Archive for March, 2010

Symphony No. 4

Ludwig Van Beethoven
B. Dec. 16, 1770 in Bonn (baptized), Germany
D. Mar. 26, 1927 in Vienna, Austria

Beethoven wrote most of the Fourth Symphony during a summer residency in 1806 at the estate of a patron, Prince Karl Lichnowsky.  In mid-March 1807, it was first performed during a private subscription concert at the palace of another patron, Prince Josef Logkowitz, and was dedicated to a third, Count Franz Oppersdorff.  READ MORE

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Concerto in D minor

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
B. March 8, 1714, in Weimar
D. Dec. 14, 1788, in Hamburg

Johann Sebastian Bach’s second surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, was the god¬son of Telemann and his successor as Music Director in Hamburg.  C.P.E. was an enterprising young musician, the most innovative and idiosyncratic member of his extremely talented family. READ MORE

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Overture, Scherzo and Finale

Robert Schumann
B. June 8, 1810, in Zwickau
D. July 29, 1856, in Endenich

In 1840, the year of his marriage, Schumann expressed his happiness in the extraordinary lyrical outpouring of more than a hundred songs. 1841 was a year in which he concentrated on orchestral music. He wrote a Fantasy that was to become the first movement of his Piano Concerto, the two symphonies that were to be published as Nos. 1 and 4, and this Overture, Scherzo and Finale, which is a kind of informal symphony with no slow movement. READ MORE

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Pied Piper Fantasy

John Corigliano
B. Feb. 16, 1938 in New York, New York

The following is John Corigliano’s description of the work:

“When James Galway approached me in 1978 with the idea of writing a flute concerto for him, my initial reaction was, “Oh no, not another wind concerto!” I had already written two (oboe, clarinet) and had planned that my next work would explore quite different territory. I was in a quandary. While I postponed committing myself on the idea of a flute concerto, I decided to put what I knew of the proposed event together to see if anything interesting and special would result. READ MORE

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Symphony No. 1

Samuel Barber
B. Mar. 9, 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania
D. Jan. 23, 1981 in New York, New York

When he wrote his First Symphony, Samuel Barber was no longer a student but not quite yet an established composer.  Having been once turned down for the Prix de Rome, Barber in 1935 resubmitted the same works he had offered the first time and was accepted.  The prize consisted of $2,500 and free living quarters at the American Academy in Rome.  Having begun work on his First Symphony while waiting to hear the results of his second try for the Rome prize, he took the piece along with him, finishing it in 1936. READ MORE

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Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein
B. Aug. 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts
D. Nov. 14, 1990 in New York, New York

Bernstein composed West Side Story between 1955 and 1957; it was given its first public performance Aug. 19, 1957 in Washington, D.C. at the National Theatre.  Luka Foss led the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the first performance of the Symphonic Dances on Feb. 13, 1961. READ MORE

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Cocktails for a Cause

Join Opus One and our Guest Bartenders Glenn Mellow and Bill Lucas Detroit Symphony Orchestra Musicians. They will be personally shaking and serving up a fabulous evening of cocktails to benefit the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Featuring their signature cocktails the Mellow Martini and Stumbly Mumbly. READ MORE

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In Detroit, It’s Easy Being Green

by Jim Boyle

My initiation to Detroit’s rich, and at times rabid St. Patrick’s Day energy came on a cold, desolate February night not long after moving to the city. My brother and I were recent transplants and, although my parents grew up here, we didn’t possess any hands-on knowledge of what made Detroit tick. I don’t recall the exact occasion but were doing some serious boy bonding with my Dad, who was zipping us around on his own walk-down-memory-lane. The moment came, as it sometimes does, for us to choose a watering hole where we would go quietly to a corner booth and solve the world’s problems. We were somewhere near Corktown and my Dad suggested the Gaelic League, Detroit’s long-standing Irish American Club on Michigan Avenue, which is more like a bar disguised as a club.   READ MORE

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