BSO to perform triumphal ‘London Symphony’ by Haydn

Posted by Karen Lykins - Monday, March 07 2011
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thumb_Doane-LAPQ_formal_Dec_2009Buoyed by Haydn's "London Symphony," and anchored by a major guest artist, the next concert program of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra at Tennessee Tech University explores both triumphant and tragic times in English history.

The concert begins at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 20, in TTU's Wattenbarger Auditorium. 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 Herb and Betty Catlin of Cookeville.

"Haydn is the father of the symphony; he developed the structure of the symphony – and he also lived to see the day when a musician could be both a critical and financial success independent of servant status," says BSO Music Director Dan Allcott. "Haydn loved London, and London loved him. This was his last symphony, it was received as his most brilliant piece, and it was as much a personal triumph for Haydn as it was triumphal in sound and scope."

The BSO will perform the "London Symphony" alongside well-known compositions by English composers Eric Coates and Edward Elgar. While the Haydn symphony is grand and celebratory, the Elgar composition, the "Violoncello Concerto," is more intimate. Between the two is Coates' "London Suite," an intelligent and delightful evocation of British landmarks.

The Elgar concerto presents both a contextual and emotional contrast to the rest of the program. The beloved composer who gave England the "Pomp and Circumstance" marches, Elgar wrote this concerto as he listened to cannon-fire across the English Channel during World War I.

Interpreting the piece is guest soloist Steven Doane, who studied at the Royal College of Music in London and performs regularly in England, Scotland and Ireland. Doane's recording of works by British composer Benjamin Britten and Frank Bridge won a NAIRD award from the U.S. music press and was described by BBC Music Magazine as "the best performance on record." Doane is also a winner of a "Petit Diapason d'Or" from the French press, which was awarded for his recording of cello and piano works by Faure. A member of the faculty at the Eastman School of Music since 1981, Doane is a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet.

Doane's appearance with the BSO is made possible in part by the generosity of long-time BSO supporters Herb and Betty Catlin.

"Special people like the Catlins make a difference in our community," says Allcott. "For the past four years, because Betty approached me personally and said, 'I'd like to help,' they have supported the BSO in a very significant way. With that simple conversation, the Catlins started a tradition of giving to the symphony as soloist sponsors."

Audience members can learn more about the concert by tuning in to "BSO Backstage" at 7 p.m., Friday, March 18, on public television station WCTE-TV, Ch. 22 (Charter cable channel 10). An original WCTE production hosted by Becky Magura with guests Allcott and Gail Luna, executive director of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra Association, the program rebroadcasts at 2:30 a.m., Saturday, March 19.

A special arts-related Symphony Social begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 19, in the galleries of Art a la carte, located at 121 W. Broad in Cookeville's West Side district. A catered event, the evening will also include musical entertainment and an informal talk by Allcott. Admission is $20 and payable at the door, but reservations should be made by Monday, March 14, by calling 931-525-2633.

On the day of the concert, Sunday, March 20, 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 Friday, March 18.

The Bryan Symphony Orchestra, the only professional symphony in a rural area of Tennessee, is a member of the "Made in America" consortium honored in 2010 by the League of American Orchestras with its Gold Baton Award. Wattenbarger Auditorium is the concert hall of TTU's Bryan Fine Arts Building, located at 1150 N. Dixie Ave., in Cookeville. Learn more about the BSO by visiting

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