Symphony Orchestra's "Sweet Dreams" Concert

   Campus News | Posted on February 13, 2020

On Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m., the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Chris Wild, will perform its “Sweet Dreams” concert at the Howard Performing Arts Center. The concert will include Claude Debussy’s “Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune” and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade.”

The first piece the Symphony Orchestra will perform, Debussy’s “Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune,” was composed in 1894 after Debussy’s family had firsthand experience with the devastation caused by the Franco-Prussian War. The young composer was eager to develop a musical style that would differ from the latest crazes, such as Richard Wagner’s operas, in Germany and Austria. As a result, “Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune” is brief rather than long, light rather than heavy, and also exceedingly flexible. In addition to achieving moments of supreme beauty, the piece demonstrates Debussy’s desire to liberate music from the “tyranny of the bar line.”  

Following the intermission, the evening’s most significant composition, “Scheherazade,” will be presented. Rimsky-Korsakov’s piece is written in four separate movements that total approximately 45 minutes in performance. The music for Scheherazade, composed in 1888, reflects a composer at the peak of his abilities, then renowned for the creative ways he “orchestrated” his musical ideas. 

“Scheherazade” is inspired by the Middle Eastern collection of folk tales known as “One Thousand and One Nights,” also published as “Arabian Nights.” According to this tale, the sultan Shahryar was betrayed by his wife, causing him to take a different wife every night for three years. He had them executed each morning to prevent his own heartbreak. A young woman by the name of Scheherazade is eventually chosen to be his wife for the night. Knowing that the sultan likes to be told a story each night, she purposely leaves her story unfinished in an attempt to save her life. Enraptured by her story, the sultan spares her life the following day and for one thousand and one nights more before finally deciding to make her his queen.

Tickets for this event can be purchased at and are $6 for general seating and $4 for students and seniors. There is a two-ticket limit per student ID.

For additional information, contact the Howard box office at 269-471-3560. For a full season schedule of events at the Howard Performing Arts Center, visit