GIFT OF FIRE
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Frank Arts Center Theater
Featuring 2RCO’s principal cellist,
Franz Joseph Haydn – Prelude to The Creation
Franz Joseph Haydn – Concerto No.1 in C Major for Cello and Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 3, Op. 55, Eroïca
Gift of Fire: This program centers on the idea of creation. The finale of Beethoven's electrifying Eroïca Symphony is based upon music from his ballet Creatures of Prometheus. The whole Symphony explores the idea of sharing the fire, stolen from the gods, of humanism. We open with Haydn's intensely expressionistic, colorful prelude to his Oratorio, which truly depicts the act of creation, just before the Big Bang. (Forgive the anachronism––this far-reaching work invites it.) In between is one of Haydn's most luminous and beautiful works of lyricism and pyrotechnics for the soloist, featuring 2RCO's incredibly gifted principal cellist, Stephen Czarkowski.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Frank Arts Center Theater
Featuring rising star soprano,
Maurice Ravel – Le Tombeau de Couperin
Samuel Barber – Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Richard Strauss – Select Songs
Franz Schubert – Symphony No. 5 in Bb, D. 485
Life Cycles: This rich program features Samuel Barber’s masterpiece depicting American childhood, Knoxville: Summer of 1915, set on text by American novelist James Agee. Portraying the same era, Ravel’s most exquisite Tombeau de Couperin pays homage to friends lost in World War One. These two works act as the bookends of life. After intermission, romance and new life is in the air with intoxicating songs by Richard Strauss and Schubert’s delicious Fifth Symphony. Rising star soprano Natalie Conte of Shepherd University joins us for this richly-hued program of shimmer and magic.
The orchestra is composed of fine musicians from the Baltimore-Washington area, many of them talented members of the Shepherd University music department faculty. The orchestra’s exciting programming provides “something for everyone” on each concert, regardless of personal listening preference or prior exposure to classical music. Concerts feature selections from well-known classical orchestra repertoire, often an outstanding soloist, and at least one, usually lesser-known, newer composition of wide appeal.
Why is the 2RCO important to the community?
How can you help the 2RCO?
The Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra would not be possible without the generous support of people like you. To contribute to the orchestra or to sponsor and name a principal chair, click here. To purchase tickets, click here.
The Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra (2RCO) was founded in 2008. After years of careful discussion and planning the Friends of Music Board of Directors decided unanimously to take on the project. Thirty-Seven founders contributed $1,000 each to fund the first season. On Saturday, March 15, 2008, the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra made its debut before a standing-room only audience in the Frank Arts Center of Shepherd University. A total of 36 musicians—strings, woodwinds, brass and tympani—performed Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture, Mozart’s Concerto for Piano in A No. 23 (featuring Dr. Scott Beard), John Rutter’s beautiful Five Meditations for Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1. (Dr. Beard performed on the university’s fabulous Fazioli piano, purchased with funds raised by The Friends of Music.) The audience response was overwhelming, the financial support from a very appreciative community continued and a second season was planned.
On Saturday, September 27th, 2008, West Virginia’s newest professional orchestra once again performed a sold-out concert in Shepherdstown. This time the concert opened with Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Op. 84, then featured internationally known guitarist William Feasley on Rodrigo's beautiful Concierto de Aranjuez before closing the first half of the concert with the regional premiere of Danzón No. 2 by Anton Márquez. The second half of the program featured Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and closed with a rousing performance of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances Nos. 5, 6 and 7. Again, a thunderous standing ovation and significant financial support flowed from the appreciative audience.
March 2009 saw two performances of the 2RCO, one in Shepherdstown and one in Martinsburg, WV. The concert included Strauss's Die Fledermaus Overture, Mozart's Concerto for Flute & Harp in C Major, K. 299 featuring Anne Munro and Caroline Hudson, Mark O'Connor's Appalachia Waltz, and Mendelssohn's Symphony #3 in A Minor, Op. 56, "Scottish". Once again the audience was moved by the performance, particularly of the Appalachia Waltz which concluded the first half. Following the success of these performances, the Board of Directors embarked upon a third season of this much-loved ensemble.
Season three included two concerts, one in October and another in March. On October 17th, the 2RCO presented a tribute to American composers including our own Guy Frank, founder of the music program at Shepherd. The program featured Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide,”Guy Frank’s Symphonic Triptych, the east coast premiere of Joseph Curiale’s Awakening and concluded with Copland’s Four Dances from “Rodeo”. The March 13, 2010 concert opened with Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Op. 96, and the Mozart Concerto for Clarinet in A, featuring David Drosinos. Another exciting work from Anton Márquez, the Conga del Fuego, closed the first half and Beethoven’s towering Symphony No.7 in A, Op. 92 closed the concert.
Season four opened on September 18th with the exciting Russlan and Ludmilla overture of Glinka and featured our principal oboe, Greg Shook, on the beautiful and rarely heard Albinoni concerto for Oboe and Strings. Haydn's fascinating Farewell Symphony closed the first half and a set of Slavonic Dances from Opus 46 of Dvorak concluded the concert.
March 12, 2011 held an exciting concert program of music old and new with a decided "south of the border" flair. The exciting Mexican Composer Javier Alvarez provided the exciting opener Metro Chabacano and Astor Piazzola, the "Father of the New Tango" closed the concert with his own "Four Seasons", not from Vivaldi's Italy but from Piazzola's Argentina. The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires was a work to be remembered. Concertmaster, Ms. Heather Austin Stone, graced us with her performance of the much loved Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
Jed Gaylin to Lead the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra
Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, No. 8
Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
Performed by 2RCO Sept. 18, 2010
Concerto in C, Op. 9, No. 5: Adagio non troppo
for Oboe, Strings, and Continuo
Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751)
Performed by 2RCO Sept. 18, 2010
Read more about the history of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra.