The Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra continues its 50th Anniversary Season on Saturday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Dock Mennonite Academy’s Souderton campus (the Early Childhood to Grade 8 campus). Noted Violinist from The Philadelphia Orchestra, Amy Oshiro-Morales, performs Tchaikovsky’s popular Violin Concerto that exudes sublime lyricism, yearning wistfulness, and thrilling virtuosity. The cheerful Symphony No. 1 of French opera composer Georges Bizet concludes the concert bringing some much-needed exuberance and a musical smile.
Inspired by French composer Edouard Lalo’s recently composed Symphonie Espagnole for violin solo and orchestra, Tchaikovsky decided to write his own violin concerto. Working out of excitement, he composed the slow movement in a single day, and the entire concerto was finished in a month. The performance of the work, however, did not happen as quickly as the writing of it. Tchaikovsky dedicated the work to the famous violinist Leopold Auer in hopes that Auer would premiere the work. Much to the composer’s heartbreak, Auer returned the manuscript and refused to perform it. Nearly three years later the young violinist Adolf Brodsky persuaded the Vienna Philharmonic to premiere the work. With unfortunate luck again, the premiere was horrible. The orchestra parts were full of mistakes, the entire work was underrehearsed, and the orchestra played very softly throughout to avert disaster. While the audience applauded Brodsky’s playing, they hissed at the orchestra. Within time the Concerto became one of the most virtuosic works for violin, and Auer himself later reversed his feelings for the work, championed it, and taught it to his students, including Jascha Heifetz. Musically, the Violin Concerto is a pyrotechnical panoramic display for the violin soloist. In addition to the virtuosic solo part, the work is complete with Tchaikovsky’s hallmark sweeping melodies and grandness. From the elegant second movement to the vivacious, folk-flavored dance rhythms of the finale, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto remains a staple of his works and one of the most beloved concertos for audiences today.
While Georges Bizet is best remembered for his operas, specifically Carmen, it is often forgotten that he was a prodigy and had a similarly short life like Mozart and Mendelssohn. Mozart died at age 35, Mendelssohn at 38, and Bizet died at the age of 36 from a heart attack (due to his chronic smoking habit) shortly after the premiere of Carmen. Bizet composed his Symphony No. 1 right after turning 17 years old but did not publish the work, nor did he ever hear the work performed in his lifetime. It was discovered 80 years later n 1933. “The work sparkles with colorful outbursts of excitement and irresistible energy along with a sense of longing and passion – just like Bizet’s operas,” explains Music Director Allan R. Scott.
Last season, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra was one of only a few orchestras in the country that performed live broadcasts for free. The SPSO LiveStream! reached thousands of people throughout the country with a full season of concerts this past year. For five decades the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra has been making music in the region, performing hundreds of concerts of more than 2,500 works featuring world-renowned guest artists. Founded in 1972 by conductor Leonard Murphy as the North Penn Symphony Orchestra, and in 2008 renamed to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony was created to provide performances of the highest caliber to entertain and educate audiences, and to enhance, enrich, and expand the cultural lives of the residents of the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. As a leading regional professional orchestra, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra strives to impact the community culturally, socially, financially, and bring communities together through music.
The Symphony will continue to implement safety and health protocols recommended by the CDC and community health officials. This may include masking for audience members depending on transmission level, as well as regular testing for musicians. SPSO strongly encourages all members of our audience to get vaccinated in consultation with your medical provider.
The Symphony recently moved its home to the performing arts center at Dock Mennonite Academy (Early Childhood to Grade 8 Campus) at 420 Godshall Road, Souderton. The Souderton campus of Dock Mennonite Academy is less than 10 minutes away (about 5 miles) from the center of Lansdale, and the concert venue is a fully accessible performing arts center with no partial view seating, wonderful acoustics, and a great concert experience. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Dock Mennonite Academy, and to welcome audiences back to this wonderful hall,” explains Symphony President Kiran Padgaonkar.
Tickets are available at spsorchestra.org and in the lobby prior to the performance.