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RV Symphony plans New Year's Eve concert, parties

Concert-goers are in for a unique experience New Year’s Eve when the Rogue Valley Symphony celebrates Music Director Martin Majkut’s 10 years with the orchestra.

A special concert will be performed by the symphony at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 in the Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.

“I took the Viennese New Year’s concert as an inspiration,” Majkut said. “It will be a mix of classy and raucous — the Viennese concert going a bit rogue.”

But there will be more than just a concert.

“This year, we wanted to do something other than the traditional holiday concert. I realized that there is nothing like this going on for New Year’s Eve for culture vultures,” he said.

Two additional ticketed events have been added to the program — pre-concert and post-concert.

Silver tickets are $50 and include the concert only. Gold tickets are $75 and also include a pre-concert champagne and chocolate trio reception — and a toast with the maestro.

Platinum tickets are

$150 and include the pre-concert reception, the concert, plus a ticket to celebrate on stage following the concert with passed hors d’oeuvres, dancing and champagne until midnight.

“I love that this celebration of my 10 years with the RVS, which the staff has called ‘A Toast to Majkut,’ includes music written just a few miles from where I was born,” the conductor said.

“It is light entertainment made of the highest level of sophistication,” he said of the Strauss waltzes and polkas. “Each one of them is a gorgeous, sparkly jewel.”

RVS Executive Director Joelle Graves said she feels fortunate to be able to celebrate the 10-year milestone with Majkut.

“Together, we are excited to usher in the new decade,” she said. “Our board of directors and Martin have spent the last 10 years taking the Rogue Valley Symphony to new heights. We have more musicians on stage than ever before, more subscribers and devoted donors. There is so much to celebrate.”

On top of the waltzes, polkas and marches written by Johann Strauss, Sr. and Jr., there will be a unique piece on the program: Francis Poulenc’s “Concerto for Two Pianos.”

“Doing concerts in three venues, as we do for our Masterworks series, means that we can never pull off a piece featuring two pianos. The logistics forbids it,” Majkut said. “So, this is our — and the audience’s — opportunity to hear such a performance with our orchestra.”

Guest artists are duo pianists Joel Fan and Christine Eggert. Fan began early musical studies at the Juilliard School and earned degrees from Harvard and the Peabody Institute. He is a prize winner of several international competitions and performs worldwide. Originally from Canada, Eggert joined the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University in 2014. She tours frequently as a collaborative pianist and performs internationally.

There will also be some surprises, Majkut said, both during the performance and after the show for people who buy the larger package.

“I am personally looking forward to the after-party, to be on the Craterian stage with a glass of real French champagne in my hand,” he said.

“We encourage people to have fun and really dress up to make this the glitziest party in the Rogue Valley.”

The concert will include the following numbers: “Die Fledermaus Overture,” “Pizzicato Polka,” and “Emperor Waltz,” by Strauss, Jr.; “Concerto for Two Pianos” by Poulenc; “The Skaters’ Waltz” by Emile Waldteufel; “Thunder and Lightning Polka” and “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” by Strauss, Jr.; and “Radetzky March” by Strauss, Sr.

Majkut said there will be another “fun number” that he wants to keep secret until the New Year’s Eve performance.

Silver, gold and platinum tickets can be purchased through the RVS box office at 541-708-6400. Silver tickets for the concert only can be purchased also through the Craterian Theater at craterian.org or 541-779-3000.

Meanwhile, freshen up those gowns, press those tuxes, and get ready for a New Year’s Eve bash like no other in the Rogue Valley. Watch your back, Vienna!

Jim Flint is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at jimflint.ashland@yahoo.com.

The Rogue Valley Symphony.{ }Photo by Christopher Briscoe