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Summer Concert: Music for Warm Summer Nights

Program and Composer Notes from our June 21, 2024 Concert

John Williams (New York, 8th February 1932) Schindler's List

Considered to be one of the most popular composers of the modern era, he has created music for iconic soundtracks, composing the scores for more than one hundred films, as well as created symphonies and concertos for flute, violin, clarinet, viola, oboe, cello and tuba. With jazz influences, his music ranges from the symphonic sound of the great orchestras to intimate pieces and melodies that have shaped our culture. He has received five Academy Awards for Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Schindler’s List. In addition, the 53 nominations he has received throughout his career make him the only living person with the most nominations for these awards, second only to Walt Disney.

Ennio Morricone  (Rome, Nov. 12, 1928 - July 6, 2020) Gabriel's Oboe and Cinema Paradiso

At the age of 12, Ennio Morricone formally entered the Saint Cecilia Conservatory He enrolled in a four-year harmony program that he completed within six months. He studied the trumpet, composition, and choral music. After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theater. In 1961, he made his film debut with the soundtrack for Luciano Salce’s film, El federal. He subsequently gained international fame with the scores for Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western genre films, such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He is one of the most prolific film composers in the world, with more than four hundred soundtracks for film and television, among which are films such as The Mission (1986), Cinema Paradiso (1988), Frantic (1988) and The Star Maker (1995). In 2018, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, Morricone started “The Final Concerts World Tour” with which he bade farewell to the stage. He toured more than 35 European cities, giving over 50 concerts.

Albert Franz Doppler (Austrian, 16 October 1821 – 27 July 1883) Andante et Rondo

Franz Doppler was born in Lemberg (present-day Ukraine.) He received flute lessons from his father who was an oboist and composer, and made his debut as a flautist at the age of 13. He formed a flute duo with his younger brother, Karl, and they caused quite a sensation throughout Europe, touring together and joining several orchestras in Germany and Hungary. While members of these orchestras, Franz found success in writing operas. At the age of 18 Franz was the first flautist at the opera in Budapest, and went on to be the stand-in conductor, and eventually chief conductor, of the Vienna Court Opera, as well as acquiring a position of Professor of Flute at the Vienna Conservatoire.

Doppler's love for the opera (he composed over 15 operas that were quite popular in his time) and his Russian and Hungarian musical influence is evident in his showpieces for flute. His two most well-known pieces are Fantaisie pastorale hongroise and Andante et Rondo. Andante et Rondo, composed in 1874, is written for two flutes and piano. The first movement consists of traditional romantic lyricism while the second movement is a jaunty, light-hearted rondo.

Alexander Borodin (Russian, 12 November 1833 – 27 February 1887) Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor

Borodin was a Romantic composer and chemist from the Georgian region of Russia. He was a member of the prominent 19th-century composers known as "The Five", a group dedicated to producing a "uniquely Russian" kind of classical music. Borodin is known best for his symphonies, his two string quartets, the symphonic poem In the Steppes of Central Asia and his opera Prince Igor.

A doctor and chemist by profession and training, Borodin made important early contributions to organic chemistry. Although he is presently known better as a composer, he regarded medicine and science as his primary occupations, only practising music and composition in his spare time or when he was ill. As a chemist, Borodin is known best for his work concerning organic synthesis and his scientific research on aldehydes. Borodin was a promoter of education in Russia and founded the School of Medicine for Women in Saint Petersburg, where he taught until 1885.

Tomaso Albinoni (Italian 1671-1751) Concerto for Two Oboes in C Major

Albinoni wrote, like most composers of his time, works for all different combinations of instruments and forms, but was most famous with the public as an Opera composer. Unlike most composers of the time, he did not seek a position as a Court musician, nor did he work in the Church, because he had an independent income. Little is known of his life, and unfortunately most of his works were never publicly published, or were destroyed during World War II.

He is most well known to modern concert listeners (and Film viewers) for his Adagio in G minor a work with some problematic provenance.

Albinoni is also well known for championing, and writing for the Oboe, and it is one of his concerti that we are performing tonight. This Concerto for 2 Oboes in C major is part of a set of 12 concerti, all published in Amsterdam in 1722.

(Program and Composer Notes written by Bruce Petherick and Juli Vaughn, with sources from Wikipedia, Lyrics Layers, Fundacion Princesa de Asturias, and Maria Phillips)

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