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A West Coast premiere woven with the sounds of classical ballet and Spanish flamenco featuring Manual Barrueco on guitar bring the Reno Phil’s Classix Two to life Nov. 8-10 at the Pioneer Center for Performing Arts in Reno.

The orchestral lineup features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ballet music from “Idomeneo, K. 367,” the Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture,” the Jonathan Leshnoff guitar concerto, a Reno Phil-commissioned piece and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio “Espagnol, op. 34.”

“The highlight of Classix Two is the pure musical beauty that forms the foundation of our centerpiece and West Coast premiere, the Leshnoff guitar concerto,” said Laura Jackson, musical director and conductor. “It’s about showcasing the essence of guitar in collaboration with orchestra that has to be heard to believed. Combined with the sounds of classical ballet and Spanish flamenco dance, audiences are in for a real emotional and powerful experience.” 

Though he has composed concertos for a variety of string and wind instruments, for his seventh concerto, Leshnoff said he never imagined he would write something for the guitar.

“Every instrument has its own soul or essence and conveying that in a manner that speaks to the orchestra and the audience is vital,” he said. “Inherently, there are challenges with a guitar, such as its idiosyncratic fingerings, making it a notoriously difficult instrument to balance against a modern symphony orchestra. However, we believe audiences will be quite pleased with the outcome and what we’ve accomplished.” 

For the first work, the Mozart concerto, it includes a set of interludes that Mozart composed within the opera, “Idomeneo.” Weaved are themes from opera that translates into a light, energetic and upbeat opening. For Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet movement, the tone and essence of Shakespeare’s epic play are evident through the well-known love theme, the thrilling sword fight and concluding with the moving funeral march for Juliet.

The Rimsky-Korsakov piece offers a colorful orchestral suite that is based on Spanish folk melodies.

“It is a brilliant showcase for soloists within the orchestra, a kind of concerto for orchestra, featuring major solos for violin, trumpet, horn, clarinet, flute and harp. The final movement is fandango and we’re excited to showcase the feeling it brings with a Spanish flamenco sequence,” Jackson said.

The Classix Two performances are at 4 p.m. Nov. 8 and at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. Preconcert talks take place at 3 p.m. Nov. 8 and at 7 p.m. Nov. 10.

Tickets are available online at RENOPHIL.COM or by calling 775-323-6393.

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