Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to meet Eric Metcalf—a young man of exceptional promise whose life was cut short by a tragic rock climbing accident in July 2012. As ... More »
About Us: Press Releases
|William Henry Curry, John Ilika in North Carolina Symphony Concerts|
|Posted: April 02, 2006|
William Henry Curry, John Ilika in North Carolina Symphony Concerts
Resident Conductor William Henry Curry will conduct the North Carolina Symphony in a series of May concerts. Along with his soloist, Symphony Principal Trombone John Ilika, the orchestra will perform on May 18 at the Carolina Theatre in Durham at 8pm; on May 19 at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern at 7:30pm; on May 20 at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall at 8pm; and finally on May 21 at Meymandi Concert Hall in the Progress Energy Center in Raleigh.
In a program just made for spring, the orchestra will play Frederick Delius’s sumptuously pastoral The Walk to the Paradise Garden from A Village Romeo and Juliet, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s sharply sardonic Overture to The Wasps, Henri Tomasi’s virtuosic Trombone Concerto with John Ilika and Brahms’s Symphony No. 3, a work with stands out even among the composer’s many great masterpieces.
John Ilika became the Symphony’s principal trombone in January 2001. Prior to that, he held principal trombone positions with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Delaware Symphony, Opera Delaware, Florida Music Festival and the Philadelphia Brass. He also played for three years with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Maracaibo in Venezuela. He has taught at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro since 1994.
“The Tomasi concerto is well known—but only to other trombonists,” remarked Ilika wryly. “Alas, our solo repertoire is limited to only a handful of pieces. The trombone often plays a backseat to our more flashy (and temperamental) brass colleagues, the trumpet and the French horn. The Tomasi is an excellent showpiece. My string playing friends often comment on the brevity of the concerto – barely 18 minutes long. How can that compare to a Beethoven or Brahms concerto that lasts 40, 45 minutes? To that I can only suggest that you try to blow ‘raspberries’ continuously for only five minutes and see what your face feels like!”
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