ROCO knows how to keep its F-word inspired season on everyone’s lips with “Fortune” on November 12 at The Church of St. John the Divine. The concert will take place on Saturday, November 12 at 5 p.m.
ROCO knows how to keep the interest churning. Having a season planned around the “F”-word has kept minds abuzz. But don’t worry. There’s nothing unseemly or unsightly…for this month, it stands for “Fortune,” on November 12 at The Church of St. John the Divine.
(But don’t keep those minds tuned out for what else the “F” might stand for in the future. This journalist is personally hoping for “Farfegnugen,” but that shall be debated at another time.)
The theme of the concert is in keeping with the group’s theme of “family, friends, fortune and future” for the season. The concert will take place on Saturday, November 12 at 5 p.m.
Conductor Delyana Lazarova makes her ROCO debut in a concert inspired by fantasy and fortune, leading the full chamber orchestra in two ROCO-commissioned world premieres, including William Bolcom‘s Dedication, orchestrated by Edmund Ciorek, and Judah Adashi‘s The Sun Begins To Fade. Also featured will be Finding Rothko by Adam Schoenberg, ROCO’s Season 18 Composer-in-Residence, inspired and accompanied by the visionary abstract paintings of Mark Rothko, along with Caroline Shaw’s elegant Entr’acte for strings. Completing the evening is Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 100, also nicknamed the “Military Symphony,” for its vivid second movement musically depicting battle.
Artistic Director Alecia Lawyer described the concert’s programming in succinct notes with, “It’s a military symphony in a nod to Veteran’s weekend.”
‘Tis true. And the orchestra will look forward to direction from Lazarova and is looking forward to her debut with the organization, especially given her background.
Lazarova won the inaugural Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition in February 2020 and secured her position as the 8th Assistant Conductor to Sir Mark Elder of the Hallé Orchestra Manchester and Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra in Manchester. She also has accolades from the Aspen Music Festival, the NRTA International Conducting Competition, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, California.
Lawyer backs up this pedigree and spends extra detail on how the relationship between a conductor and orchestra work.
“You have to have the knowledge to be able to manage multiple inputs and outputs. There’s a great mix of individual ideas, and you have to make it into a great fit in a clever way,” Lawyer said.
Lawyer compared how she picks her partners in the arts to a culinary background, something that Houstonians are quite familiar with.
“We take all the ingredients that are incredibly strong, but you find the best ingredients and really mix it into a great blend,” Lawyer said. “I think that’s what it is, it’s an interpretation. As musicians, I feel like we’re co-creators with the composer. The conductors have so much credit for their recordings, and it’s because they influence a collaboration, especially with their meeting of the minds from what gets performed on the stage.”
Houston knows food, and it knows music too, and ROCO has a way of bringing an honest, authentic representation to those who are willing to belly up to the table and participate in the interaction.
“Honestly, it’s a really eclectic way of a chef’s choice menu when you come to our concerts. And if you don’t like what we’re serving, just shove it around the plate a little bit and then pick up what you do like. We always like to have fun with things and find the unique connections between people and music. We like to find pieces that complement each other.”
We’ll take a bet on ROCO and trust that what it is serving is worthing taking a serving.
ROCO’s “Fortune” takes place at 5 p.m., Saturday, November 12 at The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks. For information or tickets, call 713-665-2700 or visit roco.org. Suggested ticket prices are free to $35.