WMU News

Varineau guest conducts USO in Sunday concert

March 10, 2005

KALAMAZOO--The University Symphony Orchestra will continue its spring concert series Sunday, March 13, at 3 p.m. with guest conductor John P. Varineau. The free concert is in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University.

The March 13 program begins with Claude Debussy's Prelude and "L'apres midi d'un faune." The effervescent harmonies and seductive melodies of this piece have made it a favorite and a seminal work in orchestral repertoire.

Two symphonies are on the program, Georges Bizet's Symphony No. 1 in C Major and Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43. The symphony by Bizet is the only attempt in this form by the noted composer of the opera Carmen. It is a charming, light-hearted work in the French style, but demands virtuoso playing on the part of the strings. The symphony by Sibelius starts out in a pastoral mood, but the remaining movements explore much greater depths of emotion.

Varineau is the associate conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the conductor of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra. He has been on the faculties of Calvin College and Cornerstone University, both in Grand Rapids, and has served as orchestra conductor for Kalamazoo's Chamber Music Workshop for many years.

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

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