The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra is opening its 2013 – 2014 concert season at the University of Dubuque’s new Heritage Center with a program of American masterpieces. They will feature works by Higdon, Gershwin and Copland, and young American pianist Thomas Pandolfi. Performances will be held on Saturday, October 5 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 6 at 2:00pm.
Inspired by opening a new season in a new hall, Intriligator will open the concert with new music. Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon is currently one of America’s most performed composers. The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra will perform her Fanfare Ritmico, a seven-minute work that celebrates rhythmic energy. The piece has a strong percussion presence. It uses four percussionists playing 26 instruments, as well as a timpanist and a pianist.
The orchestra then welcomes Thomas Pandolfi as the soloist in Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. Pandolfi is an internationally known concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, Steinway artist, and considered to be a leading interpreter of the works of Gershwin. The Concerto in F has the freedom, excitement, and bravado of jazz and American musical theater, and is a wonderful fusion of classical and popular music.
This crowd-pleasing program continues with Copland’s Appalachian Spring. The score’s focal point is an early 19th century Shaker dance tune called Simple Gifts. The simple power and beauty of the music conjures up images of wide-open spaces of the American frontier and the down-to-earth values of the first settlers.
The concert concludes with An American in Paris. Here Gershwin portrays the impressions of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls around the city, listens to the various street noises, and absorbs the French atmosphere. The piece is vivacious and exuberant with a strong blues undercurrent. One of the most fun and unusual aspects of the piece is the use of actual taxi horns. You can’t miss the off-key honks in the score’s opening moments!
You may buy this concert as part of a season ticket package at the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra office or purchase single tickets ($14 - $78) at the Heritage Center box office, open Monday – Friday, 12:30 – 5:30pm. Single tickets may also be purchased over the phone at (563) 585-SHOW or online at www.dubuquesymphony.org.