Performances & Events


Pre-Concert Lecture: University Symphony Orchestra

December 5, 2023 | 7:15 pm

Lower Level Lobby - Hill Auditorium

Free - no tickets required

The conductor and string players hold their arms raised as the University Symphony Orchestra performs on stage at Hill Auditorium

This lecture begins at 7:15pm before the 8:00 pm USO performance, featuring music by Hansol Choi (Samdo, world premiere), Jonathan Leshnoff (Concerto for Two Percussionists) and Shostakovich (Symphony No. 5).

Kenneth Kiesler, conductor
Yeo Ryeong Ahn, conductor
Ian Antonio and Douglas Perkins, percussion

In its final concert of 2023, the University Symphony Orchestra (USO) performs one of the greatest and most often performed symphonies of the 20th Century, a new piece by a composer-percussionist and a recent work for two percussion soloists.

The concert opens with the world premiere of Samdo, by Hansol Choi. A reinterpretation of intense traditional Korean music for orchestra, this colorful and exciting piece utilizes traditional Korean percussion quartet music, Samulnori, and combines various traditional Korean rhythmic patterns with shamanistic music and popular Korean folk songs. Samdo will be conducted by Yeo Ryeong Ahn, native of Seoul, Korea, and orchestral conducting student in her final year as a doctoral student in orchestral conducting.

Renowned percussionists and SMTD faculty members Ian Antonio and Douglas Perkins are featured in the highly charged and virtuosic Concerto for Two Percussionists by Jonathan Leshnoff, followed by the Fifth Symphony by Shostakovich.

For most of his life, Shostakovich tried to stay in the good graces of the government while being true to himself and his art. In 1934, after Stalin went to see Shostakovich’s new opera Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, Pravda published an article, possibly written by Stalin himself, which condemned the composer and his new opera, calling it “chaos instead of music.” Shostakovich aimed to redeem (protect) himself with his new symphony, which he described as “A Soviet Artist’s Response to Just Criticism.” At its premiere, which received an ovation lasting more than 30 minutes, he managed to please the government while sending the masses a very different message of resistance and forced optimism. Its epic quality and combination of brass fanfares, soulful songs, folk music, militaristic marches, and sounds of the Russian Orthodox Church, has made it one of the most popular pieces in the repertoire of symphony orchestras worldwide.

Discussion Free In Person Lecture Talk Central Campus
The conductor and string players hold their arms raised as the University Symphony Orchestra performs on stage at Hill Auditorium

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