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Concert Info: New Donald Fraser Work & Music by Beethoven and Dvorak

The Cambridge Symphony Orchestra will be returning to the Somerville (MA) Theater stage on March 13, for an afternoon concert starting at 4:00 pm. Tickets are now available for this exciting event conducted by Music Director Cynthia Woods.

It has been an honor to be a part of the ensemble for almost four years now and the last couple have had their stresses on the orchestra which powered through with a series of on-line concert programs which can be discovered on their YouTube channel. It was during this time apart that one of the orchestra's beloved cellist's, Joanna Jerison, lost her fight with an aggressive cancer. The loss of her presence in the orchestra was easily felt when we returned in the Fall of 2021 to rehearsals again. In her honor, the orchestra commissioned a new work by noted English composer Donald Fraser. Elegy: A Symphonic Portrait is a rather monumental and important new work for orchestra which also features a variety of poetic texts that reflect on Joanna's life and loves. The piece features a prominent cello solo appropriately which will be performed by Allison Eldredge. Soprano Indra Thomas, soon to be seen at the Metropolitan Opera's performances of Elektra, is the guest vocalist. This is a quite moving work with a host of challenges for the orchestra, not the least of which is the emotional connection to the person the piece honors. Elegy is a rather significant new work which should be worth the price of admission to the concert alone.

The first half of the program will open with the more popular of Beethoven's overtures for his opera Fidelio. The Leonore Overture No. 3 is a truly thrilling work and a concert chestnut that will warmly welcome the audience to settle in for the aforementioned premiere. Then after the break, we will shift to Dvorak's thrilling Symphony No. 8, a piece I've been conducting in my home studio for years (!). The piece will show off our brass section quite well with some equally fine moments for all the woodwinds.


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