December 8, 2019

Itzhak Perlman’s UMW Show ‘Hauntingly Beautiful’

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman opened University of Mary Washington Philharmonic’s 49th season with a sold-out concert on Saturday, Oct. 26. Nearly 1,300 people packed Dodd Auditorium for the show, which was part of the Philharmonic’s annual Celebrity Concert Series. Perlman was the first artist to return to campus in the series’ 15-year history. Perlman performed […]

Itzhak Perlman’s UMW Show ‘Hauntingly Beautiful’

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman opened University of Mary Washington Philharmonic’s 49th season with a sold-out concert on Saturday, Oct. 26. Nearly 1,300 people packed Dodd Auditorium for the show, which was part of the Philharmonic’s annual Celebrity Concert Series. Perlman was the first artist to return to campus in the series’ 15-year history. Perlman performed […]

Audra Bielke: Going in on a High Note

UMW Philharmonic Operations Manager Audra Bielke. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

UMW Philharmonic Operations Manager Audra Bielke. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

You’d think Audra Bielke would always keep her cool around famous people. After all, the UMW Philharmonic’s operations manager already has one season under her belt of juggling logistics for the popular Celebrity Concert Series. But being in the presence of one legendary opera diva left her star-struck.

“Before I worked at Mary Washington, I attended Renée Fleming’s concert with the Philharmonic in fall 2017,” said Bielke, who hails from Minnesota and traded brutal winters for Virginia’s scorching summers over a decade ago. “I’m a longtime fan and have seen her perform several times, so I was delighted when she came to Fredericksburg!”

These days, Bielke takes in stride the aura of celebrities; helping the musical luminaries who come to campus is all part of her gig. Her responsibilities include making arrangements for guest performers, coordinating volunteers and planning special events for the orchestra. And that’s in addition to stewarding Friends of the Philharmonic. “We have hundreds of dedicated supporters, and I enjoy getting to know them all,” she said.

Though it’s still a month away, Bielke is already preparing for the return of virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman, who kicks off the Philharmonic’s 49th season on Oct. 26.

“I’m always cognizant that our performances not only represent the Philharmonic, but also Mary Washington as a whole,” Bielke said. “So it’s important that everything is perfect.”

Tickets for the Celebrity Concert Series performance with Itzhak Perlman went on sale Sept. 23 for the general public. Contact the Philharmonic office at (540) 654-1324 with questions or for a season brochure.

 

Q: What brought you to Mary Washington?
A: I helped plan the 2017 Concert for Hope with the UMW Philharmonic to benefit Loisann’s Hope House. This community effort raised over $200,000 to end homelessness in our region. I was thrilled when an opportunity later arose to be employed by the orchestra.

Q: What’s your musical background?
A: I grew up playing piano and clarinet. Alas, I’m a better operations manager, so I now leave playing music to the pros.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of classical music?
A: Vaughn Williams’ “The Lark Ascending.” I live in a rural area, and it’s visceral and soothing to listen to this piece while watching the nature surrounding me.

Q: What would you say to someone who has never listened to classical music?
A: Come to our Fiddlestix family concert on Oct. 20, which is free and open to the public.

Q: What makes the Philharmonic unique?
A: The community-orchestra partnership is very special. Our students play alongside and learn from local musicians and vice versa.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I have a master’s degree in international relations and studied Mandarin Chinese.

Q: What do you enjoy about working in Pollard?
A: My office abuts the music practice rooms, so I listen to students playing their instruments all day. Thanks to guidance from our music faculty, I get to hear their progress throughout the semester.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Leave nothing to chance. It’s served me well in this job.

Itzhak Perlman Opens UMW Philharmonic’s 2019-20 Season

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman returns to perform with the UMW Philharmonic on Oct. 26. Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco.

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman returns to perform with the UMW Philharmonic on Oct. 26. Photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco.

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman kicks off the UMW Philharmonic’s 49th season this fall. Concerts continue through the spring with an appearance by Mary Washington’s new artist-in-residence, as well as a tribute to American icon Norman Rockwell and an actor-led celebration of national treasures from Abraham Lincoln to America’s pastime. The series runs October through April in Dodd Auditorium.

The first artist to return to campus in the 15 years of UMW’s Celebrity Concert Series, Perlman will join the Philharmonic to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto on Saturday, October 26. The program also includes Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Read more. 

Itzhak Perlman Opens UMW Philharmonic’s 2019-20 Season

Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman kicks off the UMW Philharmonic’s 49th season this fall. Concerts continue through the spring with an appearance by Mary Washington’s new artist-in-residence, as well as a tribute to American icon Norman Rockwell and an actor-led celebration of national treasures from Abraham Lincoln to America’s pastime. The series runs October through April […]

UMW Philharmonic with Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, April 26

The UMW Philharmonic, conducted by Kevin P. Bartram, joins violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg for a Masterworks performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons this Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium. Passion, excitement and innovation are the hallmarks of this internationally acclaimed violinist’s artistry. Praised for her compelling performances, daring interpretations and electric stage presence, Salerno-Sonnenberg is renowned for her work on stage and in the recording studio. Tickets are $20-$85 and can be purchased at umwphilharmonic.com or by calling (540) 654-1324. Four Seasons flyer

UMW Philharmonic Presents “The Planets” with LeVar Burton on March 23

UMW Philharmonic presents Gustav Holst's "The Planets" with guest narrator LeVar Burton.

UMW Philharmonic presents Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” with guest narrator LeVar Burton.

Tickets are still available for the UMW Philharmonic’s performance with guest narrator LeVar Burton on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Dodd Auditorium. Star Trek‘s legendary Geordi La Forge, Mr. Burton will join Maestro Kevin Bartram at the helm in this intergalactic concert featuring Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” Together they will go where Fredericksburg has not gone before with this and other Sci-Fi classics, including music from John Williams’ E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial score and Star Trek. Tickets are $30-$60 and can be purchased at the ticket window in Dodd Auditorium on Saturday evening.

Visit umwphilharmonic.com or call (540) 654-1324 for more information.

Bartram Talks Christmas Carols on Virginia Public Radio Show

Modern holiday songs are great, but nothing says “Christmastime” like a classic carol. UMW Philharmonic Orchestra Director Kevin Bartram will share his thoughts on some of the most famous yuletide compositions with audiences across the nation on the With Good Reason (WGR) radio show, beginning this Saturday, Dec. 22. The episode, Holiday Favorites and Memories, […]

UMW Philharmonic Performs Halloween Star Wars Concert

The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic continues its 2017-18 season with a children’s Halloween concert on Friday, Oct. 27. The annual Fiddlestix Instrument Petting Zoo has become a cherished community tradition. This year’s theme, Star Wars, will feature the opportunity for children to meet the instruments of the orchestra and then to hear a concert. […]

UMW Philharmonic Season Opener Tickets on Sale

Tickets will go on sale Monday, Aug. 21, for the 2017-18 season opener of the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic’s Celebrity Series featuring world-renowned opera star Renee Fleming. Called “An Evening with Renée Fleming,” the performance will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 26 in George Washington’s Hall, Dodd Auditorium. Known as “The People’s Diva,” Fleming […]