Come Meet the Artist! Fridays at Noon – Allentown Symphony Orchestra 2016-17 Season


Allentown, PA – As the season is getting underway here at Miller Symphony Hall, there is an adult education and outreach program that often goes unheard of, which  provides an up-close and personal time with the artists behind the scenes.  Why frankly, it’s called: Meet the Artist. From Noon till 1:00, on the Friday before each symphony subscription (classical only) concert weekend, Allentown Symphony Orchestra Music Director/Conductor Diane Wittry leads a talk about the music for the weekend’s concert. Guest soloists are often on hand during this free get-together on stage at Miller Symphony Hall. We invite patrons to bring their bagged lunch to enjoy during the talk.

At this year’s Opening Season Gala concert we are excited that our artist that will grace the stage is none other than saxophonist, Branford Marsalis. He will be appearing on Friday, Oct. 14th at noon in an intimate setting on stage talking about his music, his career, experiences and his solo performance with the ASO. Artist bios and photos can be found on our website:

Also, appearing are the Conducting Fellows. The Conducting Fellows Program, sponsored by Margaret & William Hecht,  supports the opportunity for promising conductors to hone their craft and enrich their musical experience through mentorship and participation in the Allentown Symphony Association’s orchestral and community programs.

The Conducting Fellows travel to the Lehigh Valley to work side by side with Allentown Symphony Music Director and Conductor Diane Wittry, in advance of and during the production of a Classical Series Concert. Along the way, they learn intricacies involved in assembling and leading a regional symphony.

Fellows also meet with Association staff in order to learn the range of activities necessary to operate a symphony orchestra. Their visit includes a stop at the exemplary community-based program, El Sistema Lehigh Valley.

This season the Allentown Symphony Association is pleased to announce the Allentown Symphony Artists and Conducting Fellows for the 2016-2017 Season.  (photos and bios are attached).

Meet the Artist 2016-17 Season Schedule:

Opening Gala Concert Friday, October 14, 2016 at noon Artist: Branford Marsalis, Saxophone Anna Edwards, Conducting Fellow

Elgar’s Enigma Variations

Friday, November 4, 2016 at noon Artist: 2016 Schadt String Competition winner: Alexander Hersh; Larry Lipkis, Prof. of Music and Composer in Residence at  Moravian College.  A few of the local composers who won the Elgar competition will be in attendance, however here is the complete list below:

K-8 Category Winner:

  • Yash Pazhianur from Lambertville, NJ. Yash just completed 7th grade and was recently admitted into Julliard Precollege to major in Composition for the 2016-17 academic year. Yash will be in attendance.

High School and College Category Winners:

  • Christopher Lazzaro from Zionsville, PA. Christopher is currently a composition student at Temple University will be in attendance.
  • Griffin Woodard from Bethlehem, PA. A 2016 graduate of Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, Griffin will be attending Oberlin Conservatory this fall to major in Music Composition.

Adult—Advanced Musician Category Winner:

  • Steve Reisteter from Bethlehem, PA. An accomplished music educator, composer, arranger, and clarinetist, Steve performs regularly as a member of the Allentown Band and Allentown Symphony Orchestra.


Benjamin Nilles, Conducting Fellow


Viennese Nights

Friday, February 10, 2017 at noon: Artists: Jessica Lennick, soprano; Katie Mahan, piano; Joy Hirokawa, Director of Bel Canto Children’s Chorus;

Toru Tagawa, Conducting Fellow


Symphonic Organ Festival

Friday, March 10, 2017 at noon Artists: Hector Olivera, organist; Eric Ewazen, composer; Barry Holben, VP, Sales of Allen Organ

John Murton, Conducting Fellow


Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony No. 2

Friday, April 7, 2017 at noon Artists: Elizabeth De Trejo, Soprano; Charlotte Daw Paulsen, Mezzo Soprano; Eduardo Azzati, ASO Chorus Todd Craven, Conducting Fellow



Information provided by:
Lucy Bloise
VP of Marketing
Allentown Symphony Orchestra