West Michigan Symphony to Highlight Orchestral Soloists During February Masterworks Concert

West Michigan Symphony will feature nine of its own brightest orchestral soloists during its Masterworks concert on Saturday, Feb. 9.
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West Michigan Symphony


Muskegon - Michigan - US

Jan. 21, 2013 - PRLog -- Contact: Carla Hill

West Michigan Symphony, 231.726.3231, ext. 22


Mary Ann Sabo

Sabo Public Relations, 616.485.1432

West Michigan Symphony to Highlight Orchestral Soloists  

During February Masterworks Concert

Muskegon, Michigan, January 17, 2013 –
West Michigan Symphony will feature nine of its own brightest orchestral soloists during its Masterworks concert on Saturday, Feb. 9.  

The “Mozart and Friends” performance will feature:

Flutists Jill Marie Brown and Jodi Dyer and Concertmaster Jennifer Walvoord performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 ,  

Osvaldo Golijov’s “Mariel,” which is a duet for principal cellist Alicia Gregorian Sawyers and principal percussionist Matthew Beck  

Béla Bartók’s “Romanian Folk Dances”

Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” for winds showcasing the work of principal oboist Gabriel Renteria, principal clarinetist Jonathan Holden, principal bassoonist Vincent Karamanov and principal horn Erin Lano  

More information, as well as expanded program notes with audio samples, is available online at the Symphony’s website. The concert will be held in the majestic Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts in downtown Muskegon at 7:30 p.m.  

“We are excited to highlight so many of our own musicians in ‘Mozart and Friends,’ ” said

Music Director Scott Speck. “In the past we have sometimes featured soloists from the orchestra, but never so many at one time. This is really a reflection of how much we have grown, and the depth of talent within the West Michigan Symphony.

“Our musicians will truly be able to display their stunning technique and hard work. It is a special treat to work with these individuals as soloists in addition to working with them as parts of the larger group.”

Brown, Dyer and Walvoord will open the concert with Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto no. 4, one of the six concertos that stand at the crossroads in musical history when chamber music and orchestral music went their separate ways. The fourth concerto is a three-movement piece that begins with the soloists exchanging roles upon the repeat.  

The rapid passagework for the violin, a distinctly Vivaldi-like touch, has led some to refer to the concerto as a “disguised” violin concerto. The two flutes always play as a pair with no solos of their own in the first movement.  

Bach permits an occasional breakout of the individual flutes in the second movement while a brief solo flute cadenza leads into the frugal third movement. A bravura episode, which could have come right off the pen of Vivaldi, puts the violin through its paces, leaving the flutes in the dust.  

Sawyers and Beck are the soloists in “Mariel,” composed by Golijov in 1999 to honor the accidental death of a friend. The composer used the cello and marimba to capture that “short instant before grief, in which one learns of the sudden death of a friend, who was full of life: a single moment frozen forever in one’s memory, and which reverberates throughout the piece, in the waves and echoes of the Brazilian music Mariel loved,” the composer noted. Golijov uses seven minutes to reflect what takes place in a few seconds.  

The Symphony will then perform seven “Romanian Folk Dances,” composed by Béla Bartók in 1915 as piano pieces and orchestrated in 1917. The Hungarian composer explored folk material from more than 1,100 tunes he had collected, transforming peasant flutes and fiddles into what would become his most popular work.

The evening concludes with Mozart’s “Sonfonia Concertante” for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, featuring solos from Renteria, Holden, Karamanov and Lano. The piece was one of the few commissions Mozart received in his travels to Paris, part of a grand tour of Germany and France in 1777 that proved to be an emotional and financial disaster.  

Political intrigue prevented the concertante from being performed while Mozart was in Paris. He was unable to recover his manuscript, which may have been lost. Furious, Mozart wrote to his father that upon his return to Salzburg he indented to compose the work from memory. He probably never did. The “Sinfonia Concertante” that we know today did not surface until 1867 in a manuscript of questionable credentials.

"People often forget that besides being one of the most gifted composers in history, Mozart was a virtuoso himself, with many virtuoso colleagues," Speck explained.  "There's no doubt that he wrote many of his concertos to highlight the talents of himself and his friends. It's in that spirit that we're highlighting the talents of our own friends onstage.  

"At the West Michigan Symphony, we are always trying to personalize the experience for our audience -- making sure that our exquisite art form is relevant to our own community today. What better way to do that than by showing talent West Michigan has produced, in the dazzling acoustics of the best orchestra concert hall within 200 miles?"

For more information or to receive a 2012-13 season brochure, call 231.726.3231 or info@westmichigansymphony.org (mailto:@wsso.org).  

Single tickets for this concert are $15, $20, $35 and $45 and may be purchased online at www.westmichigansymphony.org; in person at the West Michigan Symphony Ticket Office, Suite 409 (4th floor) in the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon; or by calling 231.726.3231. Student tickets are $5 for this concert but are not available online. College students must present a valid ID when they purchase tickets.

About West Michigan Symphony

As one of the few professional regional orchestras in Michigan, West Michigan Symphony (http://westmichigansymphony.org/) has played a leading role in the region’s cultural community for more than 70 years. Founded as the West Shore Symphony Orchestra, WMS now serves a regional audience with eight pairs of concerts annually, along with dozens of educational and outreach activities for children and adults. WMS oversees operations for the West Michigan Youth Symphony. For more information, visit www.westmichigansymphony.org.
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