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DPO Classical Series Brings Everything French to the Schuster Center – Composers, Music, and Guest Pianist


Angela Whitehead
Interim Communications & Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Dayton Ballet / Dayton Opera / Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
126 N. Main St., Suite 210, Dayton OH 45402
O: (937)224-3521 x1138  F: (937)223-9189

DAYTON, OH (January 22, 2014) – On Thursday, February 6 and Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 8 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Artistic Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present The Premier Health Classical Series Concert Reflections of France, featuring guest pianist Pascal Rogé and DPO Principal Pianist Joshua Nemith.

The celebration of everything French begins with, of all things, a work by American composer Charles Peter Wuorinen. It’s his Machault mon chou (Machault my cabbage; here cabbage is, hopefully, a term of endearment), a three-movement piece drawn from the Messe de Notre Dame (Mass of Our Lady) and commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony. Close your eyes and you might just imagine Charles Laughton as Quasimodo running across the roof of the famous cathedral in the film version of Victor Hugo’s epic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Wuorinen’s composition contains 14th-century harmonies of church origin written with a sense of modern drama and giving the brass and strings a chance to shine.

From an American composer influenced by French music, the program shifts to a French composer influenced by American music. In the late ‘20s and early ‘30s, the influence of the American jazz idiom held French pianist/composer Maurice Ravel firmly in its grasp. The result was his Piano Concerto in G major, a musical mixture that begins with the crack of a whip and stirs in Spanish, Basque, and Blues influences creating a potage, a delightful if quite complex stew of chimeric piano passages, key shifts, esoteric harp and string contributions, dissonance, a slight reference/homage to Mozart, and the requirement for paramount pianist’s skills with which to pull the entire thing off. His name synonymous with the best playing of French repertoire in the world today, Pascal Rogé – one of the great interpreters of French piano music – will perform the Ravel Concerto.

French composer Camille Saint-Saëns must have had something in for numbers. Why else would he have written a four-movement symphony in two movements? With only two of those four movements using an organ and the piano scored for both two and four hands at various places? His Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78*, popularly known as the Organ Symphony, contains all the hallmarks of Saint-Saëns’s unique style: virtuoso piano sections and illustrious orchestral composition. DPO Principal Pianist Joshua Nemith performs on the organ.

The performances of The Premier Health Classical Series Concerts Reflections of France are sponsored by Gilbert and Patricia Templeton in memory of Edward and Helen Hennessey and Harold and Marian Templeton.

Take Note pre-concert talk at 7 pm in the Mead Theatre with The Rev. John Neely, Associate Pastor for Music, Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Single Tickets: $9 | $12 | $23 | $36 | $47 | $59

*No. 9 in Discover Classical WDPR/WDPG’s 2013 Top I00 List of Classical Favorites


About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.

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