The Asheville Symphony is pleased to announce the event lineup for the 2019 Asheville Amadeus festival, a 10-day multi-genre Mozart-inspired event fit for all tastes and ages.
Kicking off on Friday, March 15 and ending with a bang on Sunday, March 24, the festival spans multiple Asheville venues, features collaborations with local favorites like Burial Beer Co. and joins forces with all-star musicians such as Gov’t Mule front man and GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, producer and revered guitarist Warren Haynes.
"For Asheville Amadeus 2019, we’re pairing rock’n’roll with Rachmaninoff,” says Asheville Symphony Executive Director David Whitehill. "And there’s no better way to celebrate than with rock guitarist Warren Haynes and Rach pianist Garrick Ohlsson.
First held in 2015, Asheville Amadeus has since become a much-anticipated biennial event — expanding in 2017 from a weeklong festival to a grand 10-day celebration. In 2019, the Asheville Symphony continues this tradition, with a festival that includes more than 30 public and private events.
Amadeus 2019 kicks off in a style perfectly fit for Asheville audiences — with two nights of brews and bands. On Friday, March 15, festival-goers should prepare to imbibe at Burial’s South Slope taproom for the release of The Righteous and Barbaric Souls Imperial Stout. With notes of apricot and scores of chocolate, the new Amadeus-inspired brew is an ode to all things lavish and profound — especially when paired with music, art and tasty treats from local chefs.
The next two evenings, on Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, Asheville Amadeus jams on stage with Warren Haynes in a symphonic rock performance, “Warren Haynes Presents: Dreams & Songs – A Symphonic Journey,” that’s sure to blow audiences away. Born and raised in Asheville, Warren Haynes is recognized as one of the finest guitar players in the world and part of three of the greatest rock groups in history — The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule and The Dead. For this special Amadeus performance, Haynes is joined by Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Dead & Co., The Aquarium Rescue Unit), John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood, Phil Lesh & Friends), Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Leftover Salmon) and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra for a symphonic take on his classic, career-spanning material. Rich Daniels, the musical director of The City Lights Orchestra in Chicago, will conduct.
Over the course of the next week, Amadeus kicks into high gear with performances ranging from “Ballet with Bach and Rach” with the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville to a rowdy evening of racy drinking songs at The Funkatorium with Asheville Choral Society featuring Tempus. On Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 20, LaZoom revs its purple bus’s engine for an Amadeus-only musical history tour of Asheville, hosted by local musician Andrew Fletcher.
Other events include a fashion show with the Asheville Symphonettes, a progressive chamber concert walking tour with Pan Harmonia, a special screening of “Shine” at Grail Moviehouse, a flight night of Austrian wines at Burial Beer Co.’s new Forestry Camp Restaurant and Bar, a candid chat with music professionals and a series of interactive musical experiences for children.
On Saturday, March 23, all-star pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra for the 2019 finale eve concert, featuring Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2. This concert features all five orchestras of the ASYO: the Youth Orchestra, Philharmonia, Prelude Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and the Percussion Ensemble.
For the big finale, Rach the night away with Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 and a powerhouse performance of two masterful Rachmaninoff compositions: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Piano Concerto No. 2 — with expert Rachmaninoff interpreter Ohlsson on the piano. Asheville Symphony Music Director Darko Butorac will join the orchestra on the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium’s giant stage, complete with a 32-foot stage extension that thrusts the Symphony into the audience.
“Doing two Rachmaninoff pieces is almost unheard of,” Whitehill says. “It’s absolute gluttony. It’s an embarrassment of musical riches — and a rare opportunity to see two of the most beloved, virtuosic, difficult concertos in one evening.”
Tickets for festival events are on sale now, with event prices ranging from free to $93, depending on the event. Details and purchase instructions for individual events can be found at ashevilleamadeus.org. For more information call or visit the Asheville Symphony offices, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: 828.254.7046, 27 College Pl., Suite 100.
For the full schedule of festival events, visit ashevilleamadeus.org.