The Baylor Symphony Orchestra will open its new season with music of three great masters—Brahms, Beethoven, and Stravinsky—on Tuesday, September 26. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall, located within the Glennis McCrary Music Building. The 95-member orchestra is led by Stephen Heyde, Baylor University’s Conductor-in-Residence and Director of Orchestral Activities.
German composer Johannes Brahms wrote his Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, to acknowledge an honorary doctorate that the University of Breslau bestowed on him in 1879. He also dedicated the piece to that institution. Brahms drew much of his thematic material from German student songs of the time, interweaving them with original material to form a carefully crafted variation on sonata-allegro formal procedure.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, was composed in 1811-12 and premiered in Vienna, with Beethoven himself conducting, on December 8, 1813, at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau. The symphony was an immediate success, with critics and audiences alike. Richard Wagner called it “the apotheosis of the dance.”
Sergei Diaghilev, director of the Ballet Russe, was so impressed by one of Igor Stravinsky’s early works that he asked him to write orchestral music for an original ballet. The young Russian composer, still only twenty-eight years of age, created The Firebird, a brilliant and scintillating ballet based on Russian folklore. Its 1910 premiere in Paris brought Stravinsky international acclaim. Later, he extracted two orchestral suites from the ballet. The six-movement version from 1919 will be performed by the Baylor Symphony Orchestra.
This concert is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.