Arts & Culture

Kick off your February with UK Symphony Orchestra concert of 'Romeo and Juliet,' 3 premieres

Salina Fisher in underground hall/tunnel playing violin
Friday's concert will feature premieres of the work of New Zealand's Salina Fisher, composer-in-residence at UK School of Music. Photo provided.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2023) —​ University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestrawill kick off the spring semester with two "Romeo and Juliet" pieces and three premiere works by a New Zealand composer 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at the Singletary Center for the ArtsConcert Hall. 

The orchestra will perform Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture” and Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet.” 

Joining Maestro John Nardolillo  will be the orchestra’s composer-in-residence, Salina Fisher. She will be premiering three of her new works at the concert: the Kentucky premiere of “Murmuring Light” and “Tupaia,” and the United States premiere of “Kintsugi.” Fisher will travel from New Zealand to Lexington for the performance. 

Salina Fisher is an award-winning New Zealand composer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Her highly evocative music often draws on her Japanese heritage, as well as a fascination with the natural world. With a background as a violinist, Fisher finds lyricism in unusual timbres and extended tonalities, with a sensitivity to detail and gesture. Her music has been commissioned by ensembles including New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Marmen Quartet, New Zealand String Quartet, NZTrio; and performed worldwide at venues including Lincoln Center, Philharmonie Berlin, Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Kennedy Center. In 2022-2023, her music has been programmed by the New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia, and Ulster Orchestras; Land’s End Ensemble, Syzygy Ensemble and Alexi Kenney. 

Tickets for UK Symphony Orchestra concerts are $10 for general admission, $4 for students, and free for UK students with a valid ID before the day of the performance (at the Singletary Center ticket office). Tickets are available through the Singletary Center ticket office online, by phone at 859-257-4929, or in person at the venue. Children 6 and older are welcome.   

Founded in 1918, the UKSO is a 100-member all-student orchestra, presenting classical, chamber, opera and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. The orchestra has regularly performed with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, LangLang, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Christine Brewer, Pink Martini, Ronan Tynan, Mark O’Connor, Wynonna Judd, Keith Lockhart and Arlo Guthrie.   

UK’s orchestra has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., tours the state of Kentucky regularly and has toured China, playing concerts in major concert halls in Shanghai, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Yangzhou and Beijing. The orchestra’s performance at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts was broadcast on China Central Television, a network reaching more than 1.5 billion viewers. In the fall of 2010, the orchestra played for the opening ceremonies of the World Equestrian Games, a performance that featured more than 1,500 performers and 200 horses that was seen live on NBC in the United States by 39 million people, and by an estimated 500 million more television viewers worldwide.   

Maestro John Nardolillo has appeared with more than 30 of the country’s leading orchestras, including the Boston Pops, the National Symphony, and principal orchestras of Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Milwaukee, Utah, Columbus, Indianapolis, Oregon, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Alabama, Louisville, Missouri, North Carolina, Toledo, Vermont, Columbus, Omaha and Hawaii. He also recently conducted concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; and Carnegie Hall in New York. Nardolillo made his professional conducting debut in 1994 at the Sully Festival in France and has since made conducting appearances in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic and China. He has led major American orchestras in subscription series concerts, summer and pops concerts, education concerts and tours, and for television and radio broadcasts. Nardolillo is the artistic director of the Prague Summer Nights Music Festival, and in 2004, he joined the faculty at the UK School of Music, where he serves as the director of orchestras.   

The UK Symphony Orchestra is housed in theSchool of MusicatUK College of Fine Arts. The UK School of Music has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history.  

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.