Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra to Present Gala Season Opener Oct. 13

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 28, 2009 – The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will present its Gala Season Opener on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University. 

This opening concert will present a performance of Antonin Dvorak’s celebrated “New World Symphony,” as well as a unique opportunity to hear the brilliant “Triple Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor” by Baroque master composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.  The “Triple Harpsichord Concerto” will feature guest harpsichordists Maryse Carlin, Gary Miller and Mary Miller in performance with the symphony orchestra. 

Sara Edgerton, artistic director of the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the concert.  There also will be a short pre-concert talk given by Gary Miller in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall, beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the concert following at 7:30 p.m. The program will open with Bach’s “Triple Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor,” written in Leipzig during Bach’s tenure as director of the student music society, the Collegium Musicum (1729ᾰ1741).  While director of the Collegium Musicum, Bach composed a series of solo harpsichord concertos, as well as several concertos for two harpsichords.  The “Triple Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor” was one of a set of two triple harpsichord concertos, and might well have been performed by Bach and two of his gifted sons, C.P.E. Bach and W. F. Bach. The “Triple Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor” is a beautifully engaging work, featuring the brilliant sonorities of three harpsichords and strings. The opening movement is lively and energetic; it is followed by a lyrical slow movement and a rousing final movement.   All three movements include impressive virtuosic writing for the three harpsichord soloists. Special guest soloists in the Triple Concerto include Gary Miller, director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, and his wife, Mary Miller, as harpsichordists.  Both Gary and Mary Miller have performed throughout the United States as harpsichordists, and maintain a very active performing career on harpsichord and organ.  Also featured as soloist will be harpsichordist Maryse Carlin.  Carlin performed her harpsichord debut at Carnegie Hall, and has also performed at Alice Tully Hall, at the Marlboro Music Festival, and elsewhere throughout the United States and Europe.  A frequent guest soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, she has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin and Roger Norrington.  She is the music director of the Kingsbury Ensemble (St. Louis) and the “Festival de Musique Ancienne” in Saint Savin, France.

The concert will continue with two beautifully crafted works for symphonic orchestra by the great Romantic Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak.  The orchestra will perform the rarely heard “Mein Heim (‘My Home’) Overture, Op. 62,” which Dvorak wrote as part of a set of three symphonic poems in 1882.  The short overture presents two contrasting Bohemian folk songs in a short and engaging tone poem for full symphony orchestra. 

The concert will conclude with a performance of one of the great Romantic works for symphonic orchestra, Dvorak’s glorious “New World Symphony.”  This work was composed in the United States in 1893, written during Dvorak’s tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City.  Dvorak drew upon Native American music, as well as American spirituals, for this symphonic work, which presents exquisite and enchanting melodies, rich harmonies and exciting orchestration.  This work is deservedly one of the most beloved of symphonic compositions ever written. The pre-concert talk is free to all ticketholders for the evening’s performance. Tickets for this concert are now available, and can be purchased by calling the River Campus Box Office at (573) 651-2265.