201A_about-the-musicAbout the Music

About the Music by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

Haunted Topography (2011, 2013)

— David T. Little

Born October 25, 1978 in New Jersey.

Much of the creative core of composer and drummer David T. Little is embodied in the amplified chamber ensemble “Newspeak,” which he founded in New York in 2004 (and named after what he called “the thought-limiting language in George Orwell’s 1984”) to explore “the relationship of music and politics, while confronting head-on the boundaries between classical and rock traditions.” Like many musicians of his generation, David Little is forging a voice, a style and even some expressive sense from the seemingly limitless possibilities of the musically saturated 21st century.

David Little was born in New Jersey in 1978 and holds degrees from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania (2001), University of Michigan (2002) and Princeton University (PhD, 2011), where his research explored the intersection of music and politics; his teachers have included Osvaldo Golijov, Steven Mackey, Paul Lansky, William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty. Little taught music in New York City schools and shelters through Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, was the inaugural Digital Composer-in-Residence for the UK-based DilettanteMusic.com, founded the New Music Bake Sale (which supports contemporary classical music in Brooklyn), and served as Executive Director of New York’s MATA Festival and Director of Composition and Coordinator of New Music at Shenandoah University Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, where he is now Distinguished Guest Composer and Senior Lecturer in New Music; he has also taught at Mannes-The New School in New York City since 2015.

Little’s music for orchestra and chamber ensembles has been performed internationally to considerable acclaim and his musical theater pieces with librettist Royce Vavrek have established him among the country’s leading opera composers — Dog Days, set in a near-future America impoverished by a raging war, created a sensation when it was premiered in Montclair, New Jersey in 2012, and has since been staged in Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles and Bielefeld, Germany; J.F.K., which focuses on President John F. Kennedy during the night before his assassination in 1963, was premiered by Fort Worth Opera in April 2016. Little was recently selected to participate in the Met/LCT New Works Program, which utilizes the resources of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater to develop new opera and musical theater pieces.

David Little has received awards and recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet The Composer, American Music Center, Harvey Gaul Competition, BMI and ASCAP, and commissions from Carnegie Hall, Kronos Quartet, Maya Beiser, Baltimore Symphony, Albany Symphony, New World Symphony, Kennedy Center’s Fortas Chamber Music Concerts, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, University of Michigan and Dawn Upshaw’s Vocal Arts program at the Bard Conservatory, among others; he has also held residencies with Opera Philadelphia, Music-Theatre Group, Apples and Olives Festival (Zürich) and University of Michigan. His music has been recorded on the New Amsterdam, Innova and VIA labels.

Little wrote, “Haunted Topography is a meditation on a story told to me by Moe Armstrong in the summer of 2011. Moe is the founder of the veteran rehabilitation program Vet2Vet. It was in this capacity that he met a woman whose son had been killed in Vietnam. Even decades after the loss, this mother could not even begin to move past the pain. In speaking with Moe, it came out that, though she had asked, no one had ever shown her a map of where it had happened. She felt that she needed to know this — to see the place where her son had been killed — before her healing process could begin. Moe showed her, and it helped her to begin to heal. It is a simple story, of course, but it says a lot about the nature of grief, of mortality and of the peculiarities of each individual’s needs while engaging with the healing process.

“Originally commissioned by [the New York contemporary music ensemble] Alarm Will Sound, the chamber orchestra version of Haunted Topography received its world premiere on October 21, 2011 as part of the 2011 SONiC Festival. The orchestral version of the work was commissioned by Christopher James Lees, who conducted its premiere at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, on October 18, 2013.”

 

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 (1903)

— Jean Sibelius

Born December 8, 1865 in Hämeenlinna, Finland. Died September 20, 1957 in Järvenpää, Finland.

By 1903, when he was engaged on his Violin Concerto, Sibelius had already composed Finlandia, Kullervo, En Saga, the Karelia Suite, the four Lemminkäinen Legends (including The Swan of Tuonela) and the first two symphonies, the works that established his international reputation. He was composing so easily at that time that his wife, Aïno, wrote to a friend that he would stay up far into the night to record the flood of excellent ideas that had come upon him during the day. There were, however, some disturbing personal worries threatening his musical fecundity.

Just after the premiere of the Second Symphony in March 1902, Sibelius developed a painful ear infection that did not respond easily to treatment. Thoughts of the deafness of Beethoven and Smetana plagued him, and he feared that he might be losing his hearing. (He was 37 at the time.) In June, he began having trouble with his throat, and he jumped to the conclusion that his health was about to give way, even wondering how much time he might have left to work. Though filled with fatalistic thoughts at that time, he put much energy into the Violin Concerto. The ear and throat ailments continued to plague him until 1908, when a benign tumor was discovered. It took a dozen operations until it was successfully removed, and the anxiety about its return stayed with him for years. (Sibelius, incidentally, enjoyed sterling health for the rest of his days and lived to the ripe age of 91, a testament to the efficacy of his treatment.)

The Violin Concerto’s opening movement employs sonata form, modified in that a succinct cadenza for the soloist replaces the usual development section. The exposition consists of three theme groups — a doleful melody announced by the soloist over murmuring strings, a yearning theme initiated by bassoons and cellos with rich accompaniment, and a bold, propulsive strophe in march rhythm. The development-cadenza is built on the opening motive and leads directly into the recapitulation of the exposition themes.

The second movement could well be called a “Romanza,” a descendant of the long-limbed lyricism of the Andantes of Mozart’s violin concertos. It is among the most avowedly Romantic music in any of Sibelius’ works for orchestra. The finale launches into a robust dance whose theme the esteemed English musicologist Sir Donald Tovey thought could be “a polonaise for polar bears.” A bumptious energy fills the movement, giving it an air reminiscent of the Gypsy finales of many 19th-century violin concertos. The form is sonatina, a sonata without development, here employing two large theme groups.

 

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 (1884-1885)

— Johannes Brahms

Born May 7, 1833 in Hamburg. Died April 3, 1897 in Vienna.

In the popular image of Brahms, he appears as a patriarch: full grey beard, rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes. He grew the beard in his late forties as, some say, a compensation for his late physical maturity — he was in his twenties before his voice changed and he needed to shave — and it seemed to be an external admission that Brahms had allowed himself to become an old man. The ideas did not seem to flow so freely as he approached the age of fifty, and he even put his publisher on notice to expect nothing more. Thankfully, the ideas did come, as they would for more than another decade, and he soon completed the superb Third Symphony. The philosophical introspection continued, however, and was reflected in many of his works. The Second Piano Concerto of 1881 is almost autumnal in its mellow ripeness; this Fourth Symphony is music of deep thoughtfulness that leads “into realms where joy and sorrow are hushed, and humanity bows before that which is eternal,” wrote the eminent German musical scholar August Kretzschmar.

One of Brahms’ immediate interests during the composition of the Fourth Symphony was Greek drama. He had been greatly moved by the tragedies of Sophocles in the German translations of his friend Gustav Wendt (1827-1912), director of education in Baden-Baden (Wendt dedicated the volume to Brahms upon its publication in 1884), and many commentators have seen the combination of the epic and the melancholy in this Symphony as a reflection of the works of that ancient playwright. Certainly the choice of E minor as the key of the work is an indication of its tragic nature. This is a rare tonality in the symphonic world, and with so few precedents such a work as Haydn’s in that key (No. 44), a doleful piece subtitled “Mourning Symphony,” was an important influence. That great melancholic among the famous composers, Tchaikovsky, chose E minor as the key for his Fifth Symphony.

Repeatedly accused of being forbiddingly metaphysical or overly serious, the Fourth Symphony was not easily accepted by audiences. The crux of the problem was the stony grandeur of the finale, which confirms the tragedy of the work. The normal expressive function for a symphonic finale is to be an uplifting affirmation of the continuity of human experience. The classic models are Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth Symphonies, and Sir Donald Tovey pointed out that in all that master’s works, only three have minor tonality endings. Even that great prophet of Weltschmerz, Gustav Mahler, ended only his Sixth Symphony on a pessimistic note. So, in this last of his symphonies, it would seem that Brahms grappled with his innermost feelings and found a hard-fought acceptance of his own mortality. The outward sign of his perceived great age, his magnificent beard, found its counterpart in tone in this grand Symphony, perhaps the greatest work in the form since those of Schubert and even Beethoven.

The Symphony’s first movement begins almost in mid-thought, as though the mood of sad melancholy pervading this opening theme had existed forever and Brahms had simply borrowed a portion of it to present musically. The movement is founded upon the tiny two-note motive (short–long) heard immediately at the beginning. Tracing this little germ cell demonstrates not only Brahms’ enormous compositional skills but also the broad emotional range that he could draw from pure musical expression. To introduce the necessary contrasts into this sonata form, other themes are presented, including a broadly lyrical one for horns and cellos and a fragmented fanfare. The movement grows with a wondrous, dark majesty to its closing pages.

“A funeral procession moving across moonlit heights” is how the young Richard Strauss described the second movement. Though the tonality is nominally E major, the movement opens with a stark melody, pregnant with grief, in the ancient Phrygian mode. The mood brightens, but the introspective sorrow of the beginning is never far away. Though in sonatina form (sonata without development), the movement has none of the airy sweetness of so many of Mozart’s andantes cast in that form, but possesses rather an overriding sense of comforting tears washing away great loss. To the noted German musicologist Phillip Spitta, this was the greatest slow movement in all of the symphonic literature. The third movement is the closest Brahms came to a true scherzo in any of his symphonies. Though such a dance-like movement may appear antithetical to the tragic nature of the Symphony, this scherzo is actually a necessary contrast within the work’s total structure since it serves to heighten the pathos of the surrounding movements, especially the granitic splendor of the finale.

The finale is a passacaglia — a series of variations on a short, recurring melody. There are some thirty continuous variations here, though it is less important to follow them individually than to feel the massive strength given to the movement by this technique. The opening chorale-like statement, in which trombones are heard for the first time in the Symphony, recurs twice as a further supporting pillar in the unification of the movement.

©2016 Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

HARRISBURG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.  |  Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

STUART MALINA, Conducting

CHEE YUN, Violin

 

Haunted Topography
David T. Little (b. 1978)

Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

Allegro moderato
Adagio di molto
Allegro ma non tanto

— INTERMISSION—

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Allegro non troppo
Andante moderato
Allegro giocoso
Allegro energico e passionato

About the Music by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun” (1892-1894)

— Claude Debussy

Born August 22, 1862 in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. Died March 25, 1918 in Paris

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) was one of those artists in fin-de-siècle Paris who perceived strong relationships among music, literature and the other arts. A number of his poems, including L’Après-midi d’un faune (“The Afternoon of a Faun”), were not only inspired, he said, by music, but even aspired to its elevated, abstract state. The young composer Claude Debussy had similar feelings about the interaction of poetry and music, and he and Mallarmé became close friends, despite the twenty years difference in their ages. When Mallarmé completed his L’Après-midi d’un faune in 1876 after several years of writing and revising, he envisioned that it would be used as the basis for a theatrical production. Debussy was intrigued at this suggestion, and he set about planning to provide music to a choreographic version that would be devised in consultation with Mallarmé. The projected work was described as Prélude, Interludes et Paraphrase finale to L’Après-midi d’un faune. Debussy completed only the scenario’s first portion, perhaps realizing, as had others, that Mallarmé’s misty symbolism and equivocal language were not innately suited to the theater. The premiere, given at an orchestral concert of the Société Nationale in Paris on December 22, 1894, a few months after the score was finished, was meticulously prepared by the conductor Gustave Doret, with Debussy at his elbow giving instruction and inspiration, polishing details, retouching the scoring. So successful was the initial performance that the audience demanded the work’s immediate encore. L’Après-midi d’un faune was first staged by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe at the Théâtre du Châtelet on May 29, 1912; Nijinsky created the controversial choreography and appeared in the title role.

Mallarmé’s poem is deliberately ambiguous in its sensuous, symbolist language; its purpose is as much to suggest a halcyon, dream-like mood as to tell a story. Robert Lawrence described the ballet’s slight plot in his Victor Books of Ballets: “Exotically spotted, a satyr is taking his rest on the top of a hillock. As he fondles a bunch of grapes, he sees a group of nymphs passing on the plain below. He wants to join them, but when he approaches, they flee. Only one of them, attracted by the faun, returns timidly. But the nymph changes her mind and runs away. For a moment he gazes after her. Then, snatching a scarf she has dropped in her flight, the faun climbs his hillock and resumes his drowsy position, astride the scarf.” As the inherent eroticism of the plot suggests, the Debussy/Mallarmé faun is no Bambi-like creature, but rather a mythological half-man, half-beast with cloven hooves, horns, tail and furry coat, a being which walks upright and whose chief characteristic is its highly developed libido. Mallarmé’s poem is filled with the ambiguities symbolized by the faun: is this a man or a beast? is his love physical or fantasy? reality or dream? The delicate subtlety of the poem finds a perfect tonal equivalent in Debussy’s music.

Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24

— Richard Strauss

Born June 11, 1864 in Munich. Died September 8, 1949 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Death and Transfiguration was completed just in time for Richard Strauss’ 26th birthday. It is a remarkable achievement both in conception and execution for such a young musician, especially since composition was really just a second career for Strauss at the time. By 1887, Strauss was one of the fastest-rising stars in the European conducting firmament, having taken up his first podium engagement at the tender age of nineteen as assistant to the renowned Hans von Bülow at Meiningen. Appointments at the opera houses of Munich, Bayreuth and Weimar, as well as a guest visit to conduct the greatest orchestra of the time, the Berlin Philharmonic, all preceded the premiere of Death and Transfiguration, in June 1890. Strauss’ schedule was hectic, and it is a tribute to his stamina and ambition that he was able to balance two full-time careers with such excellent success. Throughout his life he remained one of the most highly regarded and sought-after conductors in the world, reaching the pinnacle of his acclaim when he was appointed director of the Vienna Opera in 1919.

It was at his first conducting post that Strauss met Alexander Ritter, an artistic jack-of-all-trades who made his living as a violinist, but also considered himself a poet and composer. Ritter introduced Strauss to the operas of Wagner, and Strauss was overwhelmed. Strauss’ training under the watchful eye of his father, an excellent musician and the best horn player in Europe, had been confined to the classic literature of Mozart, Beethoven and the early Romantic composers — Papa Strauss stubbornly refused to let the impressionable Richard investigate the turbulent Romanticism of Wagner and Liszt. Once Strauss made the inevitable discovery of Tristan and the Ring, however, they proved a decisive influence on his work as a composer and conductor. Ritter also convinced the young composer that a literary idea could inspire an instrumental work, and Strauss responded with a series of brilliant symphonic (or tone) poems for orchestra. Death and Transfiguration was the third of these, following Macbeth (1887) and Don Juan (1888).

The literary inspiration for Death and Transfiguration originated with Strauss himself, as he noted in a letter to his friend Friedrich von Hausegger in 1894: “It was six years ago when the idea came to me to write a tone poem describing the last hours of a man who had striven for the highest ideals, presumably an artist. The sick man lies in his bed breathing heavily and irregularly in his sleep. Friendly dreams bring a smile to his face; his sleep grows lighter; he awakens. Fearful pains once more begin to torture him, fever shakes his body. When the attack is over and the pain recedes, he recalls his past life; his childhood passes before his eyes; his youth with its strivings and passions; and then, when the pain returns, there appears to him the goal of his life’s journey — the idea, the ideal which he attempted to embody in his art, but which he was unable to perfect because such perfection could be achieved by no man. The fatal hour arrives. The soul leaves his body, to discover in the eternal cosmos the magnificent realization of the ideal which could not be fulfilled here below.”

Strauss’ composition follows his literary program with almost clinical precision. It is divided into four sections. The first summons forth the vision of the sickroom and the irregular heartbeat and distressed sighs of the man/artist. The second section, in a faster tempo, is a vivid and violent portrayal of his suffering. The ensuing, slower section, beginning tenderly and representing the artist’s remembrance of his life, is broken off suddenly when the anguished music of the second part returns. This ultimate, painful struggle ends in death, signified by a stroke of the gong. The final section, hymnal in mood, depicts the artist’s vision of ultimate beauty as he is transfigured into part of “the eternal cosmos.”

At the end of his long life, Strauss looked back to Death and Transfiguration, and borrowed one of its themes for inclusion in the last work he wrote, Im Abendrot (“In the Twilight”) from the Four Last Songs. Only a few months later, on his deathbed, he whispered, “Dying is just as I composed it in Death and Transfiguration.”

The Firebird, Ballet in Two Scenes (1909-1910)

Igor Stravinsky

Born June 17, 1882 in Oranienbaum, near St. Petersburg. Died April 6, 1971 in New York City.

Fireworks. There could not have been a more appropriate title for the work that launched the meteoric career of Igor Stravinsky. He wrote this glittering orchestral miniature in 1908, while still under the tutelage of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and it shows all the dazzling instrumental technique that the student had acquired from his teacher. Though the reception of Fireworks was cool when it was first performed at the Siloti Concerts in St. Petersburg on February 6, 1909, there was one member of the audience who listened with heightened interest. Serge Diaghilev was forming his Ballet Russe company at just that time, and he recognized in Stravinsky a talent to be watched. He approached the 27-year-old composer and requested orchestral transcriptions of short pieces by Chopin and Grieg that would be used in the first Parisian season of the Ballet Russe. Stravinsky did his work well and on time.

During that same winter, plans were beginning to stir in the creative wing of the Ballet Russe for a Russian folk ballet — something filled with legend and magic and fantasy. The composer Nikolai Tcherepnin was associated with the Ballet Russe at that time, and it was assumed that he would compose the music for a plot derived from several traditional Russian sources. However, Tcherepnin was given to inexplicable changes of mood, and he was losing interest in ballet at the time, so he withdrew from the project. Diaghilev then wrote to his old harmony professor, Anatoly Liadov, and asked him to consider taking on the task, informing him that the date for the premiere of the new work was firmly set for less than a year away. After too many weeks with no word from the dilatory composer, Diaghilev paid him a visit, and was greeted with Liadov’s report on his progress: “It won’t be long now,” Diaghilev was told. “It’s well on its way. I have just today bought the manuscript paper.” Realizing that The Firebird would never get off the ground at such a rate, Diaghilev inquired whether Stravinsky had any interest in taking over for Liadov. Though involved in another project (he had just completed the first act of the opera The Nightingale), he was eager to work with Diaghilev’s company again, so he agreed. After some delicate negotiations with Liadov, Stravinsky was officially awarded the commission in December, though his eagerness was so great that he had begun composing the music a month earlier. The triumphant premiere of The Firebird, given by the Ballet Russe at the Paris Opéra on June 25, 1910, rocketed Stravinsky to international fame. With somewhat uncharacteristic understatement, he said, “The Firebird radically altered my life.”

The story of the ballet deals with the glittering Firebird and the evil ogre Kashchei, who captures maidens and turns men to stone if they enter his domain. Kashchei is immortal as long as his soul, which is preserved in the form of an egg in a casket, remains intact. The plot shows how Prince Ivan wanders into Kashchei’s garden in pursuit of the Firebird; he captures it and exacts a feather before letting it go. Ivan meets a group of Kashchei’s captive maidens and falls in love with one of them. The princesses return to Kashchei’s palace. Ivan breaks open the gates to follow them inside, but he is captured by the ogre’s guardian monsters. He waves the magic feather, and the Firebird reappears to help him smash Kashchei’s vital egg; the ogre immediately expires. All the captives are freed and Ivan and his Tsarevna are wed.

The music from The Firebird is most familiar in the form of the suites Stravinsky drew in later years from the score. However, only a performance of the original, complete score, such as that given at this concert, allows the unique brilliance of Stravinsky’s vision and its realization to be fully appreciated, “for,” wrote Pierre Boulez, “it [i.e., the complete score] strikes me as indissolubly linked to the musical thought that gave it birth.” David Drew was more specific in noting the qualities of the full-length ballet: “The Firebird is a big work in every sense; the structure embraces many small component parts, yet the articulation of the whole is so masterful that the total impression is quite free from any suggestion of fragmentariness. It might be objected that the inclusion of numbers omitted from the suites does not add anything of great musical substance. This is true, but it is not the point. What matters is that the necessary links are restored to the music and — still more important — the crucial events in the music drama are established in their proper time-relationship. In a sense the omission of interludes from The Firebird is analogous to the omission of recitatives from a classical opera.”

The sections of the complete ballet are: Introduction. Scene One: Kashchei’s Enchanted Garden; Appearance of the Firebird Pursued by Ivan Tsarevich; Dance of the Firebird; Ivan Tsarevich Captures the Firebird; Supplication of the Firebird; Appearance of Thirteen Enchanted Princesses; The Princesses’ Game with the Golden Apples (Scherzo); Sudden Appearance of Ivan Tsarevich; The Princesses Khorovod (Round Dance); Daybreak; Magic Carillon, Appearance of Kashchei’s Guardian Monsters, Capture of Ivan Tsarevich; Arrival of Kashchei the Immortal, His Dialogue with Ivan Tsarevich, Intercession of the Princesses; Appearance of the Firebird; Dance of the Kashchei’s Retinue under the Firebird’s Spell; Infernal Dance of all Kashchei’s Subjects; Lullaby (Firebird); Kashchei’s Death. Scene Two: Disappearance of the Palace and Dissolution of Kashchei’s Enchantments, Animation of the Petrified Warriors, General Thanksgiving.

©2016 Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

HARRISBURG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.  |  Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

STUART MALINA, Conducting

 

Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

— INTERMISSION—

The Firebird, Ballet in Two Scenes (1910)
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Allegretto
Allegro
Lento —
Lento — Allegro molt

About the Music by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture (1869)

— Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Born May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk. Died November 6, 1893 in St. Petersburg

Romeo and Juliet was written when Tchaikovsky was 29. It was his first masterpiece. For a decade he had been involved with the intense financial, personal and artistic struggles that mark the maturing years of most creative figures. Advice and guidance often flowed his way during that time, and one who dispensed it freely to anyone who would listen was Mili Balakirev, one of the group of amateur composers known in English as “The Five” (and in Russian as “The Mighty Handful”) who sought to create a nationalistic music specifically Russian in style. In May 1869, Balakirev suggested to Tchaikovsky that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet would be an appropriate subject for a musical composition, and he even offered the young composer a detailed program and an outline for the form of the piece. Tchaikovsky took the advice to heart, and he consulted closely with Balakirev during the composition of the work. Though his help came close to meddling, Balakirev’s influence seems to have had a strong positive effect on the finished composition.

Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet is in a carefully constructed sonata form, with introduction and coda. The slow opening section, in chorale style, depicts Friar Lawrence. The exposition (Allegro giusto) begins with a vigorous, syncopated theme depicting the conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets. The contrapuntal interworkings and the rising intensity of the theme in this section suggest the fury and confusion of a fight. The conflict subsides and the well-known love theme (used here as a contrasting second theme) is sung by the English horn to represent Romeo’s passion; a tender, sighing phrase for muted violins suggests Juliet’s response. A stormy development section utilizing the driving main theme and the theme from the introduction denotes the continuing feud between the families and Friar Lawrence’s urgent pleas for peace. The crest of the fight ushers in the recapitulation, in which the thematic material from the exposition is considerably compressed. Juliet’s sighs again provoke the ardor of Romeo, whose motive is here given a grand, emotional setting. The tempo slows, the mood darkens, and the coda emerges with a sense of impending doom. The themes of the conflict and of Friar Lawrence’s entreaties sound again, but a funereal drum beats out the cadence of the lovers’ fatal pact. Romeo’s theme appears for a final time in a poignant transformation before the closing woodwind chords evoke visions of the flight to celestial regions.

 

Violin Concerto (1940)

 Aram Khachaturian

Born June 6, 1903 in Tiflis, Armenia. Died May 1, 1978 in Moscow

One of the signature achievements of the Union of Soviet Composers was the founding in 1939 of an enclave on the Moscow River near the town of Staraya Ruza set aside for creative work and rest. Khachaturian spent the summer of 1940 there, in one of the cottages in the dense pine forest, composing a violin concerto for David Oistrakh. Khachaturian had largely prepared the formal plan for the piece in his head in advance, and recalled, “I worked without effort. Sometimes my thoughts and imagination outraced the hand that was covering the staff with notes. The themes came to me in such abundance that I had a hard time putting them in some order…. While composing the Concerto I had for my models such masterpieces as the concertos by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Glazunov. I wanted to create a virtuoso piece employing the symphonic principle of development and yet understandable to the general public.” He succeeded, and the Concerto enjoyed great success when it was premiered on November 16, 1940 in Moscow by Oistrakh. The new Concerto solidified Khachaturian’s popularity at home and abroad, and he was awarded the Stalin Prize for it in 1941.

The Concerto’s opening movement is disposed in the traditional sonata form, with two contrasting themes and a full development section. After a brief introductory outburst by the orchestra, the soloist presents an animated motif that soon evolves into a bounding, close-interval folk dance. This theme, punctuated once by the strong orchestral chords from the introduction, continues for some time before it gives way to a lyrical complementary strain of nostalgic emotional character. As the movement unfolds, the soloist is required to display one dazzling technical feat after another, culminating in a huge cadenza that serves as the bridge to the recapitulation. Both earlier themes are returned in elaborated settings to round out the movement. The second movement is in a broad three-part design prefaced by a bassoon solo that Grigory Shneerson, in his study of Khachaturian, said imitated the improvisations of the ashugs, or bards, of the composer’s native Armenia. A melancholy tune occupies the movement’s outer sections while the central portion is more animated and rhapsodic in nature. The finale is an irresistible rondo, filled with festive brilliance, blazing orchestral color and sparkling virtuosity.

 

Symphony No. 12, “The Year 1917,” Op. 112 (1960-1961)

— Dmitri Shostakovich

Born September 25, 1906 in St. Petersburg. Died August 9, 1975 in Moscow.

Shostakovich returned to the subject of the Russian Revolution throughout his career. The Second Symphony of 1927 (“To October”), the most overtly modernistic among his fifteen such works, was created to mark the tenth anniversary of the Revolution. In 1938, immediately after the Fifth Symphony had restored him to favor with Stalin and the Soviet political hierarchy, Shostakovich considered writing a large-scale tribute to Lenin, but the onset of war forced the cancellation of those plans. The public success of the Symphony No. 11 (“The Year 1905,” depicting the small but premonitory outbreaks of civil unrest in St. Petersburg), composed in 1957 in observance of the fortieth anniversary of the Revolution, caused Shostakovich to reaffirm his intentions to write a tribute to Lenin. At the end of October 1960, just six weeks after being admitted formally to the Communist Party, he stated during a broadcast interview that “the new Symphony will have four movements. The first is conceived as a narrative about Lenin’s arrival in Petrograd in April 1917 and his meetings with the working people of the city. The second movement will reflect the historic events of November 7th [i.e., the day the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; the old Julian calendar, twelve days behind the modern Gregorian version, was still in effect in Russia then, hence the ‘October’ Revolution]. The third will tell about the civil war, and the finale about the ultimate victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution…. Although I was very young in 1917, I was an eyewitness of the Revolution. I was living in Petrograd then, and the events of that period have remained in my memory all my life.”

The Twelfth Symphony, subtitled “The Year 1917: In Memory of Lenin,” changed somewhat from Shostakovich’s original plan by the time it was completed in August 1961. There were still four movements, but the second and third had been combined into one, and a portrait of Lenin at Razliv inserted. The work was written in an idiom intended to incite public approbation (“I always try to make myself as widely understood as possible, and if I don’t succeed, I consider it my own fault,” Shostakovich said repeatedly), and it was greeted enthusiastically at its official premiere in the Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic on October 1, 1961, conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky. The Symphony was played successfully that same evening in Kuibyshev, and heard shortly thereafter in Moscow at three immediately-sold-out performances by the U.S.S.R. State Symphony Orchestra, directed by Konstantin Ivanov. Shostakovich was duly confirmed as a full member of the Communist Party following the premiere. Later that same month, Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s shattering poem Babi Yar, which criticized the Soviet government for anti-Semitism and the repression of minorities, began to circulate among the Russian intelligentsia. From that literary seed grew Shostakovich’s vastly different Thirteenth Symphony, a wrenching work of tragedy and disturbing introspection for bass solo, male chorus and orchestra.

The first movement of the Symphony No. 12 (Revolutionary Petrograd) opens with a stern, brooding introductory theme whose mood and harmonization recall the spirit of the Russian nationalists Mussorgsky, Borodin and even Tchaikovsky. The main body of the movement is launched by a fast-tempo bassoon transformation of the earlier theme, which is worked out at some length and with an almost ferocious vigor by the full orchestra. A stentorian climax and a relaxation of tension leads to the contrasting second theme, a hymnal melody first intoned by cellos and basses which returns throughout the Symphony to help unify its overall structure. This theme reaches a peroratorical plateau before it is suddenly broken off by a stroke of the gong to mark the beginning of the development section, a stormy, battle-scarred episode concerned mainly with the principal subject. A grand proclamation of the introductory melody by the winds and brass serves as the gateway to the recapitulation, which reiterates the earlier thematic components at their full length. Quiet, hollow-sounding taps on the drums lead without pause to the second movement, Razliv, named for the encampment north of Petrograd from which Lenin directed the early activities of the Revolution while hiding in a peasant hut. A sinuous motive begun in the low strings winds its way through much of this Adagio, and is made to accommodate references to the hymnal second theme of the preceding movement at several structural junctures. A somber melody entrusted to solo horn, flute, clarinet and, later, bassoon and trombone bespeaks the desolation of the place and the intense contemplation of the events to come.

Aurora was the name of the battle cruiser that gave the signal for the start of the Revolution by lobbing a shell through a window of the Winter Palace from the River Neva. The third movement begins softly, expectantly, with echoes of motives from the Adagio, but becomes more excited as is proceeds. Bass trombone and tuba recall the hymnal second theme from the opening movement, and the chant is soon taken up by the full orchestra. A powerful, percussion-dominated transitional passage indicates the ferocity of the struggle, and leads directly to the finale, The Dawn of the People. A broad, heroic motive hurled forth by the unison horns serves as the main theme, while a lighter triple-meter melody from the violins provides formal and emotional contrast. References to the two principal themes of the opening movement are woven with the motives of the finale to close the Symphony with a thunderous peal of victory.

*  *  *

Since the appearance in 1979 of Testimony, Shostakovich’s purported memoirs, it has become necessary to re-examine many of his important compositions for expressive subtleties and veiled meanings. Concerning his attempt to portray Lenin, Shostakovich said in Testimony, “I understand that my Twelfth Symphony isn’t a complete success in that sense. I began with one creative goal and ended with a completely different scheme. I wasn’t able to realize my ideas, the material put up resistance.” He did not elucidate further, but it could well be that the Symphony exists as a sort of gigantic double entendre, a multi-layered musical document that praised the Communists on its surface but vilified them in its heart. In his book on The New Shostakovich (1990), Ian MacDonald conjectured, “Once it is grasped that there was never room in the Twelfth Symphony for Shostakovich to say anything serious — or even overtly funny — it becomes easier to see the work for what it is: a dazzlingly resourceful impersonation of the very symphony its early audiences thought they were hearing.” Especially in relation to the boisterous, thumping ending, the composer’s words in Testimony about the Fifth Symphony bear recalling: “I think it is clear to everyone what happens in the [finale of the] Fifth Symphony. The rejoicing is forced, created under threat, as in Boris Godunov. It’s as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, ‘Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing,’ and you rise, shaky, and go marching off muttering, ‘Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing.’ What kind of apotheosis is that? You have to be a complete oaf not to hear that…. People who came to the premiere of the Fifth in the best of moods wept.” Whether an equivalent “message” lies beneath the clamorous bombast of the end of the Twelfth Symphony will perhaps never be ascertained, but that such a work could exist simultaneously on two such different philosophical planes testifies to the skill, artistic vision and courage of its creator.

©2016 Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

HARRISBURG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.  |  Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

STUART MALINA, Conducting

KRISTÓF BARÁTI, Violin

 

Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Violin Concerto
Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978)

Allegro con fermezza
Andante sostenuto
Allegro vivace

— INTERMISSION—

Symphony No. 12, “The Year 1917,” Op. 112
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Revolutionary Petrograd: Moderato — Allegro
Razliv: Adagio
Aurora: Allegro
The Dawn of the People: Allegro
Played without pause

About the Music by Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

Piano Concerto in F (1925)

— George Gershwin

Born September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. Died July 11, 1937 in Hollywood, California

Walter Damrosch, conductor of the New York Symphony and one of this country’s most prominent musical figures for the half-century before World War II, was among the Aeolian Hall audience when George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue exploded above the musical world on February 12, 1924. He recognized Gershwin’s genius (and, no doubt, the opportunity for wide publicity), and approached him a short time later with a proposal for another large-scale work. A concerto for piano was agreed upon, and Gershwin was awarded a commission from the New York Symphony to compose the piece and also to be the soloist at its premiere and a half dozen subsequent concerts. The story that Gershwin then rushed out and bought a reference book explaining what a concerto is probably is apocryphal. He did, however, study the scores of some of the concertos of earlier masters to discover how they had handled the problems of structure and instrumental balance, and he also obtained a copy of Forsyth’s Standard Manual of Orchestration. Gershwin felt he needed a book on this latter subject because he, like virtually all Broadway composers then and now, entrusted the orchestration of his theater scores to a professional arranger. (The Rhapsody in Blue was orchestrated by Ferde Grofé.) This new concerto, he decided, would be entirely his own work, so he set about learning the techniques of writing for the symphony orchestra.

Gershwin later recorded his attitude toward the composition of the Concerto. “Many persons had thought that the Rhapsody was only a happy accident,” he wrote. “Well, I wanted to show that there was plenty more where that had come from. I made up my mind to do a piece of ‘absolute’ music. The Rhapsody, as its title implied, was a blues impression. The Concerto would be unrelated to any program. And that is exactly how I wrote it. I learned a great deal from that experience, particularly in the handling of instruments in combination.” He made the first extensive sketches for the work while in London during May 1925. By July, back home, he was able to play for his friends large fragments of the evolving work, tentatively entitled “New York Concerto.” The first movement was completed by the end of that month, the second and third by September, and the orchestration carried out in October and November, by which time the title had become simply Concerto in F. Because of the large royalties from his shows and the Rhapsody in Blue, he was able to hire a full orchestra for a trial performance during the process of orchestration. He not only revised the scoring and made some cuts after this session, but also admitted that the run-through gave him the “greatest musical thrill” of his life.

The Concerto is in the jazz-inspired idiom of the Rhapsody in Blue. The work’s premiere, on December 3, 1925, was a success, though it did not engender unbridled enthusiasm as had the Rhapsody. Damrosch, however, was more than pleased with the new work, as he testified in this colorful account: “Various composers have been walking around jazz like a cat around a plate of hot soup, waiting for it to cool off, so they could enjoy it without burning their tongues, hitherto accustomed only to the more tepid liquid distilled by the cooks of the classical school. Lady Jazz, adorned with her intriguing rhythms, has danced her way around the world, even as far as the Eskimos of the North and the Polynesians of the South Sea Isles. But for all her travels and her sweeping popularity, she has encountered no knight who could lift her to a level that would enable her to be received as a respectable member of musical circles. George Gershwin seems to have accomplished this miracle. He has done it boldly by dressing this extremely independent and up-to-date young lady in the classic garb of a concerto. Yet he has not detracted one whit from her fascinating personality. He is the Prince who has taken Cinderella by the hand and openly proclaimed her a princess to the astonished world.”

Gershwin provided a short analysis of the Concerto for the New York Tribune of November 29, 1925, just four days before the work’s premiere: “The first movement employs a Charleston rhythm. It is quick and pulsating, representing the young, enthusiastic spirit of American life. It begins with a rhythmic motif given out by the kettledrums, supported by other percussion instruments and with a Charleston motif introduced by bassoon, horns, clarinets and violas. The principal theme is announced by the bassoon. Later, a second theme is introduced by the piano. The second movement has a poetic nocturnal atmosphere which has come to be referred to as the American blues, but in a purer form than that in which they are usually treated. The final movement reverts to the style of the first. It is an orgy of rhythms, starting violently and keeping the same pace throughout.”

Though Gershwin based his Concerto loosely on classical formal models, its structure is episodic in nature. His words above do not mention several other melodies that appear in the first and second movements, nor the return of some of those themes in the finale as a means of unifying the work’s overall structure. He was learning as he went, and this Concerto is nothing short of astonishing when it is realized that it was only his second concert work, written when he was just 27 years old. Few other composers could boast of such a successful beginning. Noting the brilliant natural talent displayed in the Concerto, Milton Cross wrote, “[The flaws in Gershwin’s large works] become insignificant when placed beside the many strong points: the amazing melodic inventiveness; the never-failing freshness of ideas; the basic feeling for rhythm; the extraordinary instincts which dictated the proper effect and the precise means; the unfailing inspiration in getting the idea required by the big moment. His talent, in short, was a conservatory in itself.”

 

Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1906-1907)

— Sergei Rachmaninoff

Born April 1, 1873 in Oneg (near Novgorod), Russia. Died March 28, 1943 in Beverly Hills, California.

How much Rachmaninoff’s life changed in just a half dozen years! The premiere of his First Symphony in 1897 was a complete failure, a total fiasco. The Russian nationalist composer César Cui ranted, “If there is a conservatory competition in Hell, Rachmaninoff would gain first prize for this Symphony.” Rimsky-Korsakov did not find it “at all agreeable.” Young Rachmaninoff — aged 24 — was plunged into a Stygian despair. For over two years, he entertained the darkest thoughts and composed nothing. Then in 1900, he began consulting one Dr. Nicholas Dahl, a physician specializing in the treatment of alcoholism through hypnosis. Dahl’s method of auto-suggestion (and probably his enlightened conversation about music) restored the composer’s confidence and desire to work. Within a year, the grand Second Concerto was produced and successfully launched into the world, and Rachmaninoff was on his way to international fame. By 1905, he was one of the most important figures in Russian music.

Beside his prodigious talents as pianist and composer, Rachmaninoff was also a first-rate conductor, and when his stock began rising after the Second Concerto carried his name into important Russian circles, he was appointed opera conductor at the Moscow Imperial Grand Theater. As with his music, he found excellent success with his conducting, but he had understandable misgivings about the way it interfered with his creative ambitions. In an interview with Frederick H. Martens, he said, “When I am concertizing I cannot compose. When I feel like writing music I have to concentrate on that — I cannot touch the piano. When I am conducting I can neither compose nor play concerts. Other musicians may be more fortunate in this respect; but I have to concentrate on any one thing I am doing to such a degree that it does not seem to allow me to take up anything else.” There was much music in him that needed to be written, and he knew that a choice about the direction of his future work was imminent.

By the beginning of 1906, he had decided to sweep away the rapidly accumulating obligations of conducting, concertizing, and socializing that cluttered his life in Moscow in order to find some quiet place in which to compose. His determination may have been strengthened by the political unrest beginning to rumble under the foundations of the aristocratic Russian political system. The uprising of 1905 was among the first signs of trouble for those of his noble class (his eventual move to the United States was a direct result of the swallowing of his family’s estate and resources by the 1917 Revolution), and he probably thought it a good time to start looking for a quiet haven.

A few years before, Rachmaninoff had been overwhelmed by an inspired performance of Die Meistersinger he heard at the Dresden Opera. The memory of that evening and the aura of dignity and repose exuded by the city had remained with him, and Dresden, at that time in his life, seemed like a good place to be. Besides, the city was only two hours by train from Leipzig, where Arthur Nikisch, whom Rachmaninoff considered the greatest living conductor and who had shown an interest in his music, was music director. The decision to move to Dresden was made early in 1906, and by autumn the composer, his wife and their new-born daughter were installed in a small but smart house complemented by an attractive garden. They arrived quietly, and lived, as much as possible, incognito and in seclusion. When he chanced to meet a Russian acquaintance on the street one day, Rachmaninoff pleaded, “I have escaped from my friends. Please don’t give me away.” The atmosphere in Dresden was so conducive to composition that within a few months of his arrival he was working on the Second Symphony, the First Piano Sonata, the Op. 6 collection of Russian folk songs and the symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead. The Second Symphony was unanimously cheered when it made the rounds of the Russian concert societies in 1908, and it was an important item on Rachmaninoff’s first American tour the following year.

The majestic scale of the Symphony is established at the outset by a slow, brooding introduction. The low strings and then the violins give out a fragmentary theme which generates much of the material for the entire work. A smooth transition to a faster tempo signals the arrival of the main theme, an extended and quickened transformation of the basses’ opening motive. The expressive second theme enters in the woodwinds. The development deals with the vigorous main theme to such an extent that the beginning of the formal recapitulation is engulfed by its surging sweep. The lovely second theme reappears as expected, again in the woodwinds. The coda resumes the energetic mood of the development to build to the fine climax which ends the movement.

The second movement is the most nimble essay in Rachmaninoff’s orchestral works. After two preparatory measures, the horns hurl forth the main theme, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Dies Irae, the ancient chant from the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead that haunted the composer for many years. The vital nature of the music, however, does not support any morbid interpretation. Eventually, the rhythmic bustle is suppressed and finally silenced to make way for the movement’s central section, whose skipping lines embody some of Rachmaninoff’s best fugal writing. Almost as if by magic, the opening scherzo returns amid a full-throated cry from the brass. Once again, this passage quiets and the movement ends on a note of considerable mystery.

The rapturous third movement, wrote Patrick Piggott, “is as romantic as any music in the orchestral repertory — if by romantic we mean the expression, through lyrical melody and richly chromatic harmony, of a sentiment which can only be described as love.” This is music of heightened passion that resembles nothing so much as an ecstatic operatic love scene. Alternating with the joyous principal melody is an important theme from the first movement, heard prominently in the central portion and the coda of this movement.

The finale bursts forth in the whirling dance rhythm of an Italian tarantella. The propulsive urgency subsides to allow another of Rachmaninoff’s wonderful, sweeping melodic inspirations to enter. A development of the tarantella motives follows, into which are embroidered thematic reminiscences from each of the three preceding movements. The several elements of the finale are gathered together in the closing pages to produce the rich and sonorous tapestry appropriate for the life-affirming conclusion of this grand and stirring Symphony.

©2015 Dr. Richard E. Rodda

 

HARRISBURG SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.  |  Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

STUART MALINA, Conducting and Piano

GREGORY WOODBRIDGE, Conducting*

 

Piano Concerto in F*
George Gershwin (1898-1937)

Allegro
Andante con moto
Allegro agitato

— INTERMISSION—

Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Largo — Allegro moderato
Allegro molto
Adagio
Allegro vivace

UPCOMING EVENTS

Ann Hampton Callaway comes to Harrisburg to perform the Barbra Streisand songbook. Hear the immortal hits and lush arrangements that made Streisand one of our greatest pop icons.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: $17 - $90

Mar 15, 2017

Stuart & Friends

The annual Stuart and Friends chamber music concert continues at Gamut Theatre this year. Program to be announced. Gamut Theatre (15 N. 4th St.) in downtown Harrisburg.

Wed. 7:30 PM, Gamut Theatre
Tickets: $22 Adult, $11 Student / Youth (25 and under)

Join the members of the Harrisburg Symphony Society for the NY-Style Fashion Show "The Art of Personal Style"

11:00 AM, Chocolate Ballroom | Hershey Lodge, additional details TBA

Three stunning orchestral masterpieces are featured in this concert, including Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Strauss's Death & Transfiguration, and the complete Firebird ballet by Stravinsky.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: $17 - $84

Get swept away with great music from Russia including soaring melodies of Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet, followed by the dazzling violin concerto for Khachaturian and the 12th Symphony of Shostakovich.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: $17 - $84

The irresistible force that is Michael Cavanaugh and his dynamic band come back to Harrisburg to perform the immortal hits of one of pop music's greatest stars, Elton John.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: $22 - $96

Music and movement collide as the Harrisburg Symphony presents Carnegie Hall’s Link Up: The Orchestra Moves! Join us for an interactive concert experience sure to excite and inspire young audiences!

10 AM and 11:30 AM, The Forum
The concert is free, but advance registration of your group/class is required.

Stuart Malina will be seated at the piano to perform one of his favorite concertos, the Concerto in F by George Gershwin. After intermission, we'll conclude our Masterworks season with one of the greatest Russian symphonies, Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: $17 - $84

Celebrate Mother’s Day with family and music! The Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Youth String Orchestra perform orchestral favorites under the direction of Maestros Gregory Woodbridge and Krista Kriel.

3 PM, The Forum $12 Adults, $6 Children

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Oct 07-08, 2017

Oct 28-29, 2017

October POPS Concert

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Nov 13, 2017

HSYO Fall Concert

Join the Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Youth String Orchestra as they kick off their 2016/17 season. The Capital Region’s most talented young musicians perform under the direction of Maestros Gregory Woodbridge and Krista Kriel.

7 PM, The Forum

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Jan 27-28, 2018

January POPS Concert

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

The Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Youth String Orchestra start the New Year off with an inspired performance of orchestral classics under the direction of Maestros Gregory Woodbridge and Krista Kriel.

7 PM, The Forum

Mar 03-04, 2018

March POPS Concert

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

May 05-06, 2018

May 05-06, 2018

May POPS Concert

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA

Programming for the 2017/18 Season will be announced mid-March 2017.

Sat. 8 PM, Sun. 3 PM, The Forum
Tickets: Pricing TBA