Fox Valley Symphony Named Semi-Finalist for The American Prize

August 20, 2010

The Fox Valley Symphony was selected as a semi-finalist for the 2010 American Prize professional orchestra category. The 15-judge panel made their determination based on the symphony’s 2008 performance of Zemlinsky’s The Mermaid.

Maestro Groner and 86 local and regional musicians performed the piece on November 8, 2008 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Scored in three movements, The Mermaid is a fantasy based on both Hans Christian Anderson’s mermaid tale and Zemlinsky’s failed relationship with the woman who would later become Gustav Mahler’s wife.

Chief Judge and composer David Katz commented, "Maestro Groner is to be commended for such a beautifully performed rendition of a work that is still unfamiliar to many. In doing so, the Fox Valley Symphony fulfills one of the prime responsibilities of every orchestra - to open minds and hearts to the infinite 'variety of music' as Bernstein called it. That they are able to do so with such care and beauty is to their credit. I can think of few higher callings for orchestras anywhere."

Post-Cresecent reviewer James Chaudoir commented, “The Mermaid is an enchanting piece of poignant music and was handled brilliantly by music director Brian Groner and the many musicians who filled the stage. Whereas the first movement was full of emotion, the second was filled with character and an endless stream of personalities. In all, it was a work filled with beautifully shaped melodies, intriguing harmonies and magnificent color that was played with the utmost of precision and understanding. Thank you, Maestro Groner, for introducing this work to your audience.”

The American Prize is a series of national competitions providing recognition for the best recorded performances of ensemble music each year in the United States. Other semi-finalists include the Annapolis Symphony of Maryland, Western Piedmont Symphony of North Carolina, Lancaster Festival Orchestra of Ohio and Orchestra Miami of Florida.


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