Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Asheville Amadeus Festival returns March 10-19

The Asheville Symphony announces the return of the Asheville Amadeus festival, March 10-19,
2017. Internationally renowned Grammy Award-winning violinist Midori is the festival’s headlining soloist and artist-in-residence. The popular 2015 week-long festival has been expanded in 2017 to a 10-day festival inspired by Mozart’s life and music.

The 2017 festival involves more than a dozen community partners and is a community-wide event including casual and formal concerts with complementary theatrical productions, lectures, comedy, a masterclass, a chorus singalong, an Austrian Wine flight night, and even a signature beer from Highland Brewing Company.

Midori’s time in Asheville is part of her Orchestra Residencies Program. Because of Midori’s dedication to the support and nurturing of young musicians, the festival will explore music as a culture of mentorship. During her residency, Midori will present a schedule of performances, education programs, collaborations with community partners, and social events.

“Without any doubt Midori has reached the highest echelon of the classical world, yet what makes  her unique is her commitment and passion to sharing her love for great music with young people,” says Asheville Symphony Music Director Daniel Meyer. “Not content to simply fly into town and show off her technical wizardry on the violin, Midori has made it her life's mission to connect great music with people eager to learn about what makes music so special among the arts. Her collaboration with the Asheville Symphony in this Asheville Amadeus festival will have
her unmistakeable stamp on it, largely because she has indeed taken the lead in what she would like to do and with whom she would like to collaborate.”

The festival culminates with the Asheville Amadeus finale concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 19 with Midori performing alongside the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and the Asheville Symphony Chorus under the direction of ASO Music Director Daniel Meyer at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

“Asheville Amadeus has become special through this unique contact between top-flight artists like Emanuel Ax and Midori and our community,” says Meyer. “It is also special among music festivals in that we seek to connect with all of our artistic counterparts and provide experiences that complement and enhance what audiences will ultimately experience at the grand finale concert, where Midori will solo with the Asheville Symphony. There is really something for everyone in the Asheville Amadeus festival, and we would't have it any other way.”

Thomas Wolfe Auditorium will be transformed for the Asheville Amadeus finale concert with a 30-foot stage extension that will thrust the Asheville Symphony into the midst of the audience, with as many as 124 seats available onstage. Highland Brewing Company will host a free, family-friendly fesBval kickoff party at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 10, which will include the release of Wolfgang 1756, a commemoraBve Vienna-style lager brewed for the festival, and music by Mag Townsend, who is one of the arBsts featured on the Asheville Symphony Sessions album.

Asheville Amadeus officially opens on Saturday, March 11, with “brilliant” (Vanity Fair) musical comedy duo Igudesman & Joo performing their madcap romp And Now Mozart at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre.

Likened to Victor Borge and the Marx Brothers, violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-Ki Joo are an inventive comic duo whose mix of music, pop culture and zaniness has won them fans worldwide. The 2017 festival also includes the release of the Asheville Symphony’s latest recording project with Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. The album, MozarAsAc, is a family-style hip-hop take on the story of a young Mozart’s tour through Europe where his legend took root. It features musicians of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, pianist Orion Weiss, and DJ Marley Carroll.

MozarAsAc will be available in early March for streaming and digital download on 150 digital media outlets including iTunes, Apple Music, SpoBfy, Google Play, Pandora, and more. CD copies are available for sale via the Asheville Symphony website ( and will be available to purchase during the fesBval. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will perform an album release show for MozarAsAc at The Orange Peel on Sunday, March 19 at 2:30 p.m. (Bckets available via

Asheville Amadeus debuted in March 2015 with pianist Emanuel Ax. Over 20,000 people agended dozens of events in multiple venues during Asheville Amadeus 2015.

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