River Campus Welcomes Back St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 24, 2011 — The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will return to the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus to perform at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall in the Cultural Arts Center.

The concert will feature Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Mendelssohn’s “Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.”

Robert Franz, musical director of the Boise Philharmonic and associate conductor of the Houston Symphony, will conduct the program. 

Beethoven completed his work on his Symphony No. 7 in 1812. The work, known for its rhythmic devices, premiered in Vienna in 1813 at a charity concert for wounded soldiers, with Beethoven himself conducting the work. The symphony’s second movement “Allegretto” is well-known and has been used as accompaniment in popular culture.

The Seventh Symphony is in four movements. The first movement is in sonata form and is dominated by lively dance-like rhythms. The second movement in A minor has a lively tempo, was encored at the premiere and has remained popular since. The third movement is a scherzo and trio.  The last movement is, again, in sonata form. 

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is recognized internationally as an ensemble of the highest caliber, performing a broad musical repertoire with skill and spirit. Appearances by the Symphony at New York’s Carnegie Hall continue to garner critical acclaim. Recordings by the Symphony have been honored with six Grammy Awards and 56 Grammy nominations.

Robert Franz

As a music director, Franz has made great strides in reaching out to the community by creating partnerships with other leading arts groups and educational institutions, and as associate conductor, Franz continues to lead the Houston Symphony in a broad range of creative educational and family concerts. His emphasis on these programs has led him to a continuing relationship with Disney Radio. 

Emerging as one of the most talented conductors of his generation and having a wide and varying knowledge of symphonic and operatic works, Franz has worked with some of today’s finest classical soloists, including James Galway, Joshua Bell and Rachel Barton, as well as many of the top pop artists such as Chris Botti, Chaka Khan and Judy Collins. He has been invited to guest conduct orchestras throughout the United States, including multiple appearances with such orchestras as the Rochester Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony and the Columbus Symphony, among others. His guest conducting appearances this season include the St. Louis Symphony, Asheville Lyric Opera, The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, the Portland Symphony (Maine), the Idaho Ballet, South Bend Symphony and the Idaho Falls Symphony.

A champion of new music, Franz has conducted numerous world premieres and works by living composers.  This season in Boise, Idaho, he will conduct a world premiere by Lawrence Dillon and a work by Eric Ewanzen.  He has hosted Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon and Shulamit Ran in previous seasons. As associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, he re-vitalized an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award-winning new music concert series and served as co-host of “In a Different Key,” a weekly contemporary classical music radio program on WUOL.

On two occasions, ASCAP has recognized Franz for his advocacy in arts education. Under his direction, both the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008 and the Louisville Orchestra in 2001 were awarded the Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming. The Louisville Orchestra’s award lead to the creation of an education program for Kentucky Educational Television entitled, “Creating Music and Stories.”  Winner of the 2008 BPO/ECMEA Music Educators Award for Excellence, Franz is a strong supporter of arts education and has created arts education programs for the Carolina Chamber Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, West End Chamber Ensemble and the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, including that organization’s innovative Bolton Research Project.

In addition to his current posts, Franz has served as the music director of the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio, resident conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra from. He has also led the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony, the Louisville Youth Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Youth Symphony.  He continues to serve as music director emeritus of the Carolina Chamber Symphony, an orchestra that he founded, and provides educational programming workshops at the National Repertory Orchestra during the summer.

Franz received his master of music degree in conducting from the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1992 and his bachelor of music degree in oboe performance in 1990 from that same institution. He has participated in conducting workshops in the Czech Republic, St. Petersburg (Russia), Nashville, Tenn., the Festival at Sandpoint and was a participant in the 1997 National Conductor Preview.

Tickets

Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at all MetroTix outlets, online at MetroTix.com keyword, “St. Louis” or by calling toll-free (800) 293-5949.