Violinist Simone Porter and the Erie Philharmonic perform at 3:15 p.m. Sunday at Shafer Auditorium in the Henderson Campus Center, located on Allegheny College’s campus.
The concert marks the second consecutive year the Erie Philharmonic has travelled to present a free concert at Allegheny, a tradition that the orchestra says is it honored to continue once again.
“Both organizations have long and distinguished histories, and it's been my privilege to be associated with them," said Lowell Hepler, chair of the Allegheny College Department of Music and director of bands. He was principal tuba with the Erie Philharmonic for 35 years and has been a member of the Allegheny College music faculty for 45 years.
"To bring them together for the people of Meadville and the students of Allegheny is meaningful for me," Hepler said, "and a chance for the Meadville audience to appreciate the excellence of ‘their’ professional orchestra.”
Porter, Sunday's special guest soloist, currently studies violin at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, performing with prestigious orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and more.
In March 2015, she was the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. These grants give professional assistance and recognition to artists believed to have great potential for solo careers. Previous recipients include Joshua Bell, Demarre McGill and Edgar Meyer.
In June 2016, Simone performed music from "Schindler’s List" with the American Youth Symphony and Gustavo Dudamel as part of the American Film Institute’s televised "Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Williams."
The concert features. Porter on Maurice Ravel’s "Tzigane" and Sergei Prokofiev’s "Violin Concerto No.1."
“Beyond virtuosity, of which Simone has plenty, she possesses a gift to embody the spirit of the music she plays," Erie Philharmonic Music Director Daniel Meyer said. "She so fluently communicates that spirit that it is a joy to collaborate with her.”
The concert also features Michael Torke’s "Javelin" and Hector Berlioz’s dramatic and psychedelic "Symphonie Fantastique." The symphony follows the composer’s hallucinations and obsessions with Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson.
Pre-concert activities, at 2 p.m. in the lobby, include the Erie Philharmonic’s Virtual Reality Orchestra and an instrumental petting zoo. Berlioz’s "Symphonie Fantastique" features witches, gigantic church bells, the guillotine and the Erie Philharmonic.