University Symphony Orchestra - October 8, 2023
Performances & Events
University Symphony Orchestra
Fanfares, Fantasia, and Festivities
September 22, 2023 | 8:00 pmHill Auditorium
825 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Free - no tickets required
The University Symphony Orchestra (USO), with music director Kenneth Kiesler conducting, opens its 2023-2024 season with four masterpieces featuring fanfares, a fantasia and festivities.
Nhi Luong, winner of the SMTD 2023 Concerto Competition performs the Third Piano Concerto by Prokofiev, one of the most popular concertos of the 20th century, known for its ultra-virtuosic demands on the pianist, passionate music, and stunningly brilliant orchestral colors.
The concert opens with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 which captures the atmosphere of his opera Fidelio (originally titled Leonore), and takes us on a journey from the darkness and despair of being a prisoner in a dungeon through liberation to a glorious musical expression of freedom.
The final two pieces are “new” takes on music of the past. Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, for solo string quartet and two string orchestras is a beautiful homage to the early music of Thomas Tallis, looking and listening back through 20th century eyes and ears. In Respighi’s Pines of Rome, the sounds of early church chanting color the music as the pine trees in four parts of Rome seem to stand witness to aspects of life in Rome. The piece goes from the sounds of children running in circles while acting like soldiers, to the serene song of a nightingale at dawn (the recording being the first-ever electronic device added to an orchestra piece) to a vision of past glories as the sun rises on the Appian Way. The Pines of Rome ends in one of the most astonishing displays of sonic brilliance in all of symphonic music.