… and the first ever Nutcracker Christmas Celebration, Sponsored by the James Family Trust

By Henry Flurry

Arizona Philharmonic (AZ Phil) announced the seven-concert 2022-2023 season at an event in May, and were delighted when two of the guests, Ron and Laura James, surprised the gathering with the announcement of their sponsorship of A Nutcracker Christmas Celebration, a first-time collaboration with the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet (MFAB) Alumni.

“When Ron told me about it, I said, ‘We have to do it!’” Laura said. In addition to the two public performances December 17 and 18 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, the James Family Trust sponsorship will also fund a performance December 16 for the community’s schoolchildren. Season tickets are now available at AZPhil.org for the best seating and prices.

“We are thrilled to collaborate on this iconic Christmas performance with the MFAB Alumni and the Yavapai Youth Choirs, and plan to expand to the full Nutcracker performance in the future as the academy grows in its new Prescott home,” added Henry Flurry, AZ Phil Executive Director.

Concert Season Lineup

The AZ Phil season begins August 21 with Maestro Peter Bay returning to Prescott to open Arizona Philharmonic’s fifth season by conducting a full orchestra in a joyful program, Dancing from Tonga to Vienna. Pianist and Steinway artist Thomas Pandolphi will join the performance. The Sonoran Winds Quintet, comprised of Arizona Philharmonic’s five principal woodwind players, will return on September 25 for another captivating concert.

Maestro Peter Bay will present Classic Wines in New Bottles, a concert of music inspired by composers and genres from earlier eras, on October 16. Violinist Katie McLin solos in J. S. Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 2. AZ Phil also honors the people of Ukraine with Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk’s Melodya beautiful work embraced as a spiritual anthem for the nation.

New to Prescott: A Nutcracker Christmas Celebration

In collaboration with the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet, AZ Phil is delighted to bring a full orchestra to the stage conducted by British conductor Alexander Walker to present A Nutcracker Christmas Celebration December 17 and 18, for a memorable evening of festive holiday dance and music. International alumni of the academy dance to Tchaikovsky’s iconic Nutcracker Suite and Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, a winter ballet set to the music of Giacomo Meyerbeer. Under the direction of Arlene Hardy, The Yavapai Youth Choirs complement these performances with their angelic voices accompanying the orchestra in the ballet and in Christmas music.

“We are delighted for the James Family Trust sponsorship to bring this unique artistic collaboration to the stage this year and anticipate expanding it in future years to a full Nutcracker production,” Henry said.

January 8, 2023, marks the return of Prescott-native and internationally-acclaimed Steinway artist James D’León, as he once again joins the Arizona Philharmonic String Quartet for another stunning piano quintet concert. Violinist Katie McLin, other principal string players of Arizona Philharmonic, and D’León present Haydn’s classical Piano Trio No. 39 in G major, Robert Schumann’s luscious Piano Quintet, and Paul Schoenfield’s jazzy and sensuous Cafe Music.

February 5 brings the percussion quartet manos to the stage, featuring AZ Phil’s principal percussionist Eddie Solomon now joining AZ Phil timpanist Maria Flurry and Tucson Symphony Orchestra percussionists Homero Cerón and Fred Morgan. From delicate to bold to unabashedly fun, manos delights the ears and fills the soul with percussion’s wealth of musical possibilities.

The 2022-2023 season concludes April 2, with Dr. Joshua Harper’s elite chorus Quartz Ensemble performing Elijah. In its third appearance with Arizona Philharmonic, Quartz Ensemble returns to present a Joachim Linckelmann chamber orchestra arrangement of Felix Mendelssohn’s masterpiece, Elijah. Once again, the stunning clarity of a 12-voice professional choir shines with the lighter orchestration that Linckelmann crafts.

Ticket Information

Purchase season tickets for all seven events at a 25-percent discount, or choose a three- or five-concert package for a discount. Visit AZPhil.org for all ticketing and concert information.

About Arizona Philharmonic

AZ Phil is celebrating its fifth season in 2022-2023 as Prescott’s regional professional orchestra, presenting large and small concerts that engage and inspire listeners. Based in Prescott, AZ Phil draws musicians from across Arizona and is committed to offering transformative music, while nurturing community participation and supporting the needs and growth of the local performing arts scene. Recognized in 2021 by the Prescott Chamber of Commerce for Excellence in Arts and Culture, Arizona Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Find ticket information and sponsorship and volunteer opportunities at AZPhil.org or on Facebook.