ARTOSPHERE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA- A Contemporary Take on Classical Music

The heartbeat of Artosphere, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra approaches classical music with a contemporary lens and fresh approach to reach audiences of all ages.

Going "Off the Grid" to bring music to audiences in downtown Fayetteville, Springdale and Siloam Springs, filling the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges with timeless notes surrounded by natural beauty, connecting live illustrations to a performance and a finale highlighting American composers - the Artosphere Festival Orchestra exceeds expectations!

Directed by Corrado Rovaris, music sirector of Opera Philadelphia, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra (AFO) was founded in 2011. Since its inception more than 90 world-class musicians from distinguished symphonies, chamber ensembles and music schools around the world travel to Northwest Arkansas to participate in the annual festival celebrating the convergence of arts, music, nature and sustainability. AFO musicians come from prestigious programs including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Austin Symphony, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony to name a few. 

Artosphere's 2018 Festival includes six performances by the orchestra, each dynamic and unexpected. 


Mozart In the Museum

Friday, June 15, 8 pm 

From the Great Hall of the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Maestro Rovaris leads the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in the 6th annual Mozart in the Museum performance. This exceptional program features Jonny Greenwood’s Water; Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto featuring Marie Tachouet, flute, and Cheryl Losey Feder, harp, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 “Prague.” 


Presented in partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This program is sold out, but you can listen live on KUAF 91.3 FM or come to the Fayetteville Trail Mix where it will be broadcast in the Walton Arts Center's Bradberry Amphitheater.
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AFO: Off the Grid

Musicians from the Artosphere Festival Orchestra go off the grid, leaving the concert hall to perform their favorite music in bars, coffee houses and restaurants. Hang our and enjoy these musicians playing everything from Bach to Beyoncé in bars, restaurants and clubs in Fayetteville, Downtown Springdale and Main Street Siloam Springs!

Follow along on social media and the Artosphere app to find where performances are happening for each city.  

Off the Grid: Fayetteville
Thursday, June 21, 7pm
Dickson Street Entertainment District in Fayetteville

Off the Grid: Downtown Springdale
Friday, June 22, 7pm
Downtown Area in Springdale

Off the Grid: Main Street Siloam Springs
Friday, June 22, 7pm
Downtown Area in Siloam Springs

*Pop-up concerts are likely to happen throughout Artosphere- watch the Artosphere App for sneak peaks & surprise AFO performances throughout the festival event!


Artosphere Festival Orchestra

Beethoven Masterworks

Tuesday, June 19, 7 pm

AFO performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the Emperor Concerto, features Italian pianist Maurizio Baglini. Beethoven's piece is known for its grandeur and bold melodies and Baglini's talent will take this performance to another level. 

Maurizio Baglini, called the visionary nonconformist pianist, boasts a brilliant career as soloist, chamber player, music teacher and artistic director. As soloist he has performed on stages including the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, Teatro alla Scala of Milan, Teatro San Carlo of Naples, Salle Gaveau of Paris and the Kennedy Center. Baglini is also a guest of prestigious festivals, including Roque d'Anthéron, Yokohama Piano Festival, Australian Chamber Music Festival, "Benedetti Michelangeli" of Bergamo and Brescia.

AFO will also present Symphony No. 6, the Pastoral Symphony. This piece is musical tribute to nature and the country setting where the symphony was written. In a letter to Therese Malfatti in the summer of 1808, Beethoven said "How happy I am to be able to walk among the shrubs, the trees, the woods, the grass and the rocks! For the woods, the trees and the rocks give man the resonance he needs."  This performance will be illustrated and animated by French artist Grégoire Pont, whose visual imagery drawn live will accent Beethoven’s work and delight audiences of all ages.


The American Spirit

Saturday, June 23, 8 pm

A contemporary American sampler, this concert will captivate audiences with a performance of four completely different compositions by American composers, intertwined in a fast-paced and timely performance.

The iconic works by Leonard Bernstein, Overture to Candide and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, move easily between established European traditions and those of American jazz and are mainstays of American musical theater.

The performance also includes Jennifer Higdon's Viola Concerto featuring Grammy®-winning violist Robert Díaz. This piece earned Brooklyn-born Higdon a 2018 Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music with the committee citing the work as "a deeply engaging piece that combines flowing lyricism and dazzling virtuosity."  

The performance ends with John Adams' orchestral fanfare, Short Ride in A Fast Machine. After he had been commissioned to write the piece, Adams happened to take a ride in an Italian sports car, and that was the inspiration behind this piece.

"Short Ride in a Fast Machine is somewhat of an evocation of that experience which was both thrilling and a white-knuckle, anxious experience," Adams said. 


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