FRANKFORT — Kentucky will host the National Symphony Orchestra's 2011 American residency in February, bringing more than 100 performances and educational activities to sites throughout the state.
The orchestra accepts only one residency invitation each year, and this is the first time Kentucky has hosted the residency since the program began in 1992.
First lady Jane Beshear announced the cultural event Wednesday at a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda. She said it "will have a wonderful impact on communities across the commonwealth."
Beshear was joined by Lori Meadows, executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council; Todd Lowe, chairman of the Kentucky Arts Council; Secretary Marcheta Sparrow and Deputy Secretary Lindy Casebier from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet; and NSO orchestra manager Cynthia Steele.
The orchestra, founded in 1931, is an American symphony orchestra that performs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.
Members of the orchestra will be in Kentucky from Feb. 17 to 25.
Beshear said all proceeds from any ticket sales from the various events will remain with the state to support local arts organizations because of the support of many organizations — principally the Kennedy Center and the U.S. Department of Education.
During the orchestra's visit, it will perform major concerts in Lexington, Louisville, Florence, Owensboro, Paducah and Somerset.
Community groups, including arts organizations, civic groups, churches, senior citizen homes, businesses, schools, colleges and universities, are eligible to apply for NSO residency activities. The activities will include chamber music performances, in-school ensembles, clinics and coaching sessions, master classes, pre-concert events, workshops for teachers, method workshops, artistic exchanges, arts education advocacy training, a speakers bureau and roundtables for arts professionals.
The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications for residency activities on behalf of the NSO until Sept. 10. Detailed information and applications are available at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/NSO/NSO.htm.
Hugh Wolff, one of America's most distinguished conductors, is the 2011 residency conductor.
University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra conductor John Nardolillo said the NSO in Kentucky is good news for the state.
"For our students, this is a chance to be face to face with a major American orchestra, and it will be a great chance for the Lexington audience and others to hear a major American orchestra," said Nardolillo, who was among the people credited with helping to bring the NSO residency to Kentucky.
He said the last time he can remember a major American orchestra performing in Lexington was the Houston Symphony in 1998.