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