WMU News

Symphony Orchestra performs Sunday

Oct. 9, 2004

KALAMAZOO-The Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra performs its first concert of the season Sunday, Oct. 10, at 3 p.m. in Miller Auditorium.

The orchestra is conducted by Bruce Uchimura, and Sunday's concert provides a brilliant showcase for the ensemble as its season-opening, all-orchestral program. The concert is free and open to the public.

Titled "The German Romantics," the concert opens with the Prelude to Act III of "Lohengrin" by Richard Wagner, the most famous German Romantic opera composer of his time. This a short but brilliant orchestral work showcases all of the instruments. The orchestra will then perform the "Academic Festival Overture" by Johannes Brahms. Music historians tend to make numerous comparisons between Brahms and Wagner. The "Academic Festival Overture" quotes the famous "Gaudeamus Igibitur" used at countless graduation ceremonies and celebrations.

The major work on the program will be Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, nicknamed "The Titan." This piece is a natural extension of the music of Brahms and Wagner. Mahler was able to combine the best qualities of both composers, the conservatism of form and genre used by Brahms, and the unbridled use of German Folk songs and emotional effect of Wagner. However, Mahler developed his own style of expression through this symphony. The loud, emotional parts are extremely exciting and bold, while the intimate moments are tinged with nostalgia and melancholy.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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