I Musici De Montréal Performs Nov. 4 At Baylor

Oct. 25, 2004

by Richard Veit

Russian-born conductor Yuli Turovsky brings his world-famous string ensemble, I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra, to Baylor University for the next Distinguished Artist Series concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, in Roxy Grove Hall. Maestro Turovsky also will appear as cello soloist with the group.

The program will open with a modern work, Coups d'archet (or "Bow Strikes") by Denis Gougeon, which was written for I Musici de Montréal's 15th anniversary. According to the composer, "I wanted to pay homage to an exceptional musician--Yuli Turovsky--who, by his unflagging dedication to music as interpreter, conductor and teacher, has provided the world of music, both within Quebec and internationally, a unique forum for expression."

Benjamin Britten wrote his Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge on short notice in 1937, at the age of 24. The work, using a melody of his teacher, makes a fascinating parallel to the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar and to Lambert's Clavichord by Herbert Howells. It is an amazing demonstration of technical brilliance.

Following intermission, I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra will perform the world premiere of To the Pines by Scott McAllister, assistant professor of composition at Baylor. It was written for and dedicated to Yuli Turovsky and I Musici de Montréal. The one-movement work is inspired by an old Appalachian folk song, "To the Pines," and is a tour de force for cello soloist.

The program will conclude with the beautiful Serenade for Strings by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In 1880, the normally pessimistic composer wrote to his publisher, "I am violently in love with this work and can't wait for it to be played." The world premiere was a triumph.

Tickets for the Distinguished Artist Series concert are $15, with students, senior citizens, and Baylor faculty and staff admitted for $10. For ticket information, call the Baylor School of Music at (254) 710-1161.

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