth Philharmonic.

His upcoming/recent performances are with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Armenian Pops Orchestra, Yakima Symphony Chamber Orchestra and a two-week tour of South Korea with the Federal Way Youth Symphony.

Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” is based on the first of three plays by Pierre Beaumarchais that center on the character of Figaro. Both the opera and the overture are popular. In true Rossini fashion, there are no musical themes from the rest of the opera in the overture.

Johannes Brahms, one of the giants of 19th-century music, took 21 years to compose Symphony No. 1. The orchestra will play the fourth movement, which contains the “Alphorn” theme.

“Tournament of Temperaments” is a 1956 arrangement of six movements of Ditters von Dittersdorf’s 1771 divertimento “Il combattimento dell umane passion” by Emil Kahn.

“Porgy and Bess” is Gershwin’s 1934 opera. The orchestra will play selections including “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Bess You Is My Woman Now” and “Summertime.”

Finnish composer Sibelius’ masterpiece is “Finlandia.” This tone poem evokes the aspirations of the Finnish people who were part of the Russian empire at the time.

The Port Townsend Community Orchestra’s 2016-17 season is dedicated to the memory of Dewey Ehling, conductor and artistic director for more than two decades.

Ehling was an icon of the North Olympic Peninsula music community who died last summer after an extended illness.

For information, contact Jay Bakst at [email protected] or call 253-709-2850.

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