Tag Archives: Symphony Hall

Show Phoenix Pride Symphony Hall, Photo: jikatu, Flickr

Superheroes will land with Phoenix Symphony

Put on your best cape and get ready for the iconic music from your favorite superhero movies and television shows. Your Spidey senses will tingle, and you will be at the edge of your seat when you hear music featuring your favorite super heroes: Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Incredibles, X-Men and many more September 27, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix.

This concert is a part of the 2015/16 American Airlines Family Series. These concerts are interactive and feature captivating multi-media highlights. Don’t forget to come an hour early to enjoy pre-concert, superhero-themed activities, including arts and crafts, storytelling, trivia and our famous Instrument Petting Zoo, where everyone can be a musician. Patrons of all ages are invited to come dressed as their favorite superhero.

Don’t miss this opportunity to introduce the whole family to the joy of music. Newly appointed Assistant Conductor Matthew Kasper conducts this concert.


Ballet Az

Ballet Arizona presents Coppélia

Ballet Arizona has announced that the 2015-2016 season will open with the highly anticipated classic, Coppélia. This comic ballet remains an all-time favorite of many and Ballet Arizona is presents this legendary work for the first time since 2007.

Coppélia tells the story of an eccentric toymaker and a life-sized doll on his balcony that catches the eye of Franz, a young man from the local village. Not realizing this beautiful young woman is not real, Franz becomes infatuated with the gorgeous doll. His fiancée Swanhilde takes matters into her own hands by dressing up as the doll to show Franz his foolishness and bring him back to reality.

Mistaken identity and confusion surround the young couple in love and make this a uniquely hilarious performance. Set to the music of Leo Delibes, this enchanting show provides a fun way for everyone, young and old, to get a taste of the ballet.

Ballet Arizona will give six performances of Coppélia from October 29 to November 1 at Symphony Hall in Downtown Phoenix. This tale of life-sized dolls comes to life in colorful costumes, making this a perfect complement to Halloween weekend festivities. Patrons of all ages are encouraged to attend in costume.

"Napoli." Photo credit: Alexander Iziliaev

5 things to do this weekend: Feb. 9-16, 2015

1. “Napoli” premieres in US

Ballet Arizona will be the first American ballet company to present “Napoli.” This performance tells the love story of the poor fisherman Gennaro and his beloved Teresina. Teresina is swept away in a great storm. Sea nymphs rescue her, but Gennaro is nowhere to be found. Their love must overcome obstacles in a dark vs. light story. This classic Danish ballet is perfect for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, February 12-15, $45+

2. Cooking at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, come to the Scottsdale Civic Center Library to learn how to cook a meal just for the special day of romance. Chef Jon-Paul Hutchins, Lead instructor of the LeCordon Bleau College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, leads the cooking demonstration. He will teach a variety of dishes that you can cook at home for that special someone. The cooking lesson begins at 6:30.

Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale, February 11, Free

3. VNSA Book Sale

The 59thAnnual Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association (VNSA) Book Sale happens this weekend.  The annual book sale benefits VNSA charities. All books are marked at discounted prices. The book sale offers books for all tastes―children’s, biography, textbooks, classics, and many more. On Sunday, all books, except for rare and unusual books, are half off. Admission to the event is free, but the fairgrounds charge parking. Shoppers should bring their own bags or small wheel around carts as VNSA is going green and will not have bags.

Exhibit Hall at Arizona State Fairgrounds, 1826 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, February 14-15, Free

Phoenix Comicon Brings In Over 23,000 Attendees, Photo: Jonathan, LightningOctopus.com

Photo: Jonathan, LightningOctopus.com

4. Amazing Arizona ComicCon

Over 150 exhibitors are expected to be present at this year’s Amazing Arizona ComicCon. Friday will feature special Friday the 13thprogramming. There will be a costume contest on Saturday. The event will also feature special guests such as Kevin Eastman, the creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and artists from “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, February 13-15, $25-$35, $60 for a weekend pass

5. Coyotes, Sharks, and Rangers, oh my!

The Arizona Coyotes will face off against the San Jose Sharks and the New York Rangers this weekend. The Sharks were last here in January and managed to take a 3-2 win over the Coyotes. As for the Rangers, the Coyotes’ have yet to face off against the New York team. The puck drops at 7 p.m.  both nights at the arena.

Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale, February 13-14, $35+


Nataliia Kelsheva

Nataliia Kelsheva

BONUS: Do you still need to find a place to take that special someone to dinner this weekend? Check out our two-part series on Valentine’s Day Deals in Arizona.

Part 1

Part 2


Ballet Arizona Presents the U.S. Premiere of Napoli

With the winter presentation of Napoli, Ballet Arizonadance will become the first American ballet company to perform one of the most renowned ballets by legendary Danish choreographer, August Bournonville. The company is calling Napoli the highlight of the season and is eager to share it with fans of the ballet, new and old. Performances will run from February 12-15, with afternoon and evening shows at Symphony Hall in Downtown Phoenix.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Napoli tells the festive and uplifting love story of Gennaro, a poor fisherman, and his beloved Teresina. Teresina is washed away in a great storm only to be rescued by sea nymphs ruled by an evil sea spirit. The couple’s love must overcome trials and temptations so that light prevails over darkness in the best tradition of Romanticism.

There only two artistic directors in the U.S. with the background and expertise to present this Danish masterpiece in its most authentic form. Ballet Arizona’s, Ib Andersen is one of them. As a principal dancer with The Royal Danish Ballet, Andersen regularly performed Bournonville pieces, allowing him to become an expert in the choreographer’s style of quick footwork that is often much more difficult that it appears.  Napoli was, in fact, the ballet in which Andersen made his stage debut at the age of seven.

The U.S. debut of Napoli in Arizona is source of civic pride for the area – demonstrating that the performing arts in Phoenix are compare with other major cultural centers like New York City and San Francisco.

The highly acclaimed piece is said to be “one that best celebrates this world, real life, vitality and joy,” by the New York Times.

Ticket prices for Napoli start at $15, discounts offered for seniors, students, military and groups. Tickets may be purchased by calling 602-381-1096 or by visiting www.balletaz.org.

Tito Munoz conducting the Cleveland Orchestra

Maestro Muñoz Makes Debut Sept. 19-20

The Phoenix Symphony launches its 2014-15 season and Virginia G. Piper Music Director Tito Muñoz’ inaugural season with Carl Orff’s Carmina burana on September 19 and 20 at Symphony Hall. For this special occasion, Sandra Day O’Connor, Former Supreme Court Justice and prominent supporter of arts in Arizona, will conduct our nation’s national anthem before Sept. 20’s concert.

Audiences are invited to witness a historic weekend with The Phoenix Symphony as Maestro Tito Muñoz makes his debut as the Symphony’s eleventh Virginia G. Piper Music Director. Maestro Muñoz leads a powerful program with the majestic and scenic cantata, Carmina burana, featuring the famous “O’Fortuna” movement heard in numerous movie and television commercial scores. The Phoenix Symphony is joined by The Phoenix Symphony Chorus, the Phoenix Boys Choir, and features soloists soprano Mary MacKenzie, tenor Christopher Pfund, and baritone Corey McKern.

This 1936 cantata is based on a set of poems and dramatic texts from the 11th through 13th centuries that deal with subject matter such as greed, love, lust and gluttony. Upon its debut, Orff’s Carmina burana attained instant success and continues to be one of the most oft-performed classical works in the repertoire. This magical program also features Igor Stravinsky’s adventurous Firebird Suite, a masterwork of personal significance to Maestro Muñoz. “I am eager to bring on of my personal favorite pieces of music to Phoenix, The Suite from The Firebird, which is one of the first pieces of orchestral repertoire I learned in my youth, alongside the majestic and celebrated Carmina burana,” says Muñoz.

Tickets start at $18 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 602-495-1999 or online at phoenixsymphony.org.

Things to do this weekend

School’s out and there’s a long weekend ahead of us. If you’re not going camping, sitting poolside or catching up on “Game of Thrones,” give one of these events a try! Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying these events with the hashtag #SL5 and follow us at @scottsdaleliving on Instagram!

Christopher Titus
It’s a disgusting understatement to say Christopher Titus has gone through some valleys in his life (schizophrenic mom and an unfaithful wife who also forged checks and drained his bank accounts during their 15-year marriage). Titus has a lot to be angry about, it’s just for our pleasure that his anger comes out in hilarious observations on life. On Titus’ “Angry Pursuit of Happiness” tour, he brings his hard humor reminiscent of the late greats (think George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Lenny Bruce, you get it).

Stand Up Live, 50 W. Jefferson St., #200, Phoenix, May 24 and 25, times vary, standuplive.com, $25

“The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein”
Young Frankenstein, Paul KolnikWant a side order of kitsch with your night at Arizona Broadway Theatre? “Young Frankenstein” is a musical of monstrous proportions of entertainment. Dr. Frankenstein and a cast of funny characters overcome the complications of reanimating a corpse through numbers such as “The Transylvania Mania” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” (Also, check out the delicious menu for this particular show.)
Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Ln., Peoria, May 23 to June 22, times vary, azbroadway.org, tickets (http://azbroadway.org/index.php/the-shows/2013-2014-series/the-new-mel-brooks-musical-young-frankenstein)

“The Composer is Dead”
Composer is Dead, iTunes, WEBLooking for a way to make a night at the symphony fun for the family? Lemony Snicket has brought his “A Series of Unfortunate Events” to the orchestra pit for a dreadfully entertaining and interactive “whodunnit” show. The composer is dead and the crowd must figure out who did it. The diva violins, overlooks violas, sneaky clarinets and wallflower tuba are all possible culprits…
Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, Sunday, May 25, 2:30 p.m., $11 to $19

“Hollywood Costume”
478207119Those ruby slippers. That Dalmatian coat. A fedora and whip. Costumes are sometimes what propel beloved movie characters into pop culture icons, more so than scripts or special effects and makeup magic. The Phoenix Art Museum’s “Hollywood Costume” exhibit has set the Valley abuzz with its famous folds of fabric on display. The exhibit features more than 100 of the most iconic costumes — from “The Wizard of Oz” to “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” “Titanic” and many, many others in an up-close showcase.
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Tues/Thurs. noon to 5 p.m., Wed. noon to 8:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sat/Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., phxart.org, $20 adults, $10 children, free for children 5 and younger

Memorial Day Ride
469789901This annual charitable motorcycle ride through the northwest Valley is in its fourth year. Things rev up at 8 a.m. at Sanderson Ford, takes a stop at Veterans Memorial Cemetery before continuing to Westgate for an evening of entertainment.
Sanderson Ford, 6400 N. 51st Ave., Glendale, Saturday, May 24, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., aztributerides.com, $25 per rider

Debbie Cotton - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Debbie Cotton – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Debbie CottonInterim director, Phoenix Convention Center

Cotton oversees daily operations of the Phoenix Convention Center, Executive Conference Center, Orpheum Theatre, Symphony Hall and five parking garages. She manages a staff of 240 employees, a budget of $47.5 million, and is the city’s chief representative to the state’s tourism and hospitality industry.

Surprising fact: “I have a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science from Western Illinois University and began my career working for Xerox Corporation.”

Biggest challenge: “Stepping up to manage the Phoenix Convention Center in the midst of a global economic crisis that greatly impacted the hospitality industry. Not only did I have to deal with the effects of the economic crisis, but I had to quickly learn about an industry that was new to me.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Phoenix Symphony Contest

Contest Allows Fans To Become Stars With The Phoenix Symphony

The Phoenix Symphony announces a video contest asking fans to record and send in their own renditions of Rat Pack classics and be entered to win a full evening of prizes to coincide with the Symphony’s Saturday, April 28, 2012 performance of The Rat Pack!.

Contestants submit videos via email between Tuesday April 3, 2012 through Friday April 20, 2012. The winner will be determined on the overall quality and creativity of the entry. The winner will be treated to an exciting evening out in downtown Phoenix that will begin with dinner for two at the elegant 1130 The Restaurant before making their way to Symphony Hall. Upon arrival the winner and their guest will be invited backstage to meet the three Broadway stars portraying Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. and The Phoenix Symphony’s Resident Conductor Joseph Young.

The Phoenix Symphony’s The Rat Pack! performances features Broadway stage veterans Sal Viviano, Nat Chandler and Eric Jordan as they recreate the music and charisma of the Rat Pack’s famous Sands Hotel performance.  Resident Conductor Joseph Young will lead the Symphony as they perform the Rat Pack’s famous hits.

In addition to the Grand Prize Winner, any individual who submits a video will automatically receive one free ticket to the Friday, April 27, 2012 performance of The Rat Pack!.

Videos must be either (1) attached to an email addressed to publicrelations@phoenixsymphony.org in .mov, .mp4, .mpg, or .wmv formats or (2) uploaded to YouTube and the entrant must provide the URL link to the video’s page. Included in the email must be the entrant’s full name, age, phone number and e-mail address.

Part of the APS Pops Series: The Rat Pack! will be held at Mesa Arts Center on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. and at Symphony Hall on April 27 at 8 p.m., April 28 at 8 p.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m.

Phoenix Orchestra Does More Than Deliver Music, 2011

Pangean Orchestra Does More Than Deliver Music

The Pangean Orchestra, based in Phoenix, opened just a year ago and has established an orchestra with people, instruments and sounds from all over the world. In fact,this is the first orchestra of its kind.

The unique thing about this group of 29 performers is they don’t play the typical instruments. Their music comes from different sounds of the bass guitar, sarode, woodwinds, horn, kaval, oud, doumbek, ukulele and more.

“I knew I needed a certain amount of winds, plucked strings, percussion and bowed strings,” says Colin O’Donohoe, director of the Pangean Orchestra. “My idea is that with a world orchestra, the actual instrument is interchangeable as long as we have enough of each type to create the sound we need.”

The plan of this group is to tie cultures together through music. Creating a new genre that will impact those that listen to it by adding bits and pieces of new and old to craft a completely unique sound.

“The idea came from me; I’ve spent the last 10-plus years working with ethnic groups of different types,” says O’Donohoe. “I founded and lead the New Moon Orchestra in Pittsburgh which was a Chinese ensemble. I’ve worked with African, Brazilian, Latin, Turkish, Arabic and other groups. After a while I thought, ‘What if…’ and that’s where the Pangean Orchestra was born.”

The orchestra opened on April 11, 2010 at Symphony Hall with an inaugural concert.

“The musicians were recruited by me,” says O’Donohoe. “Through diligent searching over the past two years I’ve been able to find several highly talented musicians in Phoenix. I asked them to join the group and most of them jumped at the chance to work with other talented professionals from all different backgrounds.”

O’Donohoe says the Pangean Orchestra explores the different cultures through music, expanding the learning of sound, native instruments and unity. As they travel around the country performing, the significance isn’t only the music but the ties of the people of different backgrounds.

“The main idea is a platform where people from all over the world are welcome,” says O’Donohoe. “I want to create an orchestra that shows the harmony of what is possible when the world shares one stage performs together.”

Visit the Pangean Orchestra’s website to listen to a few of their tracks or to purchase its mp3 track — 100 percent of the proceeds go to The Red Cross Japan.