Fox Valley Symphony Honors Photographer Ansel Adams

May 1, 2011

Kara Patterson

Post Crescent

Twentieth-century American photographer Ansel Adams, who fell in love with the American West and shared what he saw there through his camera lens with the world, also played concert piano.

It’s fitting that the composition “Ansel Adams: America,” which the Fox Valley Symphony is performing as the centerpiece of its season’s final concert, tells Adams’ life story and carries on his arts legacy. The multimedia piece showcases music timed to a projection of 102 images by and of Adams.

Musician and award-winning composer Chris Brubeck, who composed the 22-minute, one-movement piece with his father, renowned jazz artist Dave Brubeck, received permission from the Ansel Adams Trust to select images for the piece.

“We had to swear up and down — and we stuck to that — that we have to treat his original works of art with respect, and we have to be true to his vision,” said Chris Brubeck, of Wilton, Conn. “We really wanted to tell a story about Ansel Adams in particular since he is the granddaddy of all this photography. In terms of how we made the music … you might call this a tone poem. There are probably slight touches of jazz but nothing overt. It really sounds like American music because Ansel Adams is an American artist.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton.

General admission tickets range in price from $19 to $49. Half-price tickets are available for Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestras families. Students with identification pay $10. The concert is free for music teachers with identification.

The symphony is no stranger to multimedia spectacle. During its most recent concert, the orchestra provided the score to cirque performance acts that played out live onstage.
If you go

? What: What: “Ansel Adams: America,” a Fox Valley Symphony concert

? When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Pre-concert talk at 6:40 p.m.

? Where: Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton

? Tickets: $19-$49 general admission; $10 students; free for music teachers; half-price tickets available for Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestras families

? Box office: 920-730-3760

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