News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 1, 2012

Terre Haute Symphony to present Beethoven’s Fifth

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Indiana State University’s Tilson Auditorium. The public is welcome to attend a free “Concert Conversations” with David Bowden at 6:45.

The concert will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, William Tell Overture and composer-in-residence Dan Powers’ world premiere of Viola Concerto, performed by Logan Strawn.  

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 is arguably the most recognizable symphonic opening ever written. It is also perhaps the easiest to describe; four notes are played, three short repeated G’s, followed by a long E flat. This simplest, yet most arresting of motives has been the subject of countless pages of interpretation. The motive is often referred to as the “fate” motive, following from Beethoven’s supposed description of it as “fate knocking at the door.”

“Beethoven not only invented a musical language of an unprecedented originality and overwhelming power which still influences us today,” says Music Director, David Bowden, “but also, with this one piece, swept music out of the concert hall and beyond elite audiences into the wider world of human thought and experience. It is nothing short of revolutionary. No wonder that it ended up being the Allied ‘motto’ for victory in World War II.”

William Tell Overture will open the concert. “Everyone knows the famous trumpet fanfare for ‘The Lone Ranger,’” Bowden said. “Come hear the entire piece which includes beautiful cello, English horn and flute solos before the familiar fanfare. It’s every bit as attractive and so very beautiful!”

Guest artist for the evening and the symphony’s principal violist, Strawn will be featured on Viola Concerto, written especially for him by Powers, his first concerto for his own instrument.

The concerto was composed between March and July. Powers began taking violin lessons as a fourth-grader in upstate New York. Around that time he also was making his first serious attempts at composition. Over the next several years he also picked up viola, cello and bass in succession, but finally gravitated toward viola as his primary instrument in high school.

Having made the decision to be a violist, it seemed like a natural step to enrich his instrument’s repertoire with a concerto. When an opportunity to do so was finally presented, Powers began working with a will.

Strawn has been the symphony’s principal violist since 2008. The first instrument he played was banjo. He has also played trombone and trumpet.

At age 11 he started playing the viola — inspired after seeing a high school orchestra concert. He currently serves as adjunct faculty at Indiana State University, teaching viola. He is a member of the ISU Faculty String Quartet and also teaches privately. As a freelance musician Strawn performs regularly with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, THSO, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and has substituted with the Cincinnati Symphony, the New World Symphony (Miami), and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

Individual tickets can be purchased at indstate.edu/hctaf/events/thso/thso.htm, ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. Prices start at $19 for adults and $5 for K-college youth/students.

Season tickets are still available at the Hulman Center Ticket Office at 812-237-3737 or www.indstate.edu/hctaf/events/thso/thso.htm.

Extras

• Free “Family Time” concerts for children of all ages will be presented from 2 to 2:30 p.m. during Saturday dress rehearsal in Tilson Auditorium. No tickets or reservations are required.  

• Enjoy dining with other Symphony patrons at “Supper at the Symphony” beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Tilson’s Heritage Ballroom. Reserve seats at www.thso.org, by calling the Symphony office at 812-242-8476, or mailing your check to THSA, 25 N. Sixth St. Terre Haute, IN.

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