Monday, December 3, 2007


Jacksonville-Based Ensemble Opens Worldwide Spotlight On City

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (November 28, 2007) – The Ritz Chamber Players, the nation’s only chamber music series comprised of the world’s pre-eminent African-American musicians, will kick off its seventh season at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2007, in Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, 300 West Water Street. The Jacksonville-based ensemble, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, made its triumphant, sold-out Carnegie Hall debut in June 2004, with critics proclaiming its performances as “extraordinary” and “vital and fresh.” The award-winning African-American musicians of the Ritz Chamber Players perform with legendary organizations, such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the London Symphony.

The four concerts comprising the 2007-2008 season will reflect the Ritz Chamber Players’ ongoing efforts to present outstanding chamber music concerts that are informative, accessible, and immensely enjoyable, while opening a window into the spirit and brilliance of the finest African-American classical musicians.

The season’s concerts each have a unique identity, beginning with Mozart in the Opening Concert on December 6, 2007; with the annual "In Remembrance of the Dream" Concert, January 24, 2008, in salute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; then following with Martinu in the Spring Concert on April 3, 2008; and ending with the Finale Concert on June 14, 2008. The "In Remembrance of the Dream" concert honors great leadership the contributions within the African-American community. This year’s award recipient is The Honorable Corrine Brown, Representative of the Third Congressional District of Florida, who was the first African-American sent to Congress from Florida since the Reconstruction years of the nineteenth century.

The Ritz Chamber Players’ musicians are critically-acclaimed and are chosen for their accomplishments in the world Classical music, in which African-American represent less than 3 percent of musicians. Each member is a graduate of one of our nation's most prestigious conservatories, including Juilliard, Oberlin, Curtis and Peabody, and has performed at the world’s most prestigious concert halls. The Ritz Chamber Players include performers such as Ann Hobson-Pilot, first African-American in the Boston Symphony, and winners of the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant: Tai Murray, hailed as a “child prodigy” and “the one to watch;” Demarre McGill, principal flutist of the San Diego Symphony; and international pianist, Terrence Wilson.

Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Terrance Patterson, The Ritz Chamber Players was dubbed “a remarkable ensemble” by the Baltimore Sun. It is dedicated to artistic excellence and innovation, and is specifically geared towards building the participation of the diverse audiences and communities that reflect our multicultural society.

This season one of the world’s leading musical trailblazers, international composer and Pulitzer Prize nominee David Baker, will join the Ritz Chamber Players as its 2007-2008 Composer-In-Residence. David Nathaniel Baker, Jr. was born December 21, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, IN, as well as conductor and artistic director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Dr. Baker was recently honored by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with their Living Jazz Legend Award.

“The Ritz Chamber Players is bringing world-class talent to Jacksonville and providing the city great exposure in the classical musical world. It is also an enormous resource for students and teachers,’’ Patterson says. “This season, we will be performing wide-ranging selections of music from Brahms to Perkinson and with astounding artistic combinations.”

The Ritz Chamber Players will make their yearly return to New York City for performances at the world-famous Apollo Theater on January 20, 2008, and crisscross the country with appearances from Baltimore, Md., to Seattle, WA.

Ritz Chamber Players 2007 -2008
4 Subscription Concerts
Concerts held in Jacoby Symphony Hall / Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
All concerts start at 7:30 PM

Opening Concert Thursday, December 6, 2007
“In Remembrance of the Dream” Thursday, January 24, 2008
Spring Concert Thursday, April 3, 2008
Season Finale Saturday, June 14, 2008

Online Special | $79.00 [Plus Fees] for all 4 concerts
Orchestra Seating | $89.00 [Plus Fees] for all 4 concerts
Single Tickets | $25.00 [Plus Fees]

Tickets can be purchased:
Call: Jacksonville Symphony Box Office (904) 354-5547 toll free (877) 662-6731
Fax: (904) 354-9238
Mail: 300 West Water Street, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Visit: Symphony Box Office, 300 West Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

No comments: