Classically hip

Courtesy of San Juan Symphony

Brian Simmonds’ cover art conveys the high-energy and contemporary themes of the San Juan Symphony’s 2012-13 “Lollapalooza” season.

By Ted Holteen Herald staff writer

The San Juan Symphony is set to embark on one of its most ambitious seasons in recent memory, so it’s only fitting that the artwork selected to promote “Lollapalooza” is as bold as the music.

“We had seen Brian’s work in the “Open Art Surgery” graffiti exhibit at the Durango Arts Center in April and thought it would be a good fit with the outrageous programming,” said Kathy Myrick, executive director of San Juan Symphony.

Brian Simmonds is one of the stars of the groundbreaking exhibit. Call it street art, call it graffiti, call it what you will, but “Open Art Surgery” set attendance records during its run at the DAC and now Simmonds has the opportunity to deliver his art to even more new sets of eyes. For the 2010 Fort Lewis College graduate, it’s a rare and unique opportunity to put his artwork in front of a completely new and different audience.

Musical Director Arthur Post’s program for the 2012-13 season is infused with modern pieces and interpretations of classical works, and the choice of Simmonds as the featured artist is another way for the Symphony to reach a new audience. With everything from ’70s funk to a fugue on “Hey Jude,” not only ain’t this your grandma’s Symphony – it’s a whole new spin on classical music.

The season begins Sept. 29 with “Rock and Roll in Vienna,” and then “Dread, Redemption, Nirvana” (Nov. 10 – a particularly interesting program that includes Mozart’s Requiem as well as “Three or Four Days After the Death of Kurt Cobain” by Tim Brady), “Back to the Future” (Feb. 17), and “Bach and Beatlemania” (April 20).

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