Boston University School of Music Presents ‘Wotan’s Farewell and Fire Scene’ from Wagner’s ‘Der Ring Des Nibelungen’ at Symphony Hall

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
November 5th, 2004

Contact: Amy Corcoran, 617/353-7293 |

(Boston)—The Boston University School of Music presents the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus in a concert at Symphony Hall featuring Theodore Antoniou’s “Moirologhia” and ‘Wotan’s Farewell and Fire Scene’ from Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen.” The concert will also include performances of Schumann’s “Nachtlied,” and Tchaikovsky’s “Francesca da Rimini.” The concert will take place on Monday, November 22 at 8:00pm.

David Hoose, Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities in the School of Music, and Ann Howard Jones, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the School of Music, will conduct.

A highlight of the concert is “Moirologhia,” a world premiere composed by Theodore Antoniou, which will feature Janna Baty, soprano, and Peter Zazofsky, violin. The piece also includes the part of a speaker, which will be performed by Boston University’s President Emeritus John Silber. The Wagner excerpt from “Der Ring des Nibelungen” will feature newly appointed Boston University Professor of Music and world-renowned bass-baritone, Simon Estes.

Theodore Antoniou, Professor in the School of Music, composed “Moirologhia” (“Laments”) in memory of his longtime friend and colleague John Daverio. Combining elements of several other pieces by Antoniou, the speaker and soprano solo serve to give the work more variance, and the violin solo appears in recognition of Professor Daverio’s musicianship as a violinist. “Moirologhia” is an unconventional requiem in that it includes folk laments from around the world instead of a more conventional liturgical treatment.

Wagner’s ‘Ring’ is an opera tetralogy and one of the most extensive of all artistic creations. Wagner binds this structure of over fifteen hours’ duration with a complex web of leitmotif. “Wotan’s Farewell” and the ‘Fire Scene’ occur in Act III, Scene III, of “Die Walküre,” the second opera in the cycle. This opera concludes with the impressive farewell between the Chief of the Gods, Wotan, and his daughter, Brünnhilde, while she is left to sleep surrounded by flames. The instrumentation boasts new and full material while Wotan exclaims his final words. It is in this scene that the listener first hears the motif that represents the downfall of the gods, accompanied by sweeping melodies, and finishing with the woodwinds lulling the listener into sleep.

The School of Music is presenting the concert as the culmination of performances dedicated to the memory of the late John Daverio, who served on its faculty from 1979 to 2003, most recently as Professor and Chairman of Musicology. It is the first of two concerts that the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus will present in Symphony Hall this academic year.

Simon Estes is a professor at the Boston University School of Music. Estes is celebrated throughout the world for his opera, concert, and recital performances, as well as his recording credits. He has performed with major international opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Paris Opera, and has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others. In the 2002/2003 season, Estes played the role of King Philip in “Don Carlos” at the Lithuanian National Theatre in Vilnius, and the role of Padre Guardino in a concert version of “La forza del destino” at Carnegie Hall in New York. This month, Estes will participate in a concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, and will be presented with the Puccini Foundation’s Baccarat Award in recognition of his achievements in the arts. Estes has almost one hundred roles in his repertoire, including Philip in “Don Carlos” and Amfortas in “Parsifal.” Estes has performed for President George H. W. Bush, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Pope John Paul II in the Vatican. He also appeared at the inaugural concert at the Kennedy Center as a soloist, and sang at both the 25th anniversary of the United Nations and the opening of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Estes has appeared on Avidis, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Deutsche Schallplatten, EMI, Philips Classics and Sony Classical labels, recording works such as Bayreuth Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman” and Bizet’s “Carmen.”

Soprano Janna Baty enjoys an unusually versatile career. Recent engagements include appearances with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Yale Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, Opera North, Carnegie Hall, and Boston Lyric Opera. She has sung under conductors Seiji Ozawa, Michel Plasson, Carl Davis, and Christopher Lyndon Gee, among others. She has appeared with the Tanglewood, Norfolk, Rockport, and Coastal Carolina festivals in the U.S and many festivals in Europe. Baty’s opera roles range from the Duchess in Thomas Adès’ “Powder Her Face” to Alice Ford in “Falstaff,” running the gamut from dramatic soprano to dramatic mezzo. She appears regularly with such noted contemporary ensembles as Collage New Music, Auros Group for New Music, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and has worked alongside many composers, including Bernard Rands, Eric Salzman, and John Harbison, on performances of their music. She is winner of several international competitions and has given concerts across Europe, the U.S. and South America. Baty can be heard on the critically acclaimed recordings “Griffelkin” (by Lukas Foss, Chandos, 2003); and “Vali: Flute Concerto/ Deylaman/Folk Songs No. 10”(Naxos, 2004), on which she sings orchestral songs in Persian by Iranian composer Reza Vali.

Peter Zazofsky is Associate Professor at the Boston University School of Music, where he teaches Violin and Chamber Music. His career as a soloist, chamber musician and educator has spanned over twenty-five years and thirty countries on five continents. Joseph Silverstein was his first teacher, and he later studied with Dorothy Delay, Jaime Laredo and Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute. Beginning in 1974, Zazofsky won a series of prizes and awards culminating in the Gold Medal at the 1980 Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Grand Prize of the 1979 Montreal International Competition. He remains the only American to win this award. In 1985 Zazofsky was honored to receive the Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has performed with many of the great orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, including the Boston Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Danish Radio Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He serves as a jury member for violin competitions in Montreal, Brussels, and Odense, Denmark. Zazofsky is also first violinist of the Muir Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Boston University. His discography includes music by Mozart, Debussy, Gershwin, Bartok, and Kreisler.

Tickets to the November 22, 2004 Symphony Hall concert are $35, $20, and $10, and can be purchased by calling Symphony Charge at 617-266-1200.

Boston University College of Fine Arts is a conservatory-style school within a major research university, offering professional training in Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts along with a liberal arts curriculum to 1000 graduate and undergraduate students. Education at the College of Fine Arts begins at Boston University and extends into the city of Boston, a center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

The School of Music, founded in 1873, combines the intimacy and intensity of conservatory training with a broadly based, traditional liberal arts education. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in performance, composition and theory, musicology, music education, collaborative piano, historical performance, as well as a certificate program in the Opera Institute, and artist and performance diplomas. While the emphasis is strongly on music, the school enriches its programs with a range of electives, made available through the other schools and colleges within Boston University.

Alumni and faculty are employed in universities, schools, major symphony orchestras, opera companies, prestigious ensembles, and teaching positions throughout the world. Distinguished faculty members include opera singer Phyllis Curtin, composer Lukas Foss and violinist Roman Totenberg. Notable alumni include H. C. Robbins Landon, noted Haydn scholar; Fred Bronstein, president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; the opera singer Dominique LaBelle; and Ikuko Mizuno-Spire, violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Note to Editor: Contact Amy Corcoran at 617-353-7293 or for further information or to reserve a ticket to the performance.

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