Baylor Symphony Orchestra in Historic Concert

April 26, 2022
The Baylor Symphony Orchestra’s next performance—on Tuesday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Concert Hall—is rich in historical significance. After Stephen Heyde’s brilliant span of thirty-eight years at the orchestra’s helm, this will be the final time for him to be on the podium as conductor. The piano soloist will be Robert Blocker, who served for six years as the Baylor School of Music’s second dean, succeeding the legendary Daniel Sternberg. And a world premiere will be heard, a new piece by Baylor University’s Professor of Composition, Scott McAllister.
Opening the program will be Dr. McAllister’s Symphony No. 1. Subtitled “The Bear,” this four-movement work was written to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Baylor University School of Music. It is dedicated to Stephen Heyde, in celebration of his leadership as Director of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra.
Robert Blocker was dean of the Baylor University School of Music from 1983 to 1989 and now serves in that same capacity at Yale University. A world-class pianist in his own right, he has performed on concert stages throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, China, South Korea, Thailand, and elsewhere. For his Baylor appearance, Dr. Blocker will play as soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488.
This historic concert will close with Professor Heyde conducting Tod und Verklärung (“Death and Transfiguration”), Op. 24, by German composer Richard Strauss. Dating from 1889, when Strauss was twenty-five, this tone poem explores the metaphysics of dying. Its final section ascends to glorious heights and ends in tranquility, as if to say that the dying man’s soul has at last achieved the exaltation for which he yearned in his earthly life.
This concert is free of charge and open to the public. It is also available for livestreaming at
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