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Atlantic Symphony to end successful season at Braintree venue

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 25, 2013 04:51 PM

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Photo courtesy of Atlantic Symphony Orchestra

Conductor Jin Kim shakes the hand of Ethan Wood, concertmaster.

With nearly 400 seats already sold, the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is preparing to wrap up a successful season with a finale concert on Saturday.

“It’s been probably one of the better seasons we’ve had,” said Nina Wellford, acting executive director for the orchestra. “… The overall program was a great mix of favorite classical music but [there were] some stimulating and challenging new pieces. The programming was great, we had outstanding soloists, attendance was up - for many reasons, it was a very successful year.”

Members of the regional orchestra started their season in August in Hingham with a smaller show, moving into their full season in October, with performances at Thayer Academy.

Though the orchestra typically splits its concert performances between the 500-seat Thayer and the 1,100-seat Duxbury Performing Arts Center, Thayer became the home base this season while the Duxbury site was under construction.

“People knew where to find us and it was in the middle of the North/South Shore. And it’s a great place to play. You can have receptions and preconcert parties, which you can’t do easily at Duxbury,” Wellford said.

Yet the venue hasn’t been the prime reason for the orchestra’s most recent successes. According to Wellford, the reputation of the orchestra has steadily grown, making the concerts a destination.

“I think each year, more and more people hear about us and make us part of their plans,” Wellford said. “At a certain point you reach a tipping point. Enough people know about us and know it will be a good night out. At this point, attendance is much more steadily up.”

Previous seasons ended with a pops concert, but this season, that was moved to the winter.

“Everyone could use a party in the middle of the year, and this way we could end the season with a similar feel to opening night,” Wellford said. “It’s a festival classical music night rather than a pops, and represents who we are as an orchestra.”

This weekend's program will exemplify Music Director Jin Kim's combination of familiar classics -- "Appalachian Spring" by Aaron Copland and Brahms's Symphony No. 1 -- with a lesser-known work, John Knowles Paine's Overture to Shakespeare’s "As You Like It."

Though the final piece may seem out of place, the composer was an American, like Copland, with German training, like Brahms.

According to program notes, Paine was the first professor of music at Harvard, and composed this piece in 1876, the same year that Brahms finished his first symphony.

“It’s a nice example of [Kim’s] programming,” Wellford said.

For more information on the pieces, visit the Atlantic Symphony’s website.

For tickets or concert information, click here, or call 781-331-3600.

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