When the Reno Philharmonic played its first concert on Aug. 3, 1969, then-music-director Gregory Stone rolled out a lush program populated solely by George Gershwin tunes.
This weekend, in celebration of the philharmonic’s 40th anniversary, new music director and conductor Laura Jackson is taking the orchestra back to its roots. Her first program as artistic leader of the orchestra is an all-Gershwin affair featuring guest vocalist Anita Johnson and Reno pianist Jim Winn.
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The Reno Philharmonic has hired Laura Jackson as its new music director and conductor, and executive director Tim Young says she was the favorite not only of the search committee but of orchestra musicians and the public. She is also the first woman to hold the orchestra’s top artistic post.
“I feel ecstatic,” Jackson said. “I really do. It’s often hard to sleep because I have so many ideas percolating in my head. Every piece I hear now, every piece I listen to, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to do this.’ “
Young said the orchestra’s search committee found each of the five finalists impressive, but it was Jackson who made the biggest impression.
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Alexander Van Alstyne is watching more than four months of hard work come together this week, and the Reno choreographer likes what he’s seeing.
“I’m extremely pleased,” he said of A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.” “It’s pretty amazing.”
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Those of you who live in Reno, may be interested in reading my interview with conductor Rebecca Miller, who is one of the finalists for the open music director position with the Reno Philharmonic. You’ll find the full story here: http://www.rgj.com/article/20081013/LIV/810130317/1089