Some of the Classical era's most brilliant composers added an exotic effect to their work by filtering the sounds of Turkish military bands through the symphony orchestra. It's a trend that began hundreds of years ago, but continues today in the work of contemporary composers.
The next performance of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at Tennessee Tech University explores that phenomenon with a program ranging from Haydn's mighty "Military Symphony" to a Rossini overture and a 20th-century nocturne by Turkish-American composer Kamran Ince.
Also on the program is Mozart's "Turkish Concerto," featuring guest artist Noe Inui, a young award-winning violinist from Brussels. The concert begins at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19, in Wattenbarger Auditorium, the concert hall of TTU's Bryan Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $30 for adults, $26 for seniors 65 and up, and $8 for students. Call 931-525-2633 for reservations. The performance is sponsored by Albert and Rosemary Ponte and Angelo and Jennette Volpe.
"Europe was fascinated by the Turkish culture – from its music and art to architecture and fashion," says BSO Music Director Dan Allcott. "The sound that found its way into Western music simulated the uniqueness of Turkish military bands – their percussion, repetition, a certain jangling shrillness. So the pieces by Mozart, Haydn and Rossini that we're performing – they're all affectations of this music.
"Including the Kamran Ince, on the other hand, is a good contrast between the Classical era and contemporary symphonic music," says Allcott. "A lot of what Ince does is a modern interpretation of what it means to be Turkish. His work fits in modern Western music, but it has other elements that make it unique."
Ince, says The Washington Post, writes with "extraordinary vision and musical sophistication." Excerpts from his nocturne "Domes" were used in the Neil Jordan feature film "Ondine." A native of Montana, Ince is director of composition at the University of Memphis.
Winner of the 2008 European Young Concert Artists competition in Leipzig, violinist Noe Inui went on to win the first prize in the 2009 Young Concert Artists international auditions in New York. Born in Brussels in 1985, Inui began violin lessons at 4 years old, later graduating from both the Brussels and Paris conservatories of music. He made his New York debut in 2010, appearing at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. the same year.
A number of BSO concert-related events are scheduled between now and Feb. 19:
• The February episode of "BSO Backstage" on public television station WCTE-TV (Ch. 10 on Charter cable in Cookeville and Ch. 22 on Dish and Direct satellite) airs at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9; at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12; at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16; and at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.
• Cumberland County hosts a preview concert luncheon beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Palace Theater on Main Street in Crossville. Cost is $10 and payable at the door. Call 931-484-6133 for reservations by Monday, Feb. 13.
• On the day of the concert, Sunday, Feb. 19, TTU music faculty member Catherine Godes will give a free preview lecture at 2 p.m. in Room 223 of the Bryan Fine Arts Building. The concert itself begins at 3 p.m. A post-performance reception takes place in the lobby, followed by dinner at Mauricio's Italian Restaurant near the TTU campus, 232 N. Peachtree Ave. Call 931-525-2633 for dinner reservations by noon, Saturday, Feb. 18.
The only professional symphony in residence outside a metropolitan area in Tennessee, the Bryan Symphony gives its subscription and education performances in Wattenbarger Auditorium, the concert hall of TTU's Bryan Fine Arts Building, located at 1150 N. Dixie Ave., in Cookeville. The orchestra will be celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2012-2013 season. Learn more at www.bryansymphony.org.