Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra

The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra

The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra — a youth orchestra from the San Francisco Bay Area — will take its audience on a journey "Across the Centuries" at 8 p.m. Monday, June 23, in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival campus, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

The concert will begin with George Frideric Handel's Baroque-era "Concerto Grosso," with several contrasting movements for orchestra and soloists.

"Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," also known as the "Tallis Fantasia," by British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, will transport listeners back four centuries with its haunting melody.

Finally, Ernest Bloch's "Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life" will present ancient Jewish melodies joined by violin soloist Jory Fankuchen.

Fankuchen has performed throughout the country with his string quartet, winning first prize in the Chamber Music International Competition. He's joined PACO for a concert showcasing "the passion of youth and the thrill of music-making."

PACO's founder, William Whitson, began introducing young string players to chamber music about 48 years ago, bringing a group to Ashland each year for nearly 40 years. Now, under the direction of Benjamin Simon, PACO remains an award-winning youth orchestra for high-school age and younger string musicians.

Tickets cost $14, $6 for students, and can be purchased at the OSF box office or by calling 541-482-4331.

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