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Posted on Thu. Jan. 09, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

Music, history meet in Fort Wayne Philharmonic's tribute to Abraham Lincoln

Performance also will incorporate photos, spoken word

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Honoring Abraham Lincoln

What: The Fort Wayne Philharmonic will mark last year's 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a Masterworks concert featuring composer Aaron Copland's “A Lincoln Portrait,” accompanied by a photo slideshow of large, related images and guest narration by Lincoln Financial Group employee Johnny Warren.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Embassy Theatre, 121 W. Jefferson Blvd.

Cost: $17, $28, $49, $64.50. They are available at the Embassy box office 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and at least 45 minutes before the concert, and from The Phil at 481-0777, and The Phil box office, 4901 Fuller Drive, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. today, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

Information: 481-0777or


Looking for a change from the traditional classical music orchestra concert? Then you'll want to get a seat for Saturday's concert by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

“Of all of the Masterworks concerts this year, this probably is the most unique as far as presentation and audience experience,” said J.L. Nave III, the orchestra's president and CEO.

In honor of last year's 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation, which help free Americans enslaved in the South, the orchestra will perform American composer Aaron Copland's “A Lincoln Portrait,” which will be accompanied by hundreds of theme-related photos projected on three large screens suspended over the orchestra.

During the piece, guest narrator Johnny Warren, a local Lincoln Financial Group employee, also will read excerpts from some of Lincoln's greatest speeches.

While the “photo choreography,” as it is known, will add a visual element to the Philharmonic's performance, it doesn't present any special challenges to the orchestra as far as the music matching the timing of the photos, Nave said.

Because the images are still photos, the projectionist running the photo slideshow will just advance to the next photo or photos when the orchestra gets to the appropriate place in the music, Nave said. If the images had been a video, the orchestra would have to match the pace of its music to that of the imagery, which is more complicated.

Concertgoers also will be in for a special musical treat.

The scheduled guest concertmaster and solo violinist, Robin Scott, will be unable to perform at the concert. So the Philharmonic asked Mark Kaplan, a violin professor from Indiana University in Bloomington, to perform as guest violin soloist.

Kaplan will use a violin crafted in 1685 by renowned violin maker Antonia Stradivari, Nave said. Kaplan's violin solo will take place during the performance of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams' “The Lark Ascending.”

The philharmonic also will perform French composer Claude Debussy's “Nocturnes” and American composer George Antheil's Symphony No. 6.

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