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Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Delve into the Depths of Bernstein’s First Symphony, Jeremiah, Sweetened with a Scoop of Graeter’s

Communications & Media Manager 
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138 
DAYTON, OH (December 21, 2017) – On Sunday, January 21, 2018 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 Jeremiah: Fire in the Heart, the second concert in the Dr. Charles and Patricia Demirjian 2017–2018 Classical Connections Season. Sponsorship partner for this Classical Connections series is Graeter’s. 

The focus of the first Classical Connections concert of the new year is Leonard Bernstein and his passionate Symphony No. 1. At the premiere of Bernstein’s first symphony, the composer himself conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  

This programmatic symphony follows the biblical story found in the book of Lamentations, referred to as “The Lamentations of Jeremiah.” Bernstein’s symphony is inspired by the Book of Lamentations, and, in fact, uses Hebrew texts from the book in the finale of the work. The piece has three movements: Prophecy, Profanation, and Lamentation. Not to be taken literally, the movements instead cultivate the emotions within the story. In the first movement one can almost hear the prophet’s pleas. Profanation is a scherzo, portraying the corruption and the ensuing destruction of Jerusalem. Finally, Lamentation is, directly from the text, the mournful cry of Jeremiah. 

Bernstein wrote his Symphony No. 1 for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, with the first voice added in the third movement finale. The Dayton Philharmonic welcomes back mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas to the Schuster Center stage for this performance. Ms. Chianakas is a professor of voice and director of Opera Theater at San Jose University in California and has previously performed several leading roles with Dayton Opera.

The Sunday afternoon concert opens with Bernstein’s sparkling Candide Overture. Then, Maestro Gittleman will give insight and explanation of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1. Cantor Jenna Greenberg, Director of the Intergenerational Dayton Jewish Chorale, joins Neal on the first half of the program, helping trace the liturgical sources of the melodies Bernstein used in Jeremiah.  

On the second half of the program, the orchestra will perform Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah, in its entirety. 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 Jeremiah: Fire in the Heart 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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