Savannah Philharmonic Opening Night Concert Set for September 11

The Savannah Philharmonic will open the 2011/2012 season with the perennial favorite “The American Spirit” at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 5:00pm.

The full Orchestra and Chorus will perform in commemoration of Patriot Day on this tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Popular compositions from Copland, Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, and others will be included in the evening’s program.

“Anyone who is patriotic and loves music will want to be at this concert,” says Peter Shannon, conductor and artistic director of the Savannah Philharmonic. “From Fanfare for the Common Man with Color Guard, to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, to the West Side Story Medley, to the deafening, energetic ending of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, there is no better way to start the season.”

The Philharmonic is also thrilled to announce that Shaun Tirrell will mark his third performance with the orchestra at “The American Spirit” concert. Continuing to garner praise from music critics and audiences worldwide, he was called a “Hurricane at the Piano” at his recent solo debut in Bayreuth Germany.

For his solo concert at the Kennedy Center, the Washington Post noted his Chopin for “having an impressive control of phrasing and dynamics and the kind of expressive freedom and emotional depth that lie in the heart of Chopin’s style.” The Irish Times, speaking of his live radio concert with the Irish National Symphony, said “The American pianist thundered through the Liszt with great style and stunning virtuosity.” The distinguished piano soloist will perform Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue on opening night and will also emcee the event.

Mr. Tirrell’s upcoming engagements for the 2011- 2012 season include solo concerts in Washington DC, Atlanta, Baltimore and concerto engagements with the Washington Soloists and St. Petersburg Symphony. Mr. Tirrell will be featured playing Tchaikovsky’s magnificent Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor here with the Savannah Philharmonic this November.

Mr. Tirrell appeared as soloist with the Concert Artist’s of Baltimore, the Savannah Philharmonic and the Washington Soloists.

Shaun Tirrell earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin Conservatory, studying under Joseph Schwartz and receiving the John Elvin Prize and the Rudolph Serkin Prize. Further studies under Julian Martin at Peabody Conservatory led to a Masters of Music degree and acceptance into the prestigious Artist Diploma Program. He shared first prize in the Pro Piano International Competition in New York. Mr. Tirrell lives in Gaithersburg MD with his wife and three children.

Concert tickets are available for purchase at or by calling the box office at (912) 525-5050. Ticket prices are $16 to $55 with limited seats at $100. Half of the proceeds from the $100 tickets will be divided equally between the First Ranger Battalion Sua Sponte Foundation and the Military Family Relief Fund.

Season subscription packages, as well as individual tickets for single concerts, are now on sale. Please call the Savannah Box Office at (912) 525-5050 for more information.

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra is a professional per-service symphony orchestra.

The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus is a community-based auditioned ensemble that works regularly with the orchestra in an oratorio and opera setting, as well as performing a wide range of music from a cappella Baroque to rock and pop standards.

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