Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony

Incomplete works are an inevitable feature of most composers’ catalogues. After all, they are no more likely than anyone else to receive specific advance notice of when they will reach their coda. In the case of some long-lived composers, the events seem to have occurred according to plan: Rossini, Verdi, Strauss, Sibelius, and Vaughan Williams,…

Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto No. 1

Although music has often been described as a universal language, the way that it has been created, performed, and appreciated throughout history has been largely determined by geography, ethnicity, and social status. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, however, owing to large-scale immigration, the dissemination of sound recordings, and, most recently, the internet, the boundaries…

Meet Heather Schmidt

Heather Schmidt’s unique dual talents as a pianist and composer have garnered praise from the press, describing her as “a brilliant virtuoso pianist”, “poised and utterly musical”, “a great artist”, and “as much a pianist in the professional sense as she is a composer”. Her acclaim in both her native country of Canada and on…

Holst’s The Planets

Of all the great music composed in England during the past hundred years, few works have been either so popular or as enduring as Gustav Holst’s The Planets, yet with the exception of an important composition for strings, the St. Paul’s Suite, Holst’s music has vanished from the orchestral repertoire. How could this be? A…

Piazzolla’s Four Seasons

Astor Piazzolla was fabulously talented, and that wealth of talent caused him some confusion as he tried to decide on a career path. Very early, he learned to play the bandoneón, the accordion-like instrument that uses buttons rather than a keyboard, and he became a virtuoso on it. He gave concerts, wrote film scores, and…

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

The Four Seasons (Italian: “Le quattro stagioni”) is a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year. They were written in approximately 1720 and were published in 1725 (Amsterdam), together with eight additional violin concerti, as Il cimento dell’armonia e…

Musician Spotlight: Brian Unverricht

While reading through your Opening Night program you may have noticed that we did a spotlight on one of our musicians. You know Brian Unverricht as a member of our trombone section and you may know that he does pre-concert chats for many of our concerts. If you have never attended a pre-concert chat we…

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