Program Notes | Choral Masterworks

The Lark Ascending RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Born October 12, 1872, Down Ampney Died August 26, 1958, London Vaughan Williams originally composed The Lark Ascending, which he called a Romance for Violin and Orchestra, in 1914, just after completing his London Symphony, but World War I...

Program Notes | Celebrating Stravinsky

Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Major, op.84, K.364 FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN Born 1732, Rohrau, Austria Died 1809, Vienna Haydn wrote this wonderful music quickly in London during the winter of 1792. The sinfonia concertante is a concerto-like form, but with some important differences. It is for...

Program Notes | Season Finale

Violin Concerto in E Minor, op.64 FELIX MENDELSSOHN Born 1809, Hamburg Died 1847, Leipzig “I would like to write you a violin concerto for next winter. One in E minor keeps running through my head, and the opening gives me no peace.” So wrote Mendelssohn...

Program Note | L’Histoire du Soldat

IGOR STRAVINSKY  Born 1882, Oranienbaum, Russia Died 1971, New York City Stravinsky spent the difficult period of World War I in Switzerland. The war prevented productions of Stravinsky’s music, halting his income, and the Russian Revolution cut him off from his homeland. Stravinsky became friends…

Program Notes | Dvořák, Higdon & Rouse

blue cathedral JENNIFER HIGDON Born 1962, Brooklyn, NY   blue cathedral (Higdon sets that title in lower case) premiered on March 1, 2000. This music sprang from a very personal source―the death of the composer’s brother, Andrew Blue Higdon, from cancer. Jennifer Higdon has prepared...

Program Notes | Romantic Legacies

Symphony No. 1 in E Minor FLORENCE PRICE Born 1887, Little Rock Died 1953, Chicago Born in Little Rock, Florence Price gave her first piano recital at age 4, published her first piece at 11, and entered the New England Conservatory at 15. There she...

Program Notes | Mozart, Haydn & Fung

Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila MIKHAIL GLINKA Born 1804, Novospasskoye, Russia Died 1857, Berlin Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka is commonly regarded as the father of Russian opera and the founder of Russian nationalism in music. The two major musical influences in his life were the Russian...

Program Note | Handel’s Messiah

Throughout most of the 1730s, George Frideric Handel was London’s most prominent and successful musician. Renowned for his string of hit Italian operas, he enjoyed royal patronage and public acclaim. By the end of the decade, however, the popularity of Italian opera in London had…

Program Notes | Beethoven’s Emperor

Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op.36 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Born 1770, Bonn Died 1827, Vienna Beethoven liked to get away from Vienna during the summer, and in April 1802 he rented rooms in the village of Heiligenstadt, which had fields and forests where he...

Handel’s Messiah

November 23 & 24, 2019 Born February 23, 1685, Halle, GermanyDied April 14, 1759, LondonIn the latter part of his career, the music of George Frideric Handel had become less fashionable and his financial straits dire. Nonetheless, in 1741, he was invited to compose works…

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