Classical music events planned for NWA Artosphere Festival this month

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 473 views 

Several classical music events are planned throughout Northwest Arkansas this month, surrounding the gathering of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, comprised of professional musicians from throughout the world.

Celebrating “the intersection of art, music, nature and sustainability,” the eighth-annual Artosphere: Arkansas’ Arts + Nature Festival, presented by Walton Arts Center, is set for May 4-20.

AFO is now in its seventh year under Maestro Corrado Rovaris and features more than 90 musicians from major symphonies, ensembles and programs across the globe performing both classic and new works by leading composers, according to a Walton Arts Center press release.

AFO will perform three main concerts, including Live from Crystal Bridges: Mozart in the Museum on May 12 at 8 p.m. in Bentonville, Mendelssohn In Scotland at 7 p.m. on May 17 in Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, and the Artosphere Festival Finale at 8 p.m. on May 20 in Baum Walker Hall.

Mozart in the Museum will also be broadcast live on NPR affiliate KUAF 91.3 FM, and it will spotlight the orchestra’s principal clarinet player, Andrea Levine, bassoonist Wade Coufal, hornist Alexander Chin and oboist Rick Basehore as featured soloists, according to the press release.

Tickets are $10 for Mendelssohn In Scotland, described by the Walton Arts Center as an “invigorating performance” that “musically sketches Felix Mendelssohn’s 1829 three-week walking tour of Scotland.” The performance features his Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3 “Scottish,” as well as Johannes Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, according to the press release.

Tickets for the finale are $10. Musicians will perform Luciano Berio’s four original versions of the “Ritirata notturna di Madrid” of L. Boccherini, superimposed and transcribed for orchestra; Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7; and Avner Dorman’s Frozen in Time Percussion Concerto, featuring soloist Malavika Godbole.

Additional performances include the Chapel Music Series, with AFO’s founding principal strings and resident quartet performing the Dover Quartet: An Evening of Beethoven on May 9 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fayetteville and Live from Crystal Bridges: Dover Quartet on May 13.

AFO musicians will also perform causal “pop-up concerts” on May 18 in downtown Fayetteville during AFO: Off the Grid, according to the press release.

Off the Grid is a free event that starts at 7 p.m. on Dickson Street in Fayetteville.

“We are so excited to have the Artosphere Festival Orchestra return for its seventh season in Northwest Arkansas,” Walton Arts Center President and CEO Peter Lane said in the release. “Participating musicians have performed across the United States, Europe and Asia, delivering outstanding chamber music and orchestral performances, regularly bringing audiences to their feet. We’re thrilled to welcome Maestro Rovaris and the entire AFO ‘home’ for another exceptional festival season.”

Tickets and more information are available through the Artosphere App, by visiting or by calling the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479-443-5600.