NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Symphony Orchestra at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn and Jean Sibelius when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
Conducted by Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities for the SFA School of Music, the Symphony Orchestra’s centerpiece of the concert will be Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor,” a work Grabowski specifically chose to feature Dr. Andrew Parr, professor of piano at SFA.
“This is Dr. Parr’s last semester at SFA, and I wanted to showcase his amazing talent and give him the sendoff he deserves,” Grabowski said.
The concert will also include Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides Overture,” which Grabowski describes as a travel piece inspired by the composer’s visit to the British Isles.
“The music depicts the beauty, the majesty and the power of Fingal’s Cave in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland,” Grabowski said.
Sibelius’ “Rakastava,” the second piece of the performance, is a three-movement work originally for men’s chorus that the composer later adapted to a string orchestra.
The final piece of the concert, “Emperor” is unlike Beethoven’s (or anyone’s) earlier concertos, Grabowski said. “There is a clear projection of power in the whole piece,” he explained. “While Beethoven was composing for the next generation of virtuoso (the piece is incredibly difficult), it is not an overt display for the soloist (there are no solo cadenzas). Instead, Beethoven created a truly symphonic concerto.”
The concert will be open to a limited in-person audience; it will not be livestreamed. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602. The performance will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, on the SFA Symphony Orchestra YouTube page.