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Wednesday, May 2, 2018 (7:30 pm)
|17-18 Grand Finale
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
Symphony No. 2, Op. 43, D major
With Joshua Bell:
: Introduction & Rondo capriccioso
Ladies in Lavender
Pablo de Sarasate:
Ziguenerweisen, Op. 20 (Gypsy Airs)
The Overture to Roman Carnival is the piece that ended Brian Groner’s first program with our orchestra, and will start the final concert of his tenure. Maestro Groner also welcomes back to our stage the incredible, global talent Joshua Bell. Many years have passed since his first performance with our orchestra, and it is a great honor to have him return.
“Bell led the listener into a still place where time seemed to trail off. Bell seemed to be at one with the orchestra.” – Review of Bell with Los Angeles Philharmonic, October 2016
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Notes from Maestro Groner:
The Overture to Roman Carnival, by the French genius of orchestration Hector Berlioz, was the final work on my audition concert for this orchestra. It means a lot to me that I was chosen to lead this ensemble. It has been a long and rewarding musical journey. It also means a lot to me that the work which ended my first program with the orchestra starts the final concert of my tenure. Berlioz brilliantly chose to highlight several of the lesser used instruments of the orchestra in this grand piece. The English Horn and the viola section play pivotal roles in shaping the character of this dazzling showpiece.
Working with Joshua Bell is always a delight. The last time we collaborated, I mentioned to him that one of his first major competition victories as a very young violinist was winning the Gold Medal at the Stulberg International String Competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kalamazoo was my home town and Julius Stulberg was my violin teacher. The last lesson Maestro Stulberg taught before his death was mine. His influence had a great impact on me and his voice, which I can still hear, urged me to spend my life making music.
The second symphony of Jean Sibelius is a striking work. It was programmed on the final series concert which I led as Assistant Conductor of the Nashville Symphony some years ago. Like much of Sibelius’ outpouring it provides darkly brooding themes which are distinctly Finnish, as if they had been shaped in part by the influence of the long, difficult winters. This piece, which hallmarks the end of what can be referred to as his early romantic period, is intensely moving. From its murky opening motifs all the way through its triumphant conclusion, it takes us on a distinctive musical journey.
And with this work, which is special to me, I wish to thank you so much for being here to share the love which I have for you and all of the dedicated artists with me on the stage.