Phoenix Symphony tunes up for multimedia centennial celebration

The Phoenix Symphony commemorates the centennial celebration of Arizona with a multimedia event by James Westwater featuring Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite.”

Led by Virginia G. Piper Music Director Michael Christie in a premiere performance of music and photography, the “Centennial Celebration! Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite” will remind Arizona’s community of the state’s natural beauty and history. The performance will be a multimedia event by transcendent still photographer, James Westwater. Westwater combines photographic art with classical music to create a technique he calls “photochoreography.” His philosophy is to create visual compositions to match the images the music illustrates.

Originally titled “Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon,” Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite” represents five movements of a typical canyon experience. “Sunrise,” “Painted Desert,” “On the Trail,” “Sunset” and “Cloudburst” can be heard on the Disneyland Railroad, the 1983 film “A Christmas Story” and the 1958 Academy Award-winning Walt Disney short, “Grand Canyon.”

As part of the US Airways Classics Series, “Centennial Celebration! Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite” will be at Symphony Hall at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and 8 p.m. Feb. 18.

Tickets start at $18 and can be purchased by calling the Phoenix Symphony box office at 602-495-1999 or by visiting www.phoenixsymphony.org.

Other highlights of The Phoenix Symphony include: Brian Mulligan Performs Puccini and Mahler on March 1 to 3, Elgar: Enigma Variations March 22 and 24, and Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 April 19 to 21.