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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Presents ‘Greetings from the Middle East: Folk Songs  & Scheherazade’

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra presents three performances of “Greetings from the Middle East: Folk Songs & Scheherazade” under the baton of Conductor Ruth Reinhardt. The program highlights Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s contemporary Azerbaijani Dance. Vali’s Folk Songs will feature mezzo-soprano Janna Baty, and the performance will conclude with the well-known Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Azerbaijani Dance is a new orchestral arrangement by young Israeli composer Avner Dorman, and was originally a piano work. Based on Azerbaijani melodies, it is a wild rhythmic celebration which combines various percussion instruments, central Asian rhythms, and middle-eastern scales with various quarter tones which are very different from the western-tempered scales. 

Folk Songs (Set No. 10), is the tenth set of an ongoing cycle of compositions based on Persian folk music by Iranian composer Reza Vali. The complex and enchanting rhythms of this work are ideally suited for Janna Baty, who performed the world premiere of this piece and is also featured on the only recording of the work. Vali’s orchestral compositions have been performed in the United States by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and many more.

Scheherazade, Op. 35, is a symphonic suite composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888 and based on One Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights). One of Rimsky-Korsakov’s most popular works, he called the piece “a kaleidoscope of fairytale images.” The score is full of enticing orchestral colors, fresh and stimulating melodies, and a rhythmic vitality.

Performances begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 21; 8 p.m. Friday, April 22 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23. Per the ISO health and safety guidelines, proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test administered within 72 hours of the concert start time is required for entry. Masks are optional at Hilbert Circle Theatre. For more information regarding the policies of the Hilbert Circle Theatre, please visit the ISO website.

Ruth Reinhardt is Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO). Reinhardt is quickly establishing herself as one of today’s most dynamic and nuanced young conductors, building a reputation for her musical intelligence, programmatic imagination, and elegant performances. Born in Germany, Reinhardt began studying violin at an early age and sang in children’s choruses. She attended Zurich’s University of the Arts to study violin and received her master’s degree in conducting from The Juilliard School.

Described by The Boston Globe as having “a rich, viola-like tone” and singing with “a rapturous, luminous lyricism,” mezzo-soprano Janna Baty enjoys a versatile career performing with opera companies, orchestras, and at festivals around the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Lyric Opera, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogota, Tanglewood Music Center, among many others.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at home and thriving in the heart of Indianapolis, offers an exceptional artistic and musical experience. The orchestra is open to all and dedicated to creating an inclusive and innovative experiential environment that is inspiring, educational, and welcoming. The ISO celebrates historically beloved performances while engaging audiences by introducing new voices through programming including the DeHaan Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series, the holiday traditions of AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration and the popular Bank of America Film Series. For more information, visit www.indianapolissymphony.org.