SAGINAW BAY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
2019 – 20 | Soul of the Symphony
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2019 – 20 | Soul of the Symphony
The concert opens with Mozart’s brilliant and bustling overture to his comic opera The Marriage of Figaro, followed by a modern masterpiece by Austrian pianist and composer Friedrich Gulda, who worked in both classical and jazz styles. His cello concerto, performed by SBSO’s principal cellist, Igor Cetkovic, blurs the boundaries between musical genres combining a rhythm section of guitar, bass, and drum set in a work which is, in Gulda’s words, “jazz, a minuet, rock, a smidgen of polka, a march, and a cadenza with two spots where the star cellist must improvise.” The program concludes with Beethoven’s exuberant seventh symphony, a popular work described by Wagner as the apotheosis of the dance.”
Join the SBSO for a Broadway Holiday celebration with Bay City native Katie Travis. Well known for performing the role of Christine Daaé in the national tour of the Broadway mega hit, Phantom of the Opera, Travis brings her immense talents to the Temple Theatre stage for a special holiday performance. This concert will include a number of holiday favorites to usher in the sounds of the festive season!
A bright classical overture by Haydn is followed by American composer Michael Torke’s Ash. Described as being like a recalcitrant Beethoven overture, it is full of vibrant colors, and was choreographed as a ballet soon after its composition.
Copland’s ballet Appalachian Spring is an iconic piece of Americana. Created for Martha Graham in 1944, the ballet won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music. It has achieved enduring popularity as an orchestra suite.
While Sibelius was composing his fifth symphony, he wrote, it is as if God Almighty had thrown down pieces of a mosaic for heaven’s floor and asked me to find out what was the original pattern.” Its last movement has been called the greatest finale of all time!
Verdi’s overture to Nabucco includes one of his most famous tunes. Like Verdi, Gershwin had a gift melody and he melded classical and jazz styles in his concert music. Throughout history, there have been performers with a strong affinity for certain composers. Bay City native Kevin Cole is a world-famous Gershwin expert, and the SBSO is delighted to welcome him back to the Temple Theatre to perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F.
Audience members will also experience a famous work from Russian composer Shostakovich. In the USSR, 25-year-old Shostakovich was condemned for what the government considered inappropriate learnedness. His fifth symphony was an attempt to rehabilitate himself. It was brilliantly successful, but is there an ironic tone the Soviets missed?
The SBSO concludes the season with a fanfare by Michigan composer, Michael Daugherty, the brilliant Khachaturian violin concerto performed by SBSO’s own concertmaster Eliot Heaton, and a performance of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. This programmatic work was radical for its time and tells the story of the dreams and hallucinations of a musician, as he obsesses about his beloved for whom he feels both longing and jealousy. He glimpses her at a ball, in the countryside, and as he is marched to his execution. Finally he sees her transformation into a witch as she joins in the witches’ whirlwind sabbath celebrations.