Campus News

Portland Symphony Orchestra to Give World Premiere of Elliott Schwartz's Voyager

Story posted September 26, 2002

Courtesy of Portland Symphony Orchestra

Music Director Toshiyuki Shimada will open the Portland Symphony Orchestra's 2002-2003 Tuesday Classical Series by leading the orchestra in a concert featuring the world premiere of Maine composer and Bowdoin College professor Elliott Schwartz's new work Voyager at Merrill Auditorium on October 8 at 7:30 pm.

The concert also includes Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, with internationally renowned pianist Misha Dichter.

Schwartz, the Robert K. Beckwith Research Professor of Music at Bowdoin, will also be the speaker at a pre-concert lecture. Free to concert-goers, the Concert Conversation begins at 6:15 pm and provides an opportunity to learn more about the music and musicians on the program. Schwartz will discuss the aesthetics and techniques of composers from the 19th-Century Romantic era, as exemplified by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, and how their work has influenced compositions of our current age, especially his new composition, Voyager.

Of his new work Schwartz said, "When I began writing Voyager, my initial intent was to create a travelogue of sorts - a musical record of places I've visited, or lived in, which have made very strong impressions on me." He goes on to explain, "It has turned out quite differently, however. First of all, images of the four places refused to stay separate and compartmentalized. Instead, they have spilled over into each other's territory - so that the net result is a ‘collage’ of fleeting, intersecting images, a multiple exposure rather than a neatly organized photo album."

Elliott Schwartz has taught at Bowdoin College since 1964. Schwartz's compositions have been performed by such groups as the Indianapolis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Virtuosi and New York Chamber Soloists. His works have been featured at numerous international music centers and festivals including Tanglewood, the Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art (New York City), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), the Bath and York Festivals (England), Casals Festival (France), De Ijsbreker (Netherlands), and the "Leningrad Spring" (Russia). This past year he has held extended visiting residencies, including concerts of his music, at Harvard University, New England Conservatory, and the London College of Music. His compositions are published by Carl Fischer, G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser and MMB. Recordings of his music can be heard on the New World, CRI, Capstone, Innova, Vienna Modern Masters and GM labels.

Now in the fourth decade of an illustrious international career, pianist Misha Dichter has appeared with virtually all of the world's major orchestras. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the Baltimore, Chicago, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras, and made a 14-city North American tour with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra. An active chamber musician as well, Dichter has collaborated with most of the world's finest string players and frequently performs with his wife, Cipa Dichter in duo-piano recitals. For his acclaimed recordings, Dichter has collaborated with Kurt Masur and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Andre Previn and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and Neville Marriner and the Philharmonia Orchestra, among others. A noted exponent of Liszt's piano works, Dichter was honored in 1998 with the "Grand Prix International du Disque Liszt," presented for his recording of Liszt piano transcriptions.

The concert is sponsored through a generous contribution from UNUM Provident.

Tickets for the Portland Symphony Orchestra's concert on Tuesday, October 8, are $47, $40, $32, $24 and $15. Tickets may be purchased at the PortTix box office (open 12 noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday), by phone through PortTix at (207) 842-0800, and on-line at www.portlandsymphony.com. Discounted tickets for students and seniors are available. Merrill Auditorium is located at 20 Myrtle Street in Portland.

Visit the Classical Page on the Portland Symphony’s Web site to learn more about the concert.

Click the Voyager link to read Elliott Schwartz’s program notes about his new work.

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