The West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra presents its third concert of the 2011-2012 season Thursday, Nov. 17, featuring George Gershwin’s “Piano Concerto in F,” with esteemed pianist James Miltenberger, WVU professor of piano, as soloist, and featuring Hector Berlioz’s monumental “Symphonie Fantastique” under the direction of Mitchell Arnold, WVU’s Director of Orchestral Activities. Miltenberger’s performance marks his 50th year of teaching at WVU.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the Creative Arts Center.

“Jim’s renowned talent as a classical and jazz pianist is a perfect match for the spiky, bluesy Gershwin Concerto, a work that straddles the so-called divide between classic and pop styles,” conductor Mitchell Arnold said.

”’Symphonie Fantastique’ is a unique symphony that focuses on an autobiographically inspired fictional artist’s excessive passions: waves of adolescent love for the imagined ideal woman; love for the countryside as he first sees his ideal; and ultimately, the torment of rejection,” Arnold said.

“This rejection of his love by ‘her’ leads to his opium-induced dreams of attempted murder, execution, and a mocking dance of witches upon his funeral. Never before, and possibly since, has one symphony depicted such a range of human feeling.”

Opening the concert will be Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides Overture,” which captures the sometimes calm, mostly turbulent, waters of the north Atlantic as it crashes into the dark ominous caves of Scotland’s Hebrides Islands. This work will be conducted by doctoral student and WVU Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Alejandro Pinz�n.

Arnold received a doctorate in conducting from Northwestern University and has an extensive background in new music. Before coming to WVU, he was director of orchestras at Northern Illinois University and assistant director of orchestras at Northwestern University. He has also served on the faculties at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music.

Professor James Miltenberger received his master’s degree and doctorate from the Eastman School of Music and his bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio. He has performed extensively as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. His solo appearances with various orchestras include performances at Carnegie Hall and with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is the founder and pianist of the Miltenberger Jazz Quartet and was soloist with WVU’s Percussion ‘80. Miltenberger has been active as a composer and arranger for various WVU ensembles, including Percussion ‘80, the Marching Band, and the Jazz Ensembles. He is a Music Teachers National Association adjudicator at the state, regional, and national levels and a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award at WVU.

Alejandro Pinz�n is a young and versatile Mexican musician. He is music director of the WVU Community Arts Orchestra and conductor of the String Studio and String Ensemble at Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, Pa. He was also choir director of the Coro Latinoamericano – Pittsburgh, with whom he presented several concerts and programs to share the music and cultures of Latin America in the Western Pennsylvania region.

For concert tickets and information, call the WVU Box Office at (304) 293-SHOW.


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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