Published: Nov. 9, 2017 By

To experience the grand sweep of large-scale orchestral works, join us for the CU Symphony Orchestra’s diverse and challenging program on Nov. 30.

Jonathan Morris

Doctoral student Jonathan Morris, Honors Competition winner.

“Every year, we feature undergraduate and graduate winners of the Honors Competition,” says Director of Orchestral Studies Gary Lewis. “This year’s graduate winner—Jonathan Morris—chose Prokofiev’s third piano concerto, which is quite demanding for the orchestra.

“Of course, the added benefit of Jonathan’s selection is that it’s truly a masterwork—it’s therefore important for our students to play.” Indeed, Sergei Prokofiev’s popular Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26 leaves quite a footprint, programmatically; so much so that it comprises the entire second half of the concert.

“We built the program around the concerto,” continues Lewis. “To contrast and complement Prokofiev, we’re really honored to open the concert with the world premiere of Carter Pann’s colorful ‘Tiny Bolero.’” According to Lewis, Pann’s new work “maintains bolero rhythms and patterns, and engages all aspects of the orchestra.”

Rounding out the wide-ranging program is “En saga” (“A Fairy Tale”). Composed in 1892 by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, the loose-knit, generally dark-hued tone poem will be conducted by graduate student Cynthia Katsarelis.

“It’s a work that connects to the College of Music’s Finnish celebration,” Lewis explains. The chamber music version of ‘En saga’ was recently performed here and at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC; the CU Symphony will render the full orchestral version.

Late in life, Sibelius himself said of the work, “‘En saga’ is an expression of a state of mind. I had undergone a number of painful experiences at the time and in no other work have I revealed myself so completely.”

Delve into these musical mysteries and masterpieces when the CU Symphony performs on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Macky Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. To browse more upcoming symphony concerts, visit CU Presents.