Boston University School of Music Presents Stravinsky’s "Rite of Spring"

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
March 25th, 2005

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 | emcarr@bu.edu

(Boston) — The Boston University School of Music presents the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus in a concert at Symphony Hall featuring Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (“The Rite of Spring”) and Verdi’s Quattro Pezzi Sacri (“Four Sacred Pieces”). The concert will take place on Monday, April 11 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.

From its first performance in Paris in 1913 when riots broke out in the aisles of the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, The Rite of Spring became legend, and made its composer instantly and forever famous. Commissioned by Stravinsky’s longtime collaborator Serge Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes, as a score for his production of the same name, Le Sacre flaunted the cultural conventions of its time. Its musical innovations were astounding; the enormous orchestra, the largest one Stravinsky would ever demand, included twenty woodwinds, eighteen brass, nine percussion, and a huge complement of strings, playing in original combinations, and in jagged, intricate rhythms and unpredictable meters. By combining these musical innovations with extraordinary elements of a story of pagan sacrifice, outrageous costumes, and unusual choreography, Stravinsky and Diaghilev ultimately created a production that was more than the opening night audience could take. The course of musical history was forever changed by Le Sacre, which today stands as a magnificent musical masterpiece of the 20th century.

While Le Sacre revels in its newness, Giuseppe Verdi’s Quattro Pezzi Sacri, composed on sacred texts, reflects his affection for a stile antico, an old, fading style. Verdi created these choral compositions as a kind of valediction in his, and the 19th-century’s dying decade. Though an agnostic, his feeling for sacred music ran deep; having started his musical career as a church organist, he wanted to end it with music that glorified an era that he saw coming to an end. Verdi composed the first three movements as a trilogy, and that group of three works received its premiere in Paris in April 1898. Verdi’s old friend Giulio Ricordi then decided to include an earlier Ave Maria in his published version, and so invented the enlarged grouping and the title of Quattro Pezzi Sacri.

The pairing of Quattro Pezzi Sacri and Le Sacre du printemps brings together the sacred and profane–the Verdi, a spiritual outpouring inspired by the secular operatic world, and the Stravinsky, the earthiest rituals reaching for the sacred.

David Hoose is Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at the Boston University School of Music. He also holds the position of Music Director with The Cantata Singers & Ensemble, Collage New Music, and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and appears regularly as conductor of the Young Artists Orchestra at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. A prolific recording artist, Mr. Hoose’s newest recording, John Harbison’s Four Psalms and Emerson with the Cantata Singers, has recently been released by New World Records.

Ann Howard Jones is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Boston University, where she conducts the Symphonic and Chamber Choruses, teaches graduate choral conducting, and administers the MM and DMA programs. She recently concluded her tenth season as conductor of the Young Artists Chorus at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Recognized as a distinguished clinician, adjudicator, teacher and conductor, she has received a Fulbright Professorship to Brazil, and has recently accepted invitations to conduct and teach in South Korea, Australia and Canada.

Tickets to the April 11, 2005 Symphony Hall concert are $35, $20, and $10. They can be purchased by calling Symphony Charge at 617-266-1200.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts is a conservatory-style school within a major research university, offering professional training in Music, Theatre, 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: Media only: Contact Ellen Carr at emcarr@bu.edu or 617-353-8783 for further information or to reserve a ticket to the performance.)

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