CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 16, 2009 — The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will present a China Tour Preview Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
This concert will feature an exciting and diverse program of music, including a world premiere performance of a work written by Southeast faculty member Robert Fruehwald. Faculty and guest artists to be featured on the concert are: Brandon Christensen, violin; Jennifer Lim Judd, piano; and Paul Thompson, flute; along with Tanesha Reeves, Southeast student flutist. Sara Edgerton, artistic director of the Southeast Missouri Symphony, will conduct the concert. This concert will provide an opportunity for audiences in this region to enjoy the varied and colorful selection of music that the orchestra will perform later in May in China.
The concert will begin with the ethereal “Lark Ascending” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. This tone poem for orchestra and violin soloist is a dreamy, lyrical evocation of a skylark soaring above the English countryside. It was written in 1914 and first performed with full orchestral accompaniment in 1921. It has become an enduringly popular work, and was voted in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as number one in the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Christensen will perform the violin solo part in this performance. Next, the orchestra will present the energetic “Impresario Overture” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, followed by Mozart’s impressive, tuneful “Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488.” This beautiful, elegant work for piano soloist and orchestra was written in the spring of 1786, around the time of the premiere of Mozart’s famous opera, the “Marriage of Figaro.” Mozart himself performed the solo piano part of this concerto in its first performances. Guest artist Judd will perform the solo piano part for this concert.
The second half of the concert will feature a world premiere work, “River,” composed by Fruehwald for the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra to perform in China. According to Fruehwald, his work “represents a journey down the Mississippi, from its source in the north, so small and shallow that one can walk across it, to the bustling industrial cities of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis. The river grows bigger and wider as it flows south until it reaches New Orleans, below which a strange thing happensᾰit gets smaller and more narrow until, at the gulf of Mexico, it almost disappears entirely. While the entire ensemble is used to illustrate the journey of the river, two solo flutes are used to depict its changing moods.”
Thompson and Reeves will perform the two solo flute parts with the orchestra.
The second half of the concert also will include lively, colorful works by Classical composer J. C. Bach (one of J. S. Bach’s famous sons), as well as a newly orchestrated version of “Happy Spring Holidays,” a traditional Chinese folk song.
Later in May, the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will present a series of concerts in China as part of the 2009 American Celebration of Music in China. The orchestra has been invited to perform at several prestigious venues, including the world famous Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and in Hangzhou, one of China’s most esteemed cultural sites. The orchestra also will give a special collaborative concert with the Shanghai Normal University Orchestra at the Concert Hall of Shanghai Normal. In addition, weather permitting, the orchestra will perform an outdoor concert on the Great Wall of China.
Tickets for the May 5 concert are available by calling the River Campus Box Office at (573) 651-2265 or MetroTix outlets at (800) 293-5949 or by visiting MetroTix.com keyword, “SE Symphony”. Come and enjoy a beautiful, colorful, and exciting program of music presented by the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra as it prepares for its first ever international concert tour.