Tickets start at $15
Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills
with the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra
Radu Paponiu, conductor
Robert McDuffie, guest artist
Mike Mills, guest artist
Brahms — Hungarian Dances No. 5, 6, and 7
Tchaikovsky — Suite from Sleeping Beauty
Mike Mills — Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra
Violin virtuoso Robert McDuffie returns to Hayes Hall to perform this unique piece with the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Composed by McDuffie’s long-time friend and R.E.M. bassist, Mike Mills, this piece blurs the lines between contemporary rock and classical.
"The work is cinematic but never schmaltzy, rock-inflected but never corny, classical but never stuffy..." —Rolling Stone
The Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is generously endowed by the Schoen Family Foundation.
Mike Mills and Robert McDuffie
Mike Mills, of two-decade rock powerhouse R.E.M., and Robert McDuffie, internationally renowned violinist, have been close friends since they were teenagers growing up in Macon, Georgia. In the spring of 2016, inspired by the blurred lines between contemporary classical audiences, pop, and contemporary music, McDuffie commissioned Mils to write a new composition that they could share with audiences both classical and modern.
Over 2016, the friends debuted Mills' new work "Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra", premiering in June 2016 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Peter Oundjian. The concerto, with orchestration and additional music by David Mallamud, features acclaimed violinist McDuffie; a four-member rock band led by Composer Mills (performing on the bass and keyboard) with two electric guitarists and a drummer; and a string orchestra. Following the world premiere, the concerto was presented in Rome and at the Aspen Music Festival as well as on a 14-city U.S. tour which included the Music Center at Strathmore (Bethesda, MD), the Music Hall (Detroit, MI) and Harris Theatre (Chicago, IL).
R.E.M. was formed in 1980 in Athens, Georgia. One fo the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early popular attention from its first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981. After three decades of record-breaking CD sales, sold-out live performances int he largest rock venues in the world, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2007), R.E.M. amiably disbanded in 2011. Their legacy and fan base continues, as demonstrated by over 4.6 million fans on Facebook.
Throughout this prolific 25 year concert career, violinist Robert McDuffie has been both a champion of the core repertoire and an interpreter of the works of the most important popular classical composers of our time. He has appeared as a solo violinist with the world's foremost orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Dusseldorf Symphony, the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and all the major orchestras of Australia. In addition, he can be found sharing the stage with actress/playwright Anna Deveare Smith in Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail", or playing Bach for Memphis Jook dancer Li'l Buck. Philip Glass dedicated his second violin concerto, "The American Four Seasons," to McDuffie.
Radu Paponiu is the assistant conductor to Andrey Boreyko and the Naples Philharmonic and director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. A native of Romania, Radu recently completed his Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied with Hugh Wolff. While in Boston, Radu was also conductor apprentice with the Handel and Haydn Society, assisting Harry Christophers and Richard Egarr. Radu also served on the conducting faculty for the Juilliard School Pre-College Division in New York.
Radu furthered his studies under the guidance of Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers and Federico Cortese. Additionally, Radu served as assistant conductor for the Aspen Opera Theater Center’s full production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte.
Radu began his musical studies on the violin at age seven, moving on to study privately with Carmen Runceanu and Stefan Gheorghiu. After coming to the US at the invitation of the Perlman Music Program, Radu was accepted to the studio of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California, where he earned both a Bachelor of Music degree and an Artist Diploma degree in violin performance. Radu was appointed assistant conductor of the American Youth Symphony in spring 2011.
Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
The Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (NPYO) is an intensive musical program that provides opportunities for accomplished middle school and high school student musicians to perform a wide-range of symphonic works under the baton of Radu Paponiu, Assistant Conductor of the Naples Philharmonic.
Learn more about the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.