In Friday’s (11/27) Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), Celeste Smith writes, “A local musician’s dream to bring quality classical music to south Charlotte comes true Saturday when the Ballantyne Chamber Orchestra makes its debut with a holiday season celebration. With a brand new church sanctuary as the orchestra’s venue, and with ticket prices at $25 and under, founder Josh Diaz hopes the performance boosts Ballantyne’s reputation for offering high-caliber cultural performances at affordable prices. … Diaz, 40, expects the chamber orchestra—an ensemble of 25 musicians on strings, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, French horn, flute and trumpet—will speak to local tastes. … This past summer he conducted an informal e-mail survey of 100 non-musicians about the type of cultural offerings needed in the area. Most responded that they wanted to hear live classical music, Diaz said—and they wanted to enjoy such offerings locally instead of uptown. The orchestra is made up of musicians who live primarily in south Charlotte. Some have played with orchestras in Venezuela and Israel, as well as in Virginia, Dallas, Philadelphia and Charlotte, Diaz said.”

Posted November 30, 2009