Arkansas Symphony’s CANVAS Festival Grand Finale to Feature Beethoven with a Live Painting, Pre-Concert Street Party, and Live Simulcast of the Concert

Little Rock, ARK, March 20, 2018 – The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra along with Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, present  the sixth and final concert of the 2017-2018 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season,  Beethoven & Blue JeansSaturday, April 14th at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 15th at 3:00 p.m. at the Robinson Performance Hall.  The orchestra will be dressed in blue jeans for this casual concert, and patrons are encouraged to do the same.

The program features works inspired by visual art, including Finding Rothko by ASO’s Composer of the Year, Adam Schoenberg, Ravel’s  Ma Mère l’Oye(Mother Goose Suite), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral.”

As ASO performs the “Pastoral” Symphony, American Impressionist Barry Thomas will paint on-stage in real time. The concert, including Thomas’ process, will be filmed to be projected for audiences in Robinson Center and streamed live for audiences on the lawn of the Arkansas Arts Center. The concert is the culmination of ASO’s CANVAS festival, which began in January and presents music and visual arts together. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Pre-Concert Beer & Brats Street Party

Patrons are invited to enjoy free brats, low-priced local beer, and live music from the Episcopal Collegiate School Steel Band preceding the concerts. The party begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and begins at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The party is located on the 400 block of West Markham Street in front of the Robinson Center and admission is complimentary with tickets to Beethoven & Blue Jeans.

Food Drive Benefitting the Arkansas Foodbank

The League of American Orchestras and Feeding America are partners in a program called Orchestras Feeding America. As part of this program, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Foodbank will again work together for a food drive at ASO concerts, beginning with Beethoven & Blue Jeans and ending with the ASO’s final 2017-2018 concert in May. Any patron who brings at least 12 food items to the Beer & Brats Street party, or any concert for the rest of the ASO season, will be given a voucher good for two free tickets to any upcoming ASO subscription concert.

CANVAS Festival

The CANVAS Festival combines visual arts with the performance of live symphonic music, allowing both art forms to influence the experiences of audiences and musicians. The festival, which began in January, is made possible by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. CANVAS will culminate in the performance of Beethoven & Blue Jeans at Robinson Center. Ahead of the concert ASO will present education programs for Arkansans of all ages, collaborative community outreach, and performances throughout Little Rock that will feature visual art thematically combined with symphonic music.

Concert Conversations

 All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $15, $35, $55, and $65; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at Please note: the Entergy Kids’ Ticket Voucher much be redeemed for a reserved seat by calling the Box Office in advance or presenting it at the Box Office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert.


Philip Mann, conductor

Barry Thomas, painter



SCHOENBERG, Adam      Finding Rothko for Chamber Orchestra, Movements: Orange, Yellow, Red, Wine

RAVEL                                   Ma Mère l’Oye: 5 pièces enfantines (Suite) from Mother Goose

BEETHOVEN                       Symphony No. 6 in F Major, “Pastoral”


Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 52nd full season in 2017-2018, under the leadership of Music Director Philip Mann. ASO is the resident orchestra of Robinson Center Music Hall, to which the ASO returned in November of 2016 after a two-year renovation of the historic structure. ASO performs more than sixty concerts each year for more than 165,000 people through its Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series, ACXIOM Pops LIVE! Series, River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series, Intimate Neighborhood Concerts, and numerous concerts performed around the state of Arkansas, in addition to serving central Arkansas through numerous community outreach programs and bringing live symphonic music education to over 26,000 school children and over 200 schools. ASO is a member of the League of American Orchestras.

Arkansas Foodbank
Arkansas Foodbank, the largest food bank in Arkansas, is a member of Feeding America and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. Its recent merger with the Arkansas Rice Depot creates new and innovative programming focused on serving hungry Arkansans with more healthy and nutritious food. Programs like Food For Kids, Food For Families, and Food For Seniors provide food and other resources for more than 450 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, colleges, shelters, senior centers, summer feeding sites, and other agencies that provide aid directly to hungry Arkansans. The Foodbank primarily serves 33 counties in Central and Southern Arkansas but also assists other Feeding America food banks in the state and region.  For information on how you can fight hunger, visit

Orchestras Feeding America

The League of American Orchestras first joined forces with Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, in 2009. More than 215 orchestras in all 50 states participated in an unprecedented coordinated effort by collecting and donating food to their local food assistance agency or food bank within Feeding America’s network of more than 200 food banks and 60,000 agencies. Since then, over 360 orchestras have participated in the annual effort.

For more information about the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra call 501-666-1761 or visit

Program notes, artist bios and high resolution headshots available upon request.