‘Spanish Passions & Nordic Vistas’ with the Concord Orchestra  

January 19, 2024

The Concord Orchestra presents “Spanish Passions & Nordic Vistas” at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27 at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden.  

The orchestra, directed by guest conductor Robert Lehmann, performs a program of Georges Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1, Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole and Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3. Charles Dimmick is the violin soloist for Symphonie Espagnole. A pre-concert talk by the conductor is scheduled for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. 

Praised by the Boston Globe for his “cool clarity of expression,” Dimmick is co-concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade and concertmaster of both the Portland Symphony and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. In the summers, Charles serves as the concertmaster of the New Hampshire Music Festival. Charles has appeared as guest concertmaster for the Arizona Music Fest and the Winston-Salem Symphony.   

Conductor Robert Lehmann is professor of music and director of strings studies and orchestral activities at the University of Southern Maine School of Music, where he conducts the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra. He is also music director of the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra and the White Mountain Bach Festival in New Hampshire. 

The orchestra performs two Spanish-themed pieces by French composers: George Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1 and Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole. Both pieces premiered in 1875. The Lalo was originally composed for the Spanish violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate. Carmen Suite No. 1 includes some of the most familiar tunes from the popular opera. 

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ music is inspired by the lakes and forests of his native country, the long winter nights and the endless summer days when the sun never sets. Finnish folk music also influenced his music, as demonstrated by the dance rhythm at the beginning of the first movement of Symphony No. 3, as well as the slow melody in the second movement. Audiences in 1907, when the work premiered, expected music more like his romantic Symphony No. 2 and were surprised by Sibelius’ relatively restrained third symphony. 

The program is supported in part by grants from the Acton-Boxborough, Bedford, Carlisle and Concord Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council. 

Tickets for adults and seniors are $25. Admission for youth under 18 is free. For tickets and information, call (978) 369-4967 or visit www.concordorchestra.com.