Brevard Philharmonic Features Brahms' Beloved Violin Concerto - TribPapers

Brevard Philharmonic Features Brahms’ Beloved Violin Concerto

The Brevard Philharmonic plays the National Anthem at the Porter Center. Photo Courtesy of Kaelee Denise Photography, Brevard and the Brevard Philharmonic Orchestra.

Brevard – The Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major will be performed by the talented Gabriel Lefkowitz with the Brevard Philharmonic Orchestra this Sunday at the Porter Center on the Brevard College campus. Gabriel Lefkowitz, the violinist for this performance, is currently in his inaugural season as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Louisville Civic Orchestra. He is an acclaimed violinist, conductor, and composer. This well-loved Brahms piece has some glorious melodies, beautiful trills, and crescendos that many will recognize immediately. The Violin Concerto in D Major presents a stunning display of the instrument’s emotional range and virtuosic qualities, yet it was the only violin concerto Brahms wrote. The concerto was composed for his close friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim.

Gabriel Lefkowitz is an acclaimed violinist, as well as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Louisville Civic Orchestra. Photo courtesy of the Brevard Philharmonic.
Gabriel Lefkowitz is an acclaimed violinist, as well as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Louisville Civic Orchestra. Photo courtesy of the Brevard Philharmonic.

The concert for the afternoon will begin with a much neglected piece by Emilie Mayer, the Symphony No 4. She is considered to be one of the finest female composers of all time, but unfortunately  “her light did not shine as brightly as it should have,” said Carl Lowe, the famed composer.

The concert is at 3:00 PM in the afternoon on November 6th. Individual tickets are $37 per concert. Student tickets are available for $10 each. Go to the website for more information and tickets, or call the box office for details at 828-884-4221. This concert has been sponsored by Renee Bresler and Wayne Steifle. The guest artist has been sponsored by Elaine Long and Jim Phillips.

Gabriel Lefkowitz

Gabriel was born into a musical family in the Boston area and began playing the violin at the age of 4. He joined a youth orchestra at age 7, and immediately fell in love with the symphonic orchestra as an infinitely powerful vehicle of sonic expression.

Gabriel holds a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where he graduated magna cum laude in three years, having studied music and economics. In May of 2010, he earned a Masters in Violin Performance at The Juilliard School, where he studied with Joel Smirnoff, current president of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and renowned Japanese violinist Masao Kawasaki. He has studied conducting with pedagogues including Michael Jinbo, Markand Thakar, Larry Rachleff, David Effron, and others.

In 2011, at the age of 23, Gabriel became one of the youngest concertmasters of a professional orchestra in the U.S. when he was appointed Concertmaster of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. During his 6-year tenure with the KSO, Gabriel performed the concerti of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Korngold, Mozart (No. 3), and others. He also founded the KSO’s still beloved and wildly successful Concertmaster Series (then called Gabriel Lefkowitz & Friends), at which he performed over 30 recitals (16 different programs with no overlapping repertoire) over the course of 5 seasons.

In addition, under the alias Green Forge Studio, Gabriel shows a lighter side where he composes music for video games, films, podcasts, commercials, trailers, Twitch streams, Youtube channels, circus shows, and more. His current focus is on video games, including the recent releases Aces & Adventures and Pop-Up Dungeon. On the Green Forge Studio website, he says: “I am passionate about creating rich, evocative music that immerses audiences and players in new worlds. I compose in a wide range of styles, but particularly love writing music for projects in the genres of fantasy, adventure, magic, mystery, superhero, and sci-fi. Feel free to peruse the site, listen to some of my work, and if you think I might be a good fit for your project, contact me and let’s get a conversation started!”

Christmastime in Brevard

On Sunday, December 18th, the Brevard Philharmonic will be joined by the Transylvania Choral Society for many holiday favorites at the Porter Center. There will be a suite of carols, the Fantasia on Greensleeves, Tchaikovsky’s Christmas Waltz, Richman’s Hanukkah Festival Overture, and Bizet’s Farandole from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2, amongst others. With Christmas only a week away, the concert is sure to set the stage for the week.

The Transylvania Choral Society

The Transylvania Choral Society is a volunteer community choir directed by Dr. David Gresham, who prepares and presents a wide array of sacred and secular choral music at least twice a year. Society members share their love of music in performances that entertain, inspire, and inform. Founded in 1975, the Transylvania Choral Society is a Community Performing Arts Chorus open to all vocalists within Transylvania County who are interested in performing choral music within a concert setting.

The Brevard Philharmonic Orchestra

James C. Fellenbaum is the Artistic Director of the Brevard Philharmonic, a 55-piece orchestra that generally performs five concerts a season. It was founded in 1980 by the much loved Virginia (Ginny) Tillotson, and then followed by Vance Reece after 21 years when it became Brevard College’s Orchestra-in-Residence. In 2005, Dr. Head revived it as an independent orchestra, changing its name to the Brevard Philharmonic. Maestro Donald Portnoy led the Brevard Philharmonic for 10 years. He transitioned it from a local volunteer ensemble to a regional professional orchestra drawing musicians from upstate South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and western North Carolina—including many from Transylvania County, which now includes Kristine Fink Candler as the concertmaster.

As community outreach, the organization conducts a Music in the Schools program, which sponsors performances in local schools. This program introduces students to the four families of instruments that make up the symphony orchestra. In addition, they help to provide instruments to middle and high school band students and their teachers in Transylvania County schools. Donations are gladly received. For more information, go to