Featured on the program is the winner of the Livingston Symphony Young Artists Competition, Holmdel cellist Jessica Hong. The concert highlights exciting, picturesque and romantic music that also happens to have been composed by women.
The concert will open with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1. Tower dedicated the work to “women who take risks and who are adventurous.” Tower was inspired by Aaron Copland’s famous Fanfare for the Common Man and wrote her work for the same brass and percussion forces. It is resonant, inspiring and, like the rest of the program, a great deal of fun.
Jessica Hong will be performing Eduard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor. At the age of 15 Hong has already performed in France, Switzerland and South Korea, among other nations. She is a gold prize winner at the 2013 International Virtuoso Competition. The Lalo concerto is a technically demanding work calling for bold dramatic gestures, warm lyrical phrases and a light, witty touch. It is one of Lalo’s most delightful works.
Amy Beach’s Symphony No.2, “Gaelic,” completed in 1896, is gradually being recognized as one of the early important examples of American symphonic music. Beach was a virtuoso pianist and a composer of more than 300 works ranging from intimate songs to large-scale pieces for chorus and orchestra. The symphony was inspired by the Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s challenge to create a distinctly American symphonic tradition. Beach responded by using the folk melodies of New England’s Irish immigrant community as a basis for the symphony. But this is not just a collection of jaunty tunes. Beach uses the rhythms and melodies to inspire an emotional symphonic voyage. She creates dramatic seascapes, images of romantic balladry and jaunty dance movements all of which add up to a complex, satisfying orchestral statement. The symphony was premiered by the Boston Symphony and has recently been revived by orchestras internationally.
The Livingston Symphony Orchestra is a celebrated regional orchestra dedicated to presenting established classical masterpieces and little-heard treasures. In this performance Maestro Jaray and the orchestra will be presenting two additional works that are not regularly programmed but which will fascinate and move audiences.