BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC PERFORMS ALL VAUGHAN WILLIAMS PROGRAM AT CARNEGIE HALL
Concert celebrates the inauguration of University’s tenth president Tuesday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m.
(Boston) — The Boston University School of Music presents the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus in a concert at Carnegie Hall, performing Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor and Dona nobis pacem. The concert will take place on Tuesday, April 18 at 8:00pm. Ann Howard Jones, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the School of Music, and David Hoose, Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities in the School of Music, will conduct. Soloists in the Dona nobis pacem will be soprano Michelle Johnson, a BU Opera Institute student, and bass-baritone Simon Estes, Professor of Music in the School of Music.
The concert is presented in honor of Robert A. Brown, who will formally take the helm of the nation’s fourth largest private university at an April 27 ceremony. Selected in May 2005, Dr. Brown assumed the BU presidency in September after 25 years at MIT, the final seven as provost. Carnegie Hall, the country’s premier venue for classical music, is a fitting site to launch the university’s month-long inaugural celebration, and the concert is expected to attract many of the nearly 50,000 BU alumni who reside in the tri-state area.
The most important English composer of his generation, Ralph Vaughan Williams was a key figure in the 20th century revival of British music. It was between the two world wars that Vaughan Williams composed two of his greatest works, the Symphony No. 4 in F minor (1931-1934) and Dona nobis pacem (1936). Both masterful undertakings, in emotional perspective they cover both ends of the spectrum: the Fourth Symphony an intense, roiling response to the upheaval in which Europe was engulfed, and the Dona nobis pacem, a rich expression of the composer’s yearning for a more peaceful world. Beginning with an anguished, thrusting first movement, the Symphony grows in tension and agitation, punctuated by a long fitful melody that rides upon pulsating heartbeats, all emphasized by a severe tautness of structure. The Dona nobis pacem (“Give Us Peace”) weaves together symphonic conceptions with text from the Latin Mass, scripture passages, and the poetry of Walt Whitman to express the composer’s central theme. Despite the gloom over Europe, the heart of the cantata consoles in ways that the Symphony does not even imagine. Together, the two works create a powerful and compelling program that speaks very directly and movingly of issues that are as alive today as they were when Vaughan Williams composed them.
Ann Howard Jones, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Boston University, conducts the Boston University Symphonic Chorus and Chamber Chorus, administers the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in choral conducting, and teaches advanced choral conducting. Dr. Jones recently concluded her eleventh season as conductor of the Young Artists Chorus at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Recognized for her expertise in conducting technique, choral and vocal pedagogy, rehearsal procedures and performance practice, Dr. Jones has appeared as a guest lecturer for the American Choral Directors Association, the Long Island Choral Festival, the Tennessee Arts Academy, and at Northwestern University and The Juilliard School, among others.
David Hoose is Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Activities at the Boston University School of Music. He is also music director of two distinguished Boston musical institutions, the Cantata Singers & Ensemble, and Collage New Music. As well, Professor Hoose recently completed eleven years as music director of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. Among Professor Hoose’s recent career highlights are a 2006 Grammy Award nomination for his recording of John Harbison’s “Mottetti di Montale” with Collage New Music, and his acceptance of the prestigious 2005 Alice M. Ditson Conductors Award, given in recognition of his commitment to the performance of American music.
Soprano Michelle Johnson, a first year student in Boston University's Opera Institute, is a student of Penelope Bitzas. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and in 2005 was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she worked with James Levine and performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Ms. Johnson was the recipient of the Jan de Gaetani Award at the 2003 Orpheus National Vocal Competition, and the Encouragement Award in the 2005 Metropolitan Opera New England Regional Finals.
Bass-baritone Simon Estes, Professor of Music in the Boston University School of Music, is celebrated for his opera, concert, and recital performances, as well as his recording credits. He has performed extensively with major international opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Professor Estes has performed for President George H. W. Bush, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Pope John Paul II, and appears on several recording labels, including Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, and Sony Classical.
Tickets to the April 18, 2006 Carnegie Hall concert are $35, $25, and $15. They can be purchased on-line at www.carnegiehall.org or by calling the Box Office at 212-247-7800.
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 to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for 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 at the undergraduate level and intense coursework at the graduate level. 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 its Opera Institute, and artist and performance diplomas.
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