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University Symphony Orchestra
to Perform Afternoon Concert Nov. 4

RELEASED: Oct. 26, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Symphony Orchestra will present its fall concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

The Symphony Orchestra, directed by Nobuyoshi Yasuda, associate professor of music, will begin the concert with a performance of Samuel Barber's Essay for Orchestra No. 1. Barber composed this piece in 1937 for Arturo Toscanini when he was just beginning his tenure as conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Its premiere came in November 1938, when Toscanini conducted a concert featuring this piece and another of Barber's works, the Adagio for Strings.

The orchestra will next perform "Appalachian Spring: Suite" by Aaron Copland. "Appalachian Spring" was first conceived and written as a ballet, with music by Copland and choreography by Martha Graham, who also danced the lead role. In 1945, Copland rearranged the ballet work as an orchestral suite, and it won both the Pulitzer Prize for Music and the New York Music Critics' Circle Award that year. The scenario that inspired "Appalachian Spring" was a pioneer celebration in spring around a newly built Pennsylvania farmhouse in the early part of the 19th century, and the piece has been noted for the atmosphere of simple wonder, humility and faith it creates.

The concert will conclude with Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47, by Dmitri Shostakovich, a work completed in 1937 and performed for the first time in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in November 1937 by the Leningrad Philharmonic. Although Shostakovich composed it in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and its finale was officially characterized as optimistic and triumphant, the overall mood of the piece has been described as deeply anguished and tragic.

Tickets, available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800 949-UWEC are $5 for the general public; $4 for those 63 and older, children 17 and younger and faculty and staff with a university ID; and $1.50 for students with a university ID.

-30-

NW

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