First United Methodist Church in Magnolia will host the Arkansas premiere of the “Concierto de Chiaro” with guitarist Giovanni De Chiaro at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 25.

The performance with the South Arkansas Symphony will be directed by Kermit Poling.

The duo recently won the silver medal in the Global Music Awards for their performance of the concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra. De Chiaro will present the Arkansas premiere of the award winning guitar concerto, which Poling and he recorded in London.

This concert will be the first time in several years that an orchestra has performed in the sanctuary of FUMC-Magnolia.

Known as “music’s golden seal of approval,” the Global Music Awards is an international showcase for original music, unique voices and emerging artists. Entries go through a multi-layered process including listener impact, technical quality, uniqueness and styling. De Chiaro was recognized as the solo performer, while Poling was recognized as composer/conductor for the concerto.

Describing Poling’s work on the Concierto de Chiaro, one critic said, “(Poling’s) music is beautifully crafted and immediately accessible. The melodies here are stunningly beautiful ¬— it is one of the greatest guitar concertos of the past 50 years.” Poling wrote the concerto specifically for American classical guitarist De Chiaro, who debuted his career at Carnegie Hall in 1976 to rave notice from the New York Times.

The concert will also feature music by Alan Hovhaness and Franz Schubert. On these works, Poling comments, "Hovhaness was an American composer of Armenian descent, who strove to incorporate a deep spirituality into his music. His Allegro and Fugue is a work that explores the deep richness of the string section of the orchestra. And Schubert's 5th symphony is abundant with youthful joyfulness and the seemingly unlimited melodies that are a hallmark of that composer. Both of these orchestral works are full of overwhelming beauty and imagination, inspired by nature. They are a perfect fit for the glorious acoustic of First Methodist - Magnolia."

For more information about the concert, contact Sara Coffman, executive director for the symphony, at 870-310-2244.

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