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2020-2021 Signature Six Series
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The Signature Six Series is the flagship series of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra. The concerts in this series are full-orchestra programs, led by Music Director Christopher Confessore. These diverse programs feature a variety of major classical works alongside world premieres, lighter selections, and world-class guest artists, all performed by the talented musicians of your Brevard Symphony Orchestra. These concerts take place in the King Center for the Performing Arts, located at 3865 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.
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King Center floor plan is also shown below.
PROGRAM 1 – OPENING NIGHT: BEETHOVEN CELEBRATION | Saturday, October 10, 2020 | 7:30 pm
Francisco Vila, cello | Concert Sponsor: Wendy Brandon
ANDRIESSEN | The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven for orchestra and ice cream bell
HAYDN | Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major
BEETHOVEN | Symphony No. 7 in A Major
Louis Andriessen is currently the most famous Dutch composer, and possibly the most successful Dutch composer in history. His style leans towards jazz, and the avant garde with a humorous edge which will be on full display in our opening work of the season: The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven for orchestra and ice cream bell. Ecuadorian cellist Francisco Vila will perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, which is both charming and virtuosic, with an utterly joyful conclusion. Opening Night will conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, one of his more optimistic works and one which he considered to be among his favorites. Wagner considered it be the epitome of dance and that no one, not even “the grandmother, the blind and the lame” could resist the impulse to dance upon hearing it. The second movement “Allegretto” has achieved notoriety on its own in part because of the persistent pulse (like a heartbeat), but also because of its unexpected somber nature and minor key. The Allegretto has been used in movies and has served as inspiration to other composers. It has accompanied the fall of the Berlin wall and was considered by Schubert and Wagner to be “the greatest piece of music ever written.”
PROGRAM 2 – HEROIC BEETHOVEN | Saturday, November 21, 2020 | 7:30 pm
Scott Watkins, piano | Concert Sponsors: Dr. Richard Weber & Family
AN ALL BEETHOVEN PROGRAM:
Egmont Overture (Side-By-Side with BSYO)
Choral Fantasy (with Brevard Community Chorus)
Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
Beethoven took symphonies from the Classical era and elevated them when he replaced the traditional minuet and trio movements with flashier scherzo movements. He was innovative in all categories, including concertos, choral works, sonatas, chamber music, with the notable exception of opera which he struggled with. Beethoven’s influence can be heard in the music of Berlioz, Franck, Mahler, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky, to name just a few. His Egmont and Coriolan Overtures were both written as part of incidental music to accompany plays rather than operas as we expect when we hear the term “Overture.” Beethoven completed only one opera, Fidelio, which he called “a shipwreck” and revised numerous times. His Choral Fantasy is representative of his later compositional style and was a forerunner to his 9th symphony, “Choral.” It was composed to serve as a finale of a benefit concert and incorporated all of the performers. The text was written by an unknown poet whom Beethoven commissioned to write to accompany the music that he had already composed.
PROGRAM 3 – EPIC TCHAIKOVSKY | Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Holly Mulcahy, violin
WILLIAMS | The Cowboys Overture
CLINTON | The Rose of Sonora for violin & orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY | Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique”
The Cowboys is a John Wayne film that opened in 1972 to generally good reviews, with its soundtrack among its strongest assets. It is rousing and brassy with a spirit that reminds us of boyhood exuberance and the sweeping landscapes of the west. George S. Clinton’s The Rose of Sonora is, in his words, “first and foremost a violin concerto.” In five movements, Clinton tells the fictional story of Rose, an outlaw in 1893 in the Territory of Arizona. With each movement, we follow Rose’s journey as she deals with love, loss, vengeance and healing. The Rose of Sonora was commissioned by violinist Holly Mulcahy, our soloist. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 is considered by many to be his greatest symphony and, possibly, his greatest work. Regardless of what others thought, Tchaikovsky considered it “the best thing I ever composed or shall compose.” It received its premiere performance in 1893, just nine days before Tchaikovsky’s sudden death. The descriptive title of “Pathetique” was not added until its first performance after his death. His intention was that this symphony be known only as Symphony No. 6 in B minor, dedicated to his nephew, Vladimir “Bob” Davydov. In light of Tchaikovsky’s unexpected death, there was a great deal of speculation that the symphony was a suicide note, that his death was planned and not from cholera, the generally accepted cause today. However, historians have largely discredited that theory given the ample evidence of Tchaikovsky’s joy over this symphony and comment he made that the symphony represented, to him, the “ultimate essence of Life.”
PROGRAM 4 – THE BELLE OF BROADWAY | Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Susan Egan, vocalist | Concert Sponsors: Nash & Kromash, LLP
Susan Egan is a Tony-nominated Broadway star and BSO favorite! She headlined on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret, and as Disney’s original ‘Belle’ in Beauty and the Beast. Animation fans love her as ‘Meg’ in Hercules, ‘Lin’ in Spirited Away, “Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond” on Steven Universe and more. She’s appeared in countless films and TV shows and has headlined with more than 50 orchestras, including the: National Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony. She is currently touring with Broadway Princess Party, a concert and company she created with Broadway peers Laura Osnes, Courtney Reed and Benjamin Rauhala.
PROGRAM 5 – FROM THE NEW WORLD | Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Sirena Huang, violin
IVES | Variations on America
BRUCH | Violin Concerto No. 1
DVOŘÁK | Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
Charles Ives wrote his Variations on America when he was just 17 years old, for the July 4th celebration in 1892 in Brewster, NY. It was originally written for the organ; he premiered it at the Methodist church where he was then employed as organist. He said at the time that playing it was “almost as much fun as playing baseball.” It was orchestrated by American composer William Schuman in 1962 and given its premiere by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Andre Kostelanetz. Max Bruch wrote three violin concertos, but only his 1st concerto is considered a standard part of the violin repertoire, along with his Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra. He is considered to be a conservative composer in spite of ignoring many of the “rules” of concerto writing, such as clear breaks between movements and long orchestral introductions before the solo instrument’s first entrance. From 1892-1895, Dvořák was Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. He had hoped to learn about American music, including African-American and Native American music, which he firmly believed should be integral to the growth of American Music. In 1893 the New York Philharmonic commissioned a new symphony from Dvořák. His symphony “From the New World” was considered a triumph and, once published, quickly became known all over the world.
PROGRAM 6 – SEASON FINALE: BLOCKBUSTERS | April 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Joyce Yang, piano | Concert Sponsor: BSO South Guild
BERLIOZ | Roman Carnival Overture
CHOPIN | Piano Concerto No. 2
RESPIGHI | The Fountains of Rome
RESPIGHI | The Pines of Rome
Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture grew out of his unsuccessful opera, Benvenuto Cellini. He partially blamed the opera’s failure on the conductor who refused to take Berlioz’s tempos. Berlioz borrowed music from himself, a common tool among composers. The music written for the carnival scene in Benvenuto Cellini had come from one of his very first compositions, Messe solonnelle. For the lengthy English horn solo at the beginning of the Overture, he adapted part of his own unsuccessful cantata, La morte de Cléopatra. Like all of Berlioz’s overtures, Roman Carnival is exhilarating for both audience and musicians. With its breakneck tempo and difficult passages for all instruments, it is breathtaking. Chopin wrote nearly 250 works for solo piano, but wrote only two piano concertos. Chopin was just 20 years old when he wrote his F minor piano concerto, written before No. 1, but published after. The sublime middle movement of his 2nd piano concerto has been called a work of “indescribable beauty” while the final movement requires great virtuosity from the pianist. Ottorino Respighi composed operas, chamber music, ballets, and choral works, but he is best known today for his orchestral works, including the two on this program: The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome. Fountains depicts four of Rome’s famous fountains at different times of day – dawn, morning, noon, and sunset. Pines allows us to envision not just pine trees around Rome, but the activities that take place during the day among the trees: children playing near the trees, catacombs in the shade of pine trees, moonlight shining through the trees on the temple of Janus, and a military march at dawn on the tree-lined Appian Way.
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The Brevard Symphony Orchestra performs its Signature and Matinee Series concerts in the 2,000 seat main theater of the King Center for the Performing Arts. For most BSO concerts, all of the Main Floor seating is utilized, as well as Rows AA-LL in the Grand Tier. The King Center is located at 3865 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.