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Livingston Symphony Orchestra to Salute Great Women Composers

Jackie Schatell

Friday, March 7, 2014 • 1:27am

LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Saturday, March 22, the Livingston Symphony Orchestra (LSO), led by its internationally-acclaimed Principle Conductor and Music Director Istvan Jaray will perform “A Salute to Women Composers,” highlighting music that has been composed by women. The concert will start at 7:30 p.m., and be held in the Livingston High School Auditorium. To purchase tickets, call 973-980-1809. They can also be purchased at the door.

In addition, the winner of the Livingston Symphony Young Artists Competition, Holmdel cellist Jessica Hong, will be featured in the program. At the age of 15, Hong has already performed in France, Switzerland and South Korea, among other nations. In addition, she is a gold prize winner at the 2013 International Virtuoso Competition.

Hong will be performing Eduard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor. According to the LSO, a celebrated regional orchestra dedicated to presenting established classical masterpieces and little-heard treasures, the Lalo concerto is a technically-demanding work calling for bold dramatic gestures, warm lyrical phrases and a light, witty touch.  

Maestro Jaray and the orchestra will also be presenting two additional works that are not regularly programmed: Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No.1 and Amy Beach’s Symphony No.2, “Gaelic.”

The concert will open with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1. Tower dedicated the work to “women who take risks and who are adventurous.” The LSO said that Tower was inspired by Aaron Copland’s famous Fanfare for the Common Man and wrote her work for the same brass and percussion forces. It is resonant, inspiring and, like the rest of the program, a great deal of fun.

According to the LSO, Beach’s symphony, which was completed in 1896, is gradually being recognized as one of the early important examples of American symphonic music. Beach was a virtuoso pianist and a composer of more than 300 works ranging from intimate songs to large-scale pieces for chorus and orchestra. The symphony was inspired by the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s challenge to create a distinctly American symphonic tradition. Beach responded by using the folk melodies of New England’s Irish immigrant community as a basis for the symphony. It is not just a collection of jaunty tunes; rather, Beach uses the rhythms and melodies to inspire an emotional symphonic voyage. She creates dramatic seascapes, images of romantic balladry and jaunty dance movements, all of which add up to a complex, satisfying orchestral statement. The symphony was premiered by the Boston Symphony and has recently been revived by orchestras internationally.

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