AMERICAN WEST SYMPHONY CELEBRATES 25 YEARS
The American West Symphony is currently celebrating its 25thanniversary. At its upcoming spring concerts the orchestra and music director Joel Rosenberg, who is marking his 20th year with the organization, will be commemorating the milestone in a big way. On the program are selections from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (Organ) and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor.
“The large piece on the program is Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony,” Rosenberg told Reichel Recommends. “We will be doing the second half of the work.” Joining them will be organist Teresa Clawson and pianists Carson Malen and Ubeeng Kueq. “It’s colorful and a virtuoso piece for the organ, and the organ gives a ‘cathedral’ sound to the orchestra,” Rosenberg said.
Saint-Saëns wrote the work in 1886 for the Royal Philharmonic Society in England. He conducted the premiere in London that same year, and after hearing of Franz Liszt’s death, dedicated the work to him. This will be Rosenberg’s first performance of the work with the American West Symphony.
Malen and Kueq will also be featured in the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto. Malen will play at the May 10 concert in Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Kueq at the May 13-14 concerts in Libby Gardner Concert Hall. The two are winners of this year’s piano competition held by the American West Symphony.
“Rachmaninoff’s Third is one of the hardest concertos for piano ever written,” Rosenberg said, “and we have two very fine young soloists playing it.”
The concerts will also honor the memory of Cliff Millward, who was a long time member of the Utah Symphony under Maurice Abravanel. Millward later joined the American West’s trumpet section and became a member of the board. “I’m going to play Caccini’s Ave Maria in his memory,” Rosenberg said.
The program also includes the overture to Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco.
At the May 10 concert, the American West Symphony Chorus, under chorus master Tyler Kofoed, will sing two short pieces: W.A. Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and Antonio Vivaldi’sIn excelsis Deo. “Tyler is a graduate student at the University of Utah and he’s doing a great job rebuilding our chorus,” Rosenberg said.
For the other two performances, the chorus selections will be replaced by the orchestral Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria Rusticana.
- CONCERT DETAILS:
- What: American West Symphony, Joel Rosenberg, conductor
- Venue: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 8575 S. 700 East
- Time and Date: 8 p.m. May 10
- Tickets: $10 general, $8 students, $5 children
- Web: www.americanwestsymphony.org
- ALSO: Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. May 13-14, $10 general, $8 students
About Edward ReichelEdward Reichel, author, writer and composer, served for many years as the primary music critic for the Deseret News and currently writes for a number of publications including Chamber Music Magazine, OPERA Magazine, 15 Bytes and Park City Magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reichel Recommends is also on Twitter @ReichelArts.
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