The West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mitchell Arnold, will perform “Scheherazade,” Rimsky-Korsakov’s captivating orchestral poem inspired by “One Thousand and One Nights” at the Creative Arts Center, Thursday, Feb. 27.
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre.
The WVU Symphony Orchestra, nationally recognized in 2013 for excellence and recently returned from a tour of Texas, will also perform the music from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” by composer Bernard Herrmann and “Angel of Dusk,” a concerto for double bass and orchestra by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, featuring WVU School of Music faculty member Andrew Kohn on double bass.
Bernard Herrmann – Suite from “Vertigo”
Einojuhani Rautavaara – “Angel of Dusk” Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra, Andrew Kohn, double bass
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – “Scheherazade”
“The stories of One Thousand and One Nights, sometimes known as Arabian Nights, inspired Rimsky-Korsakov to compose a sumptuous orchestral showpiece,” said Arnold, WVU director of Orchestral Activities. “This is music that tastes of the exotic and the beautiful. Rimsky-Korsakov practically paints orchestral sound with vivid boldness.”
Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock had one of the most successful partnerships in film. Herrmann, who composed for such Hitchcock films as “Psycho” and “North by Northwest” also composed the music for Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” and Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver.”
“The ‘Vertigo’ score is taut, succinct and quite powerfully evocative,” Arnold said. “But at the same time, Herrmann’s scoring for the ‘love scene’ between Jimmy Stewart’s and Kim Novak’s characters, a scene edited to Herrmann’s music in fact, is among the most passionate and beautiful music ever written for film, tinged with longing, sadness and obsession.”
“Angel of Dusk” is a mystical work written for a virtuosic double bass soloist.
“We are fortunate to have among our talented WVU faculty such an artist as Dr. Andrew Kohn,” Arnold said. “There is a dark foreboding quality to this concerto. While it is technically demanding it has great depth.”
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. In March 2013 he made his guest-conducting debut with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston, and returned to conduct the orchestra earlier this month.
Kohn teaches string bass and music theory at WVU. He holds a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and an Artist Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. His principal bass teachers included Eugene Levinson, Eldon Obrecht, Barry Green, and Theron McClure. The former principal bassist of the National Chamber Orchestra and the Harrisburg Symphonies, he currently performs with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Opera orchestras. His writings on bass repertoire, bass pedagogy, and contemporary music theory have appeared in several journals, and his many solo performances have included several international bass conventions, held in the U.S. and Poland. He has recorded for Albany and Music Minus One.
The West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra recently returned from a tour of Texas highlighted by an appearance as one of only two collegiate orchestras invited to perform at the 2014 national conference of the College Orchestra Directors Association. In 2013 WVU Symphony Orchestra was awarded the American Prize Special Citation for Musical and Technical Excellence in a national competition. Mitchell Arnold has been WVU’s director of Orchestral Activities since 2007.
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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