By Ted McIrvine

The 2016-17 season of the Asheville Symphony began with a splendid concert. Music Director Daniel Meyer conducted an all-Tchaikovsky program that concluded with the impressive Jennifer Koh as soloist in the Violin Concerto in D.

In comments at UNC-Asheville the previous day, Maestro Meyer said that as a young conductor, he had decided never to propose a program dedicated to one composer. But in planning this season (his last full season with the ASO), he realized that he could present a program with great contrasts by choosing Tchaikovsky as his “one composer.” Tchaikovsky wrote operas, ballets, tone poems, symphonies and several great concerti. There is much to choose from in the repertoire for full orchestra.

As the opener, Meyer had chosen The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite, Op. 66a, arranged by the composer in 1889 through a reordering of some memorable moments from the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. This is a fine ballet – not staged as often as it should be. I have seen it danced just once, while I have seen four complete performances of Swan Lake (once notably featuring Margot Fonteyn and the Sadler’s Wells Ballet) and over a dozen of The Nutcracker – so many that I have lost count. READ MORE