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APO Concert Combines Laughs, Classics

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The Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra's upcoming concert "Humor in Music" is a good chance to poke a little bit of good-natured fun at the usually serious genre of classical music, says APO Executive Director Jason Miller.

"We really wanted to focus on the cheeky side of music," says Miller. "A lot of composers really like to amuse themselves by composing music that made fun of their own music or the music of others."

FAQ

‘Humor in Music’

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE — Arend Arts Center in Bentonville

COST — $5-$45

INFO — 841-4644

The program will include six selections, the last of which, "Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra", is a new piece written by P.D.Q. Bach -- also known as composer and parodist Peter Schickele.

"We're really fortunate to have the Midwest premiere of this concerto," says Miller. "He is the master of poking fun at famous composers of the past. What I love about Peter is that he always announces himself as 'the 21st of 20 children of Bach.' He's in his 90s now, and is still writing music. I love that he wants to try and make music accessible by making it more fun."

Miller says that there will be plenty of laughs during the concert, even for those who may miss some of of the classical music in-jokes.

"Our conductor, Steven Byess, will give a little bit of inside information into what the composer was thinking at the time and point out some of the parts of the music that is being parodied," he says. "Our piano soloist, Jeffery Biegel, is so good at slapstick physical comedy, and the new concerto is just chock full of that. Even if you don't understand or catch all of the humor hidden in the piece, you're still going to enjoy it because it's so funny.

"This show should be a lot of fun for families and people of all ages."

-- Lara Hightower

lhightower@nwadg.com

NAN What's Up on 11/10/2017

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