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N.C. Symphony Chosen for Prestigious SHIFT Festival

The North Carolina Symphony has been chosen as one of four American orchestras that will participate in the inaugural year of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, a three-year festival which launches in the spring of 2017. Congratulations to our colleagues at the Boulder Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn-based ensemble, The Knights, for their selection.

Participation in the festival, which is a collaboration between the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts, is designed to bring national attention to the work of each organization chosen, not only for their artistic excellence but for their relationships with their communities. Click here to read a news release from the Kennedy Center about the project. Generous support is provided through a matching grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. SHIFT is presented in cooperation with the League of American Orchestras.

As a SHIFT Festival orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony will incorporate full orchestral and smaller ensemble performances, symposia, workshops, and other events at the Kennedy Center and in smaller venues and schools throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Our participation will occur over a 3-day period envisioned for March 2017, with our full orchestral program featuring the works of our great friend, composer Robert Ward (1917-2013), and a new work by Sarah Kirkland Snider, commissioned by the Symphony, that will premiere this September during the opening week of our 2015/16 season. The SHIFT program will be rounded out with Rusty Air in Carolina, a work by Mason Bates that the orchestra performed in the 2014/15 season, and North Carolina-born Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s violin concerto Lo, which was co-commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony.

The SHIFT Festival uniquely aligns with the North Carolina Symphony’s long history as the nation’s first state-supported orchestra, and its current and future strategy of sharing innovative programming in communities all across the state of North Carolina, and at the same time performing music of the highest artistic excellence. SHIFT will take Symphony programs already being performed in North Carolina communities – such as our PNC Grow up Great Music Discovery program, our Soundbites and KINGS chamber ensemble concerts performed in alternative spaces such as restaurants and clubs, as well as its statewide education concerts – and place our musicians and our music director into a well-deserved national spotlight.

Bravo to Music Director Grant Llewellyn and the orchestra!

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