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Porgy and Bess

January 12, 10:30 am1:00 pm

Touhill Performing Arts Center
1 Touhill Circle
St. Louis, 63121

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Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin

George Antheil A Jazz Symphony
Jeff Beal Violin Concerto (World Premiere)
Duke Ellington The Three Black Kings
George Gershwin Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture

This concert takes place at Touhill Performing Arts Center.

The SLSO and Jazz St. Louis come together for a very special festival. In three concerts over two weeks, Leonard Slatkin explores the ways jazz has enriched orchestral music. Each program ends with a work by George Gershwin, here suite from the opera Porgy and Bess. George Antheil’s Jazz Symphony is one of the first works of orchestral jazz, and Duke Ellington’s final work, The Three Black Kings was written as a eulogy for Martin Luther King, Jr. Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins makes her SLSO debut in Emmy winner Jeff Beal’s new jazz-inflected Violin Concerto.

A few things to know:

  • American violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins will be forever connected with the show Fiddler on the Roof. Hall-Tompkins was the “Fiddler” violin soloist on Broadway for more than a year. The New York Times hailed her in a feature article, and she plays on the Grammy-nominated cast album. She has appeared on all major television networks.
  • The Three Black Kings took some time to come to life. It was unfinished on Ellington’s death, so his son Mercer completed the work, and arranger Luther Henderson orchestrated it for a tribute concert for his father, where First Lady Betty Ford gave the downbeat. The “Three Kings” of the title are: King Balthazar (the Black king of the Nativity), King Solomon, and Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Jeff Beal is a five-time Emmy Award-winning composer, whose credits include House of Cards, HBO’s Rome, and Monk. He wrote The Paper-Lined Shack for the SLSO and Leonard Slatkin, who has been a champion of his work. A jazz musician himself, Beal composes, orchestrates, conducts, mixes, and often performs on his own scores.

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