Bemidji Symphony's 'Musical Escapes' season ends Sunday with challenging concert

The BSO's “Musical Escapes” season will conclude with a concert titled “Revel in Ravel” at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Bemidji High School auditorium.

Dianna Anderson.jpg
Dianna Anderson will be the guest pianist on Ravel's "Piano Concerto in G” with the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, April 23, at the Bemidji High School auditorium.

BEMIDJI — Challenging the musicians, bidding farewell to a young phenom and giving a budding director a chance. That will be Beverly Everett’s theme on Sunday, April 23, when she leads the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra in its final concert of the season.

The “Musical Escapes” season will conclude with a concert titled “Revel in Ravel” at 3 p.m. at the Bemidji High School auditorium.

It will feature four pieces, Ravel's "Piano Concerto in G,” featuring guest pianist Dianna Anderson; a movement from Pablo de Sarasate’s “Navarra for Two Violins and Orchestra” with Bemidji violinists Eric Olson and Timothy Pinkerton; Jennifer Higdon's “All Things Majestic;” and St. Saëns’ "Bacchanale" from the opera “Samson and Delilah.”

The Ravel piece is particularly challenging for the BSO and for Anderson, who is a professor of piano at Minot State University in North Dakota.

“It is obviously difficult for the pianist and deceptively difficult for the orchestra,” Everett said. “It’s one of those pieces that doesn’t look too ominous on the page, but once we start putting it together you realize things happen very quickly. The changes are very subtle. There are also quite a few solo parts within the orchestra that have to be 100% accurate to fit everything together.”


This will be the final BSO concert for Pinkerton, a high school senior who has played with the orchestra since he was 10. Olson, assistant professor of music at Bemidji State University, is Pinkerton's violin instructor. Together they chose the Sarasate piece for this concert.

“This will be my first time to do this piece,” Everett said. “It’s only about a four-minute piece, but we just wanted to have a little nod to Timothy as he leaves us and graduates and goes on to all the things he’s going to be doing.”

The Higdon piece, “All Things Majestic,” will be conducted by Abbie Eads, who works in the development office at Minot State. She did her undergraduate work in cello performance at the school, then went to the University of Washington to earn her master’s degree in orchestral conducting.

“I wanted to give Abbie an opportunity to conduct,” Everett said. “I really feel strongly about that. People may have noticed the last few years that we have had a young guest conductor on one piece. I want to be generous with that. Sometimes when you’re trying to make it as a conductor, just to be able to get some videotapes of yourself conducting can be really important.”

Higdon was commissioned to compose “All Things Majestic” by the Grand Teton Music Festival to commemorate the organization's 50th anniversary. It will be accompanied by a slideshow of Grand Teton scenery.

“It’s really cool how Higdon composed music to go with the visuals,” Everett said.

Tickets are available with cash or check at the door, in advance at Lueken’s Village Foods North and South or online at Prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62 and older, and $10 for college students with a valid ID. Students in grades K-12 will be admitted for free.

Dennis Doeden, former publisher of the Bemidji Pioneer, is a feature reporter. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a degree in Communications Management.
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