Start Time for Symphony-Aaberg Show Delayed

By Beacon Staff

Note: The start of the Glacier Symphony and Chorale and Philip Aaberg “Montana Christmas” concert scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6 will be delayed until 8 p.m. because of a competing event in the Flathead High School gymnasium that is expected to be somewhat noisy.

Here’s a preview of the show provided by the symphony:

The Glacier Symphony and Chorale presents one of Montana’s most famous and eclectic pianists, Philip Aaberg, in a solo concert of original compositions and holiday arrangements from his Montana Christmas CD. The “Montana Christmas” concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6 at Flathead High School Auditorium.

Initially a classically trained pianist, Aaberg celebrates many musical traditions in his compositions. He weaves strains of blues and bluegrass as well as rock and new music throughout his melodic tapestries. For this concert, he will blend his original music with creative interpretations of traditional holiday tunes such as “Sleigh Ride,” “What Child Is This” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” among others.

Besides playing piano with the Boston Pops and participating in the Marlboro Chamber Music Festival, Aaberg has appeared with Peter Gabriel, Elvin Bishop, and the Doobie Brothers. He has cut eight solo albums, one of which, “Live From Montana,” received a 2002 Grammy nomination. As a guest artist, Philip has performed on over 200 albums and on PBS’s All-American Jazz, which earned him an Emmy nomination. He most recently was a guest on Eric Funk’s “11th and Grant Street” production that aired on Montana PBS television.

Aaberg grew up in the Hi-line community of Chester, Mont. and traveled via the Amtrak train to Spokane, Wash. for weekly lessons with his teacher. He says the Montana landscape has greatly influenced his music and composing style. He left Montana to attend Harvard University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Music and was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Scholarship.

After graduation he traveled to San Francisco and played blues clubs. It was there he met up with blues great, Elvin Bishop, and formed a friendship that resulted in six record albums together. “He’s the best piano player I’ve ever heard,” Bishop has said of Aaberg.

Though known for his many blues compositions Aaberg resists being categorized into any particular musical genre. He finds devoted listeners among rock, country, new age, blues, jazz and classical music fans.

“Music has always been an adventure to me. I was never inclined to play “pure” anything,” he says in the liner notes of his latest album “Blue West.” Thus he has followed his musical curiosity to play with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel and John Hiatt. He tours and records in two duos — with slide guitar innovator Roy Rogers and with master fiddler Darol Anger.

General Admission tickets for the concert are priced at $23 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for youth. They are available online at www.gscmusic.org and at GSC outlets: Books West in Kalispell; The Village Shop and Montana Coffee Traders (downtown) in Whitefish; Glacier Wallflower in Columbia Falls; ArtFusion in Bigfork; Sliters Ace Hardware in Lakeside; and at the door.

Reserved seat tickets, priced at $30 adult, $25 senior and $15 youth are also available for this concert. They must be purchased directly from the GSC office; call 257-3241 for more information.