GENESEO, N.Y. - Works by Brahams, Mozart and Rimsky-Korsakov will highlight the opening of the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra's spring season Feb. 26 in Wadsworth Auditorium. The concert begins at 3 p.m. and is open to the public without charge. James Walker, distinguished service professor of music, will be conducting.
The program will feature Brahams' "Academic Festival Overture," Mozart's "Double Piano Concerto in E-flat Major," and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnole." Performing the double piano concerto will be Amy Stanley, head of Geneseo's piano department, and Louis Lohraseb, a junior music major.
Walker surmised that Brahams must have had a wonderful time composing the "Academic Festival Overture."
"Instead of the stuffy, heavily orchestrated, overly contrapuntal work that the University of Breslau expected as a result of bestowing an honorary doctorate upon Brahms, they got a wonderful potpourri of student songs - drinking songs, actually - that culminates in the most famous drinking song: ‘Gaudeamus igitur,' - let us rejoice while we are still young."
Mozart's concerto is the composer at his most playful, said Walker.
"The dialogue and competition between the two pianos makes it one of the more joyful works in the concerto repertoire."
Rimsky-Korsakov's work is actually a concerto for the orchestra cloaked as a series of Spanish dances, said Walker, which demands "virtuosic performances from every section of the orchestra. It's a great chestnut!"
Rimsky-Korsakov was member of the "Russian Five," a group of composers who espoused using folk material as the basis for serious composition.
The Geneseo Symphony Orchestra is a collaboration of the best wind, percussion and string players in the SUNY Geneseo student body and members of the music faculty who coach and perform in the ensemble. The result is the performance of some of the finest literature written for a large orchestra.
For more information on the concert, call 585-245-5824.
Media Relations Manager