The Rivers Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra for adults and advanced students conducted by David J. Tierney, opens its 2012-2013 season on Sunday, November 11 at 3:00 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Needham. General admission tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door.
The program includes Beethoven’s early work, Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21. This symphony, strongly anchored in Viennese musical life, reflects the classical structure established by Mozart’s last symphonies and Haydn’s musical oeuvre. Comparing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 to his last symphony, composer Robert Schumann reflected, “Do not seek to extract the unusual, go back to the roots of creation, demonstrate his genius not through his last symphony, you can do this just as well through his first symphony."
Also on the program is the Cello Concerto in C Major by Beethoven’s teacher, Franz Josef Haydn. This concerto existed only in a catalog Haydn had made of his works until nearly two centuries later when it was discovered at the National Museum in Prague in 1961; it is now Haydn’s most popular work in the genre. Cellist and Artistic Director of the Needham Concert Society, Ron Lowry, joins the Rivers Symphony Orchestra as the soloist. Lowry is the principal cellist of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Boston Ballet Orchestra, and Harvard Chamber Orchestra, and former principal cellist of the National Symphony of Costa Rica and the Handel & Haydn Society.
Sunday’s program also includes Tom Schnauber’s “Tell Me About That Piece, Leroy,” a contemporary work for oboe and string orchestra, derived from his memories of time spent with composer Leroy Southers (1941-2003). Schnauber fondly reflects on his teacher’s astonishing memory, exceptional musicianship, and keep observations as a sensitive listener. Schnauber commented, “The strings play a gentle dirge while the oboe, ‘Leroy’s instrument,’ weaves in and out of the texture, commenting on and reveling in the tones.” Tom Schnauber is the chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emmanuel College in Boston. He is also the co-founder and co-director of the arts organization WordSong, a coalition of local composers, which will be featured in the April 2013 Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young at The Rivers School Conservatory.