LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra joins forces with actor and activist George Takei, 2012 Celebrity Apprentice participant and Mr. Sulu of Star Trek fame, and over 400 chorus members to celebrate the human spirit.
Ode to Joy will be performed on Saturday, February 25 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 26 at 3 p.m. at the Robinson Center Music Hall. This concert is the fifth Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Concert and is sponsored by Windstream.
Takei, whose appearance is underwritten by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, will take the stage as narrator during Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw. The narration that accompanies this piece depicts the story of a concentration camp survivor from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Takei, a Japanese American who as a child was interned at an internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas during World War II, is a supporter of human right issues and community activist. Takei is chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles and was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton.
Just after Schoenberg's moving piece, Maestro Philip Mann and the ASO musicians will be joined by over 400 voices from the state of Arkansas for Beethoven's prayer for hope and peace, Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy. "This is perhaps the most recognizable work in the history of classical music, and for good reason," said Mann. "Its message of triumph and victory through a shared brotherhood between peoples is an enduring, timeless, and transcendent declaration. Seen as a watershed movement in music history, the work has gained such significance and is now synonymous with important moments in world history-like its performance marking the re-unification of Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall."
Children kindergarten through 12th grade can attend our Sunday matinee performances for free (with the purchase of an adult ticket) using the Entergy Kids Ticket - available for download at www.ArkansasSymphony.org. Adult single tickets range from $14-$52 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org or over the phone at (501) 666-1761. Student and military tickets are $10.
(Source: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra)