Senza Surprise

The Blue Ridge Orchestra leads off its 2022-2023 Season with two afternoon performances of Senza Surprise, October 8th and 9th, in Lipinsky Auditorum, UNC Asheville. The concert features Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 94, known as the Surprise Symphony for reasons better experienced than described.

The program opens under the baton of Music Director Milton Crotts with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, composed as incidental music for a now obscure play about a 5th century Roman general who first saves and then betrays his country. Beethoven’s flair for the dramatic is on display in this musical portrayal of Coriolan’s triumphs and defeats, haunted by his mother’s anguish at his fate. After the intensity of Beethoven, the program takes a lighter turn as the orchestra accompanies BRO clarinetists Gary Spaulding and Justin Landry performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Concert Piece No. 2 with Two Clarinets and Orchestra. A delightful exhibition of the instrument’s tone, range, and versatility, Concert Piece No. 2 displays the composer’s sense of fun -- for both the soloists and their audience. The Surprise Symphony is one of six symphonies Haydn composed in Paris between 1785 and 1786, which have been described as “miracles of beauty and formal perfection.” Music lovers are cordially invited to share the energy of this perennial favorite performed by the Blue Ridge Orchestra, Western North Carolina’s premiere community orchestra.

Crotts notes, “This season opener is designed to bring the orchestra and our audiences together to share music composed in different eras, in different genres, and in different styles by three of the greatest classical composers. Audiences will appreciate the contrasts and mood changes not only among the pieces, but within each piece.”

Details: October 8th & 9th, 2022, 3pm both days in Lipinsky Auditorium at UNC Asheville. Tickets ($20 general admission, $15 members, $5 students). Please note that COVID-19 protocols apply.

Info:,  Facebook, Instagram, or call 828-782-3354.

Map loading icon