Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic ChorusThe Restless Spirit: Music of Johannes Brahms

in Arts, BU In the Community, College of Fine Arts, Entertainment, News Releases
March 23rd, 2010

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

(Boston, MA) – On Tuesday, April 6, the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus will perform an all-Brahms program at Symphony Hall under conductors Ann Howard Jones and David Hoose, both professors at the BU School of Music. The concert, presented by the BU School of Music and titled “The Restless Spirit,” will feature Brahms’s Nänie, Alto Rhapsody, Schicksalslied, and Piano Quartet in G minor (orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg). Dr. Joel Sheveloff, Professor of Music at BU and noted musicologist, will lead a pre-concert lecture in the Hall at 7:00pm. Priced at $25 general admission and $10 for students, this concert will be the perfect opportunity for Boston music lovers to get an early glimpse of the next generation of classical musicians.

The three choral works on the program – Nänie, Alto Rhapsody, and Schicksalslied – are considered three of the most beautiful pieces Brahms ever composed, though they are seldom performed in today’s concert halls. While both tragic and serene, Nänie was written in 1881 and was inspired by the death of the neo-classical painter Anselm Feurerbach. Alto Rhapsody is the earliest work on the program and features mezzo-soprano soloist Rachel Hague, a current BU Opera Institute student. It is thought that Brahms wrote this work for Julie Schumann, daughter of Clara. Writers speculate that Brahms, lamenting Julie’s betrothal to another, labeled this piece sarcastically as “a bridal song for the Schumann princess.” Schicksalslied was once described by Joseph Sittard, a noted nineteenth-century theater and music historian and acquaintance of Brahms, as “even if Brahms had never written anything but this one work, it alone would have sufficed to rank him with the best masters.” While this sentiment may no longer be entirely accurate when considering Brahms’s impressive catalog, audiences continue to respond with great enthusiasm to performances of Schicksalslied.

The final piece on the program is Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg. While originally composed in 1861 for violin, viola, cello, and piano, Schoenberg transformed the work in 1937 into a piece for full orchestra. Schoenberg created numerous orchestrations of other composers’ works, yet his adaptation of the Piano Quartet in G minor is widely regarded as the most ambitious and loving of all his orchestrations.

Ann Howard Jones is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the Boston University School of Music, and is recognized for her expertise in conducting technique, choral and vocal pedagogy, rehearsal procedures and performance practice. Equally acclaimed as a conductor, Dr. Jones was Assistant Conductor for Choruses with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1984 to1998, where she was closely associated with the late Robert Shaw, Music Director Emeritus and Conductor Laureate. In 2003, Dr. Jones received Boston University’s coveted Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award based on peer evaluation of work in the classroom and student letters of support.

David Hoose is Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at the Boston University School of Music. He has been Music Director of the Cantata Singers and Ensemble since 1984, and has been Music Director of Collage New Music since 1991. Under Professor Hoose’s leadership, Collage and Cantata Singers have given hundreds of premieres and have been active commissioners of dozens of new works. Professor Hoose is the 2008 recipient of Choral Arts New England’s Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2005 Alice M. Ditson Conductors Award, given in recognition of exceptional commitment to the performance of American music.

Joel Sheveloff is Professor of Music in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the Boston University School of Music. He has written articles on rhythm and meter, the whole-tone scale before Debussy, performance practice, the music of Domenico Scarlatti, Mozart, Brahms, Mussorgsky, Ravel, and Stravinsky in The Musical Quarterly, Current Musicology, Chigiana, Musica Poetica, Symphony Newsletter, Critical Inquiry, and several Festschriften. His research interests include French text setting, notational practices in composition and musicological editing, analytical methodologies in disparate styles, Bach’s Musical Offering, and music and other arts. In his 46 years of teaching in the BU School of Music, Dr. Sheveloff has developed and taught over 50 courses in topics ranging from medieval keyboard music to opera to music in the Soviet Union. Dr. Sheveloff earned the 2004 Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the University’s highest teaching honor.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a center of rich cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.


The Restless Spirit: Music of Johannes Brahms

Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus
Ann Howard Jones and David Hoose, conductors

Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 8:00pm
Pre-concert lecture with lecture with Professor Joel Sheveloff, 7:00pm

Alto Rhapsody
Piano Quartet in G minor
, orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg

Symphony Hall
301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston
T Green “E” Line, Symphony stop
T Orange Line, Mass Ave stop

Tickets: $25 General Admission; $10 Student Rush: available at the door, day of concert, 10:00am-7:00pm only; BU Community: one free ticket with BU ID at the door, day of concert, 10:00am-7:00pm only. or 617-266-1200


To request press tickets, photos, or additional information, please contact either:
Jean Connaughton at 617-353-7293 or
Ellen Carr at 617-353-8783 or

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