Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

From everyone here at The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Halloween filled with ghouls, frights, and treats.

While you enjoy this holiday, we would like to recommend some listening material to help get you in the spirit for this spooky day!

Franz Liszt wrote a fantasia for Piano and Orchestra entitled Totentanz (Dance of Death). It was completed in 1849. Like many composers of the time, Liszt had a particular obsession with death. The haunting theme draws from the famous medieval Latin Mass of the Dead depicting the final judgment.

You probably recognize it! Many composers of this era drew upon this theme for inspiration, including Hector Berlioz and his masterwork, Symphonie Fantastique where he featured this Dies irae in the Finale. You probably remember hearing it last season in the OSFL's May concert! Another composer that used this popular theme was Rachmaninov. The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes' 2005-2006 season featured Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances which also incorporated this medieval theme.

Click below to listen to a recoding performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and pianist Byron Janis.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 9, 2009

New Season Begins

Tomorrow, October 10, 2009, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes marks the beginning of its 2009-2010 season! The orchestra couldn’t be more excited to welcome Toshi as its new Music Director and conductor and awaits his downbeat to begin the new season.
Toshi isn’t the only new member of the OSFL. We are grateful to have three new core musicians to round out the ensemble. For the first time in history, the orchestra has added a core harpist to its roster. Megan Bledsoe, harp, is an amazing talent completing a Masters in Harp Performance and Theory Pedagogy at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY! Listen for her in Jennifer Higdon’s piece “blue cathedral!” Another new member to the orchestra is Kate Goldstein, a graduate of Ithaca College. She is our acting principal second violin until Denise returns later this season. Rounding out our list of new members is Zachary Sweet, cello. Although he isn’t playing in the concert tomorrow, look for him in December!
This is a very exciting time for the orchestra. We hope everyone reading this will attend the concert tomorrow! It isn’t too late to get tickets; click the link below to buy your tickets:
Following the concert tomorrow, there will be a gathering at the Green Derby in Elmira hosted by the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes and the Twin Tier Young Professionals. We invite all of you to come and meet Toshi, the orchestra musicians, and members of the TTYP.
The orchestra is blessed to have such amazing patrons and supporters. Thank you for everything you do and help us start off this new season with style!