AUSO Young Artist Celebration - Part II
Sat, March 13, 2021 @ 08:00 pm - 09:00 pm
Livestream Link: www.facebook.com/AndrewsUniversityMusic
Limited FREE tickets available to Andrews University music majors and minors, the Enjoyment of Music class, current Andrews University students and current Andrews University staff. You can pick up your ticket at the Howard Center office.
Andrews University Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Celebration: Part II
Featuring soloist Nathaniel Cogen (piano)
Conducted by Chris Wild & Kristii Rasmussen
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Andrews University Department of Music was able to continue the annual Young Artist Competition this year, with faculty members listening to students audition for the opportunity to perform with the Symphony Orchestra back in November. From a large group of talented musicians, four students were selected to perform with the orchestra—pianist Nathaniel Cogen will be featured in this concert, and other winners Simon Luke Brown, Emily Jurek and Jeremy Jerim Myung performed with the orchestra back on Feb. 13.
This evening’s concert will begin with Nathaniel Cogen as the piano soloist in Ludwig van Beethoven’s "Piano Concerto No. 5," nicknamed the "Emperor" concerto for its dedicatee, Archduke Rudolf of Austria. It was common for Beethoven to issue a dedication to an aristocrat in hopes of earning a valuable gift or fee that would help cover his living expenses. Archduke Rudolf was not only a nobleman but was also ordained as a Cardinal-Archbishop in the Roman Catholic church and enjoyed an extended relationship with Beethoven, who gave the nobleman lessons on piano and composition, and in return, the Archduke sponsored multiple compositions of Beethoven’s. Known for its might and majesty, the "Emperor" concerto is notable for demonstrating the modern capabilities of the grand piano, at times displaying its powers as equivalent to the sound of the full orchestra. In previous piano concerti, the smaller pianoforte instrument sounded more delicate and needed to be given ample room by composers to be heard. This performance of Beethoven’s "Piano Concerto No. 5" also contributes to celebrations at Andrews of the composer’s 250th birthday, foreshadowing an upcoming performance of his "Symphony No. 9" on May 1.
The two remaining ensemble works on the evening’s program were composed by young artist composers, each representing some of the earliest known works by two celebrated Russians, Dmitri Shostakovich and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Shostakovich’s "Polka from the Golden Age" showcases members of the AUSO that didn’t perform in Beethoven’s Classical-oriented orchestra, relying especially on members of the brass section. In typical Shostakovich fashion, this "Polka" takes a unique approach to musical expression, mixing in elements of humor, wit and danger. This performance will be conducted by graduate student Kristii Rasmussen.
Tchaikovsky took nearly a decade to complete his final version of "Romeo and Juliet," an orchestral depiction of William Shakespeare’s beloved play. The revision process for this piece was influenced by a long correspondence of Tchaikovsky’s with composer and conductor Mily Balakirev. Ultimately, it was difficult for the young Tchaikovsky to earn the approval or praise of his elder composers because he was interested in forging a new musical path for himself. At that point in time, Russia’s best known composers such as Glinka and Mussorgsky had dismissed Western European influences and instead focused on incorporating Russian Folk music into their compositions. Since Tchaikovsky allowed himself to be influenced by the Classical forms and trending Romantic sensibilities of Western Europe, he had to work with patience and determination to find acceptance in the emerging musical cities of Russia. In this regard, his earliest successes can be identified in this vivid orchestral setting of "Romeo and Juliet."
Ludwig van Beethoven—"Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major 'Emperor,' 1st movement"
Dmitri Shostakovich, arr. Chris Wild—"Polka from 'The Golden Age'"
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky—"Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture"