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Record Salesman, Florist, Animal Nurse, Forestry Firefighter . . . and Composer! Dayton Philharmonic Shines a Spotlight on Lou Harrison, along with a Sunday Scoop of Graeter’s

Communications & Media Manager 
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 
DAYTON, OH (September 7, 2017) – On Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 3 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, will present Bold Pathfinder: Lou Harrison, the first concert in the Dr. Charles and Patricia Demirjian 2017–2018 Classical Connections Season. Sponsorship partner for this Classical Connections series is Graeter’s. 

The Dayton Philharmonic proudly welcomes to the stage talented pianist Kristofer Rucinski for this performance. The DPO will also be joined by the University of Dayton Gamelan Ensemble. 

American composer Lou Harrison is not as much of a household name as other composers, yet he should be. Over fifty years ago, Harrison quietly began his own musical revolution. With superb craftsmanship he combined a reverence for world cultures, a passionate belief in social equity, and a love of melody and beauty in all its forms, to create his own world of music. 

Considered a member of the “West Coast Maverick School of Composers,” he questioned or rebelled against certain aspects of Western musical tradition in his compositions. In his over 300 works for western, eastern, and custom-made instruments, Lou Harrison wrote for symphony orchestra, ballet, small chamber ensembles and soloists. He was a musical innovator and a visionary in the truest sense, tirelessly knocking on the door of possibility. Harrison worked to create new harmonies and tunings, giving his music an original, distinctive voice in American music. 

Guest pianist Kristofer Rucinski is well versed in Harrison’s music, having previously performed the Piano Concerto on several occasions. A native of Ashland, Kentucky, Rucinski's playing has been described as both a “tour de force” (Music in Cincinnati) and “confidently elegant” (CityBeat). Rucinski has long been a proponent of new music, performing dozens of world premieres throughout the Midwest and Southern states.
In this Concerto for Piano, as in many of his works, composer Harrison has masterfully blended Western classical composition together with the compelling sounds of eastern music and instrumentation found in Javanese Gamelan. Joining Maestro Gittleman and the DPO on stage to bring this blending of sound to the Schuster Center is the University of Dayton Gamelan Ensemble. Founded in 2009, this local ensemble performs on a custom-made set of instruments built in Java, Indonesia. The UD Gamelan Ensemble’s Javanese name is Kyai Udan Setaman, which means “The Venerable Rain of Multicolored Flowers.” The ensemble’s name is fitting to Harrison’s Piano Concerto, a piece filled with multicolored musical configurations that deliver a powerful and awe-inspiring work.

The Sunday afternoon concert opens with Harrison’s “Estampie” from Suite for Symphonic Strings. Then, Maestro Gittleman will give insight and explanation of Harrison’s Piano Concerto, along with musical excerpts from the DPO, guest pianist Rucinski, and the UD Gamelan Ensemble, to allow for greater understanding by the audience of Harrison's unique, stylistic work.  

On the second half of the program, the orchestra will perform the Piano Concerto in its entirety. It is a lively, challenging piece of music in four movements, with the second movement, “The Stampede,” featuring the use of forearm chords and an octave bar—just one example of the dexterity required to play this piece.
A casual Q&A session with Neal Gittleman will follow the performance in the Wintergarden, along with a scoop of Graeter’s ice cream! 

Tickets for Bold Pathfinder: Lou Harrison range from $15 to $43 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at  Senior, teacher and military discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions for the 2017-2018 The Great Ones Season, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit


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. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled 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. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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