Parkening, Sykes Present ‘A Classical Christmas’

Posted: December 8, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Parkening and Sykes
Jubilant Sykes and Christopher Parkening
Photo by Phil Fewsmith

On Saturday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m., guitarist Christopher Parkening and singer Jubilant Sykes return to the stage at Mason’s Center for the Arts, presenting a brilliant interpretation of holiday classics that will warm the heart.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

The program includes “Away in a Manger,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “What Child Is This?” as well as stirring spirituals including “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”

Hailed as one of the world’s preeminent interpreters of the classical guitar, Parkening is recognized as heir to the legacy of the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. His combination of virtuosity, eloquence and ability to capture sound has mesmerized audiences worldwide.

Sykes’ artistry and versatility have fostered numerous musical collaborations with artists as diverse as Renée Fleming, Julie Andrews, Brian Wilson, Josh Groban and Carlos Santana. Sykes also has released two recordings for Sony BMG Masterworks. The first release, “Jubilant,” brought the singer together with jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard.

His crossover recording, “Wait for Me,” features classic songs by a number of popular composers and entertainers, including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson.

Sykes is equally at home in the classical canon: his repertoire includes everything from Copland’s “Old American Songs” to Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Brahms’ “A German Requiem” and Mozart’s Requiem. His opera performances include roles in concert versions of Bizet’s “Carmen” and Cavalli’s “Calisto.”

PNC and the PNC Foundation are sponsors of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason season.

Tickets are $44, $36 and $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or see tickets.com.

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