The Charlotte Symphony will celebrate Charlotte-born Romare Bearden and the ever-popular Tchaikovsky in its KnightSounds series next season.
KnightSounds, launched last fall to aim at newcomers to classical music, will grow to four programs in 2011-12 from this season's three. The hourlong concerts have a more-casual atmosphere than traditional performances, and admission includes appetizers and drinks during a preconcert social hour. Additional activities playing off each concert's theme will be announced later.
The four programs:
"Bearden 100 - Celebrating the Man through Music," Oct. 21. The orchestra will help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth. Music by Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland and others will be paired with Bearden's images of Mecklenburg County, Harlem and other places he lived and worked.
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"Carmina Burana," Feb. 24 and 25. The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte and Charlotte Children's Choir will join the orchestra in Carl Orff's lusty depictions of Medieval fun and games.
"To Tchaikovsky with Love," March 23. Performers from N.C. Dance Theatre and Opera Carolina will help the orchestra explore the composer's life and works as part of a monthlong Tchaikovsky festival.
"Joie de vivre - A Night in Paris," May 4. To cap off a selection of sensuous French music, Ravel's "Bolero" will be accompanied by a digital animation by New York-based video artist Matthew Weinstein.
Performances start at 7:30 p.m. at the Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St. Subscriptions are $125. Single tickets will go on sale in August. Details: 704-972-2000; www.charlottesymphony.org.