Orpheus To Prove Talent at Finney This Saturday
By Kathy McCardwell

Saturday evening at 8 p.m., the world-renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will present a concert in Finney Chapel. Included in the concert will be works by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Sibelius, and Carter.
Over the past 30 years, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has become known as one of the world’s greatest chamber orchestras. Founded in 1972 by a group of musicians led by cellist Julian Fifer, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is committed to the performance of orchestral repertoire in a chamber music setting.

The absence of a conductor increases the responsibility of each individual musician, while granting the orchestra more spontaneity and freedom of interpretation. As artistic coordinator and violinist Ronnie Bauch said, “In a chamber-music ensemble, each person has a voice – each person has a responsibility for leadership in both interpretation and performance.”
Additionally, the members of the orchestra serve in principal positions on a rotating basis, so each member of each section has a chance to lead. This method defuses excessive competition between members and removes the traditional rigid hierarchy, enabling the musicians to communicate with one another more fully and concentrate on making music.
The New York Times has praised Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for being “a model musical democracy that most orchestral musicians can only fantasize about.”

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra also records extensively; they draw their repertoire from composers of all styles and genres. Though they are most associated with Haydn and Mozart, who originally wrote for orchestras about the size of Orpheus, they also have produced equally acclaimed recordings of more modern works, such as Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. Their success in modern music culminated in a 2001 Grammy Award for Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures.
Though a relatively small ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra maintains a commitment to performing works for soloist and orchestra. Guest soloists for the orchestra in the past have included such notables as violinist Gil Shaham, cellist Micscha Miasky, and pianist Richard Goode. More often, however, members of the body orchestra will be asked to act as soloist.

In this Saturday’s performance, Orpheus violinist Eric Wyrick will solo in Felix Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor.” Wyrick has been a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra since 1988 and is concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra, L’Opera Francais New York, and EOS Music.
Also to be performed on Saturday are Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Symphony No. 73 in D major ‘La Chasse,’” Elliott Carter’s “Symphony No. 1,” and Sibelius’s “Valse Triste.”

Tickets are still available from Central Ticket Service; cost to students with OCID is $10 if pre-ordered, $12 at the door.

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