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Philharmonic offers new, smaller concerts

Up close and personal.

That’s the theme for the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s new Spotlight Series, a trio of chamber music concerts that kicks off Tuesday at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Philharmonic audiences are used to seeing the orchestra in capacious Reynolds Hall, but the Tuesday night series presents small-group works, played by selected orchestra members, in the performing arts complex’s intimate Troesh Studio Theater.

“Brahms: First and Foremost,” which leads off the Spotlight Series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, features three works by Johannes Brahms: Violin Sonata in G major, Piano Trio No. 1 in B major and Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor.

Three of the Philharmonic’s principal string players — concertmaster De Ann Letourneau, violist Jason Bonham and cellist Andrew Smith — join guest pianist Sandra Rivers for Tuesday’s performance. Donato Cabrera, the Philharmonic’s music director, will narrate.

Philharmonic musicians “are so excited about this Spotlight Series because it gives us yet another opportunity to share a unique side of these great composers in a smaller and more intimate setting,” according to Letourneau. “For the listener, it’s a fun, up close and personal interaction with the composer and players,” she adds, likening the experience to “your own private home concert with your close friends.”

The Spotlight Series continues April 26 with Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds, Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, and Beethoven’s Quintet in E-flat for Piano and Winds, performed by principal oboist Stephen Caplan, principal clarinetist Cory Tiffin, principal horn player Bill Bernatis, principal bassoonist Janis McKay and guest pianist Mykola Suk.

The series wraps up May 3 with “Baroque Splendor,” featuring works by Bach and Vivaldi, performed by Letourneau, Smith, principal flutist Alexander Viazovtsev and principal pianist Voltaire Versoza on harpsichord.

Tickets for all three Spotlight Series performances are $168 and may be purchased by calling The Smith Center’s box office at 702-749-2000 or visiting lvphil.org.

Read more stories from Carol Cling at reviewjournal.com. Contact her at ccling@reviewjournal.com and follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

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