The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra has announced details on their first concert of the season.

Evansville, IN - The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2011-2012 “Celebrate the American Spirit” season begins with an Opening Night tribute to American composers and music inspired by “The New World” on Saturday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Victory Theatre.  The program includes music by American composers Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin featuring critically-acclaimed Gershwin pianist Kevin Cole, as well as Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, Dvorak’s most popular symphony, inspired by his visit to America.      


Maestro Alfred Savia and the orchestra will begin the celebration with Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner”.  The concert continues with a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s lively Candide Overture.  Touted as “America’s Pianist”, Kevin Cole joins the orchestra for George Gershwin’s bluesy and powerful Concerto in FSavia says, “Kevin Cole is THE greatest contemporary interpreter of Gershwin's music.” Quotes from other critics include:  "When Cole sits down at the piano, you would swear Gershwin himself was at work...Cole stands as the best Gershwin pianist in America today," says Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune.  Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic reportedly says, “Kevin Cole is the living embodiment of Gershwin's style. His virtuosity is breathtaking and he has the power to galvanize an audience to tremendous enthusiasm."  

Following intermission, the orchestra will perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”.  This work was inspired by Dvorak’s visit to America in 1893 which left him awestruck by this “land of opportunity”.  Immediately following the concert, the entire audience is invited to enjoy a dessert reception in the lobbies hosted by the Philharmonic’s Crescendo Club.  Approximately 15 local businesses and organizations will provide scrumptious dessert samples for everyone in attendance.  “The New World” is sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc.  Mr. Cole’s appearance is sponsored by the Martha & Merritt deJong Foundation.  Media sponsor for the “Celebrate the American Spirit” 2011-2012 season is 14 WFIE.


Season and single tickets are on sale now.  Patrons save at least $13 on this concert when they purchase season tickets to the Grand or Classics series.  Season tickets may be purchased by calling the Philharmonic Box Office at (812) 425 – 5050.  Single tickets to all Philharmonic events may be purchased by calling the Box Office or ordering online at  Members of club2030 may purchase up to two tickets for just $10 per ticket ($2 internet fee applies).  See website for details.  Based on availability, Student Rush tickets may be purchased for Opening Night for $8 at the Sixth Street Box Office of the Victory Theatre one hour prior to the performance.  Student ID is required.