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Gregory Fulkerson

Gregory Fulkerson will join the West Shore Symphony Orchestra on stage for "European Vacation" concert.


The classical sounds of Italy, France, Spain and Finland will be on tap when the West Shore Symphony Orchestra presents its next Masterworks Concert “European Vacation” at 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will also be a free family concert held at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. Both events will be held at the Carlisle Theatre, located at 40 W. High St., in Carlisle.

During the concert, the orchestra conducted by Jennifer Sacher Wiley will be joined onstage by guest violinist Gregory Fulkerson, who will play two selections.

“European Vacation” will feature four selections written by European composers. The first will be the overture to “La Cenerentola,” which is based on the fairytale of Cinderella and was written by Italian composer Gioachino Antonio Rossini. First performed in 1817, “La Cenerentola” is a two-act opera written one year after Rossini’s popular “The Barber of Seville.”

Following the overture, Fulkerson will join the orchestra on stage to perform Poème, Op. 25, which was written by French Romantic composer Ernest Chausson. Generally considered Chausson’s best-known and most-loved composition, this beautiful piece is a staple of the violinist’s repertoire.

Next, Fulkerson and the orchestra will perform the fiery Carmen Fantasy written by Spanish Pablo de Sarasate. Based on themes from the opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet, this challenging piece is one of Sarasate’s most well known works and is often performed in violin competitions.

“European Vacation” will conclude with the Fifth Symphony of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Sibelius was commissioned to write this symphony in honor of his 50th birthday, which had been declared a national holiday by the Finnish government.

Fulkerson was born in Iowa and studied at both Oberlin College and at The Juilliard School. His debut recording was chosen one of the year’s best by The New York Times, and his recording of the complete Violin Sonatas of Charles Ives is thought of as a standard of that repertoire. As a major believer of American contemporary music, Fulkerson was awarded the First Prize in the International American Music Competition, and as a result began a very active performing career that included debuts in New York, London, Paris, Rome and Brussels. He has performed over 30 concerts with orchestras including the Chattanooga Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the North Carolina Symphony.

Young people can also take a “European Vacation” during the family concert, which will be presented in the form of an originally scripted play. The play, which features a cast of actors and excerpts of the Masterworks concert played by the orchestra, takes the audience on an imaginary European tour with musical stops along the way.

Actors featured are Martha Palmquist as the tour guide, Briana Heinly as mom, Jeff Huyard as dad, and Bella Davis and Olin Mcllwaine as their children. The family concert is intended for all ages, but is especially geared to ages 5-11 years old.

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