Guest artists, a beloved symphony, and thrilling music from China will mark this year’s debut performance by the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, Oct. 1. And it will all be free to WVU students.

“We hope to make symphonic music a part of every WVU student’s college experience, so we’ve decided to make admission free for anyone presenting a WVU student ID at the concert,” said Mitchell Arnold, WVU’s director of orchestral activities and an associate professor in the School of Music. This new policy applies to nearly all formerly ticketed School of Musical Events. “For WVU students, not only is the music stunning but your seat is free!”

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre under the baton of Maestro Arnold.

One of the highlights of that musical experience will be Anton�n Dvoř�k’s great Symphony in E Minor, “From the New World.”

“Whether due to its great tunefulness, gripping drama, or sheer sonic power, Dvoř�k’s symphony has been a popular favorite since its first performances,” Arnold said. “He likely composed the symphony under the spell of Native American music – he was also particularly inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem, ‘The Song of Hiawatha,’ along with African American spirituals. He certainly hoped that this great symphony would become a model for new American music.”

Opening the program will be the hot, driving rhythms of Zhou Long’s “The Rhyme of Taigu.”

“From the first moment, this is music with a pounding, rhythmic drive,” Arnold said. “The Chinese drums featured in the piece are both a visual and sonic sensation.”

Special guests, the Amernet String Quartet, make a return to Clay as soloists in the Concerto for String Quartet by Bohuslav Martinů. The Quartet’s appearance with the WVU Symphony Orchestra will mark the end of a weeklong residence highlighted by a recital appearance as part of WVU’s yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

“WVU and the Morgantown community are so fortunate to have Amernet, world-renowned for their vibrant performances, come to work with our students and perform for the public not just once, but twice,” said Arnold. “The solo performance with WVUSO will be a highlight of the year, not just for our students and faculty, but for all of the region’s music-loving community.”

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



CONTACT: David Welsh, WVU College of Creative Arts

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