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Western Classical Musicians Look Eastward for Inspiration in the Dayton Philharmonic Masterworks Concert East Meets West  

DAYTON, OH (December 16, 2021) – On Friday, January 7, 2022 and Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO) continue the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s 2021‒2022 Season with a Masterworks concert entitled, East Meets West.

The Louis S. Cantor, Rose Sorokin Cantor, Samuel L. Cantor, and Lena Cantor Endowed Artist for this concert is DPO Principal Clarinet John Kurokawa

This evening of East Meets West opens with Charles Tomlinson Griffes’s tone poem “The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan,” inspired by the unfinished poem by English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The work, which came to Griffes in a dream, evokes images taken from Coleridge’s poetic images of a “sunny dome” and “caves of ice.”

While many composers of Western classical music have looked to exotic lands for inspiration, Reena Esmail’s Indian musical roots let her look West and East for her compositions. Esmail says of her Clarinet Concerto, “Hindustani music is an aural tradition: the nuance of a phrase is picked up through call and response, by hearing and repeating. In both movements of this concerto, the melodies that start in the clarinet eventually find their way into the orchestra. The aural transfer of these melodies to the western musicians is embedded in the piece itself, and the exchange of musical cultures is taking place in real time, before your ears.” Dayton Philharmonic Principal Clarinet John Kurokawa takes the spotlight for this haunting and exhilarating work.

For 150 years in the 16th and 17th centuries, Vienna was the nexus of East-West interactions due to the two Turkish sieges of the city, which, led (once the danger was over) to a Viennese fascination with all things Turkish. After his move from his birthplace of Salzburg to Vienna, Mozart pulled from this Turkish influence, using a Turkish harem as the setting for his first big-hit opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio. The opera’s overture features the jingling sounds of Turkish percussion instruments and evokes the noise the Turkish army bands made outside the city gates during the sieges.

Strauss’s beautiful Suite from Der Rosenkavalier crowns this enchanting Masterworks concert, with ravishing melodies and seductive waltzes that transport audiences to Vienna’s opulent golden age.

Safety Protocols
The DPAA is excited to welcome audiences back to the 2021–2022 Season. The health and safety of patrons, performers, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Beginning November 22, 2021, in partnership with DPAA’s venue partner Dayton Live, the following new health and safety protocols will be in place at all performances and events until further notice:

  • Vaccination and Testing – Proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing will no longer be required to attend performances at Dayton Live venues, including the Schuster Center and the Victoria Theatre.
  • Masks – Masks will be required for all patrons over the age of 6 during the entire visit while attending a DPAA performance or event. Mask must cover both nose and mouth.

Tickets for East Meets West start at $5 and are available at the box office by calling (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. The $5 Tickets are sponsored by AES Ohio as part of DPAA’s “The Arts Are for Everyone” program. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.


About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (DPAA) was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the greater Dayton community, with a mission to be the community’s indispensable source for traditional, diverse and innovative experiences in ballet, opera, and orchestral music. The vision of the DPAA is to transform lives through the power of music and dance. The DPAA offers a wide variety of performance and education programs, setting a new standard for artistic excellence. DPAA performances reach an audience of more than 90,000 people annually, and their rich arts education programming serves over 60,000 schoolchildren in 150 schools in the Miami Valley. These performances and education initiatives are made possible in part through major support provided by the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the National Endowment for the Arts.