99-032 (Brown Orchestra)
Distributed October 12, 1999
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Glenn Hare

Guest conductors to lead ensemble

Brown Orchestra to open season with music by Russian composers

The Brown University Orchestra will open its 1999-2000 season performing the works of Russian composers Rachmaninoff and Borodin. Concerts are planned for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, 1999, in Sayles Hall.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Music of two Russian composers will open the 1999-2000 concert season of the Brown University Orchestra. Under the baton of guest conductor Filip Bral, the orchestra will perform works by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Borodin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, 1999, in Sayles Hall.

The concerts open with Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 (In the Steppes of Central Asia.) Borodin was one of “The Mighty Five” Russians who wrote nationalist music. Trained as a research chemist and physical scientist, he wrote music of great originality and beauty that includes bold orchestral tone poems about exotic lands and subjects, said Bral, who currently serves as assistant conductor of the Theatre Royal De La Monnaise in Belgium.

“The composition is a musical balancing act between the dramatic and the passionate,” he said. “Written in four movements, the work is rich with dance-like passages and melancholic melodies.”

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concert No. 2 follows with Sylvia Yuan (Class of ’00) as the featured soloist. Yuan, winner of the 1998 Annual Orchestra Concerto Competition, said “It’s a dream come true to be able to play the concerto with a full orchestra. I’ve been in love with it since eight grade. I especially love the beautiful harmonies.”

Rachmaninoff was the last great figure of Russian Romanticism and a leading pianist of his time, Bral said.

Tickets are $4 for the general public and $2 for students, and can be purchased at the door. Sayles Hall is located on The College Green.

Other guest conductors

Leading the orchestra on Dec. 5, 1999, will be Yoichi Udagawa, who serves as music director and conductor of both the Quincy Symphony Orchestra and the Melrose Symphony Orchestra. Udagawa also is on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, where he teaches graduate conducting and directs the New Music Ensemble. In addition, he works with renowned conductor Christopher Hogwood as a rehearsal assistant at the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston. That performance will feature Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Julian J. Wachner, music director of the Back Bay Chorale and artistic director of the Providence Singers, will conduct the orchestra in two performances of the Enigma Variations by Elgar on March 10-11, 2000. A member of the music faculty at Boston University, Wachner is also a visiting lecturer in music composition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a fellow of the American Guild of Organists. In addition, he has led numerous performing ensembles, including the New England Philharmonic, the Boston Bach Ensemble and the Boston University Symphony Orchestra.

The guest conductor and repertoire for the final concert of the season on May 5-7 are being finalized.