Highlighting the mastery of its revered musicians, the Las Vegas Philharmonic presents its Musicians’ Choice concert featuring solo performances by its principal musicians as part of its 2017-18 season Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. inside Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

A preconcert discussion, hosted by Philharmonic music director Donato Cabrera, will be held inside the theater an hour prior to the performance to allow interested patrons the opportunity to learn more about the evening’s featured music.

Conducted by Cabrera, the symphony orchestra will present a robust concert program showcasing pieces selected by members of the Philharmonic. The orchestra’s Kimberly Glennie, harpist; Stephen Caplan, oboist; and Andrew Smith, cellist will present solo numbers during the concert. 

Glennie has been the principal harpist for the Las Vegas Philharmonic since its inception in 1998.  Locally, her career has taken her on and off the Strip, performing with artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Celine Dion, Cher, Martina McBride and Faith Hill.

She also has recorded soundtracks for movies and television, and has performed for presidents and royalty. She is currently the harp faculty at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Southern Nevada and Nevada School of the Arts.

“These dances transport me to a mythical time and place,” said Glennie, who delights listeners with her presentation of Claude Debussy’s “Danses sacrée et profane.” 

“I love this piece because it gives voice to the magic and enchantment of the harp,” she said about the piece, which was created for harp and string.

Donato Cabrera, Las Vegas Philharmonic music director

Donato Cabrera, Las Vegas Philharmonic music director

Stephen Caplan exemplifies virtuosity while delivering his performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Oboe Concerto.” The concerto, composed in an English pastoral style representative of the British countryside and its people, presents warm and yearnful music that showcases the oboe’s lyricism.

“This piece is one of my favorite works to play. It’s the composer’s highly personal response to World War II — beautiful, nostalgic and intensely moving,” Caplan said.

Aside from the Philharmonic, Caplan has performed in orchestras for numerous “superstars” on the Strip and is a music professor at UNLV. In the summertime, he performs and teaches at the Renova Music Festival in western Pennsylvania and the Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Alps.

Caplan is the only performing artist to receive the Nevada Arts Council’s prestigious Artist Fellowship Award three times. He also has authored two books for oboe players, Oboemotions: What Every Oboe Player Needs to Know About the Body and The Breathing Book for Oboe.

Smith has been principal cellist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic since 2008. He is an associate professor of music at UNLV, where he performs regularly as a member of The Cerberus Trio. He is also a member of the Camerata Dei ensemble of The Festival Internacional de Deiá in Mallorca, Spain, and a founding member of The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in southern Italy. 

He has won several awards and prizes, including first prize in the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competition in Santa Barbara, California, and an Esperia Foundation grant to study with the eminent Hungarian cellist Csaba Onczay at the Liszt Academy in Budapest.

Smith will perform Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s “Cello Concerto in A Major.” Composed in 1753, the cello concerto demonstrates the light eloquence of the early Classical style of music, which is characterized by simplified melodies with accompaniment, as well as varying dynamics and phrasing.

The Musician’s Choice concert concludes with a performance of Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Theme” by Thomas Tallis, a 16th-century composer. The powerfully poignant piece features an all-strings ensemble.

For tickets to the Musician’s Choice concert, call The Smith Center box office at 702.749.2000, or log on to lvphil.org or thesmithcenter.com/event/musicians-choice.

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