After the SSO performs Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, op. 62 and Symphony No. 8 in F Major, op. 93, Durrenberger will be the featured soloist performing Piano Concerto No. 2, op. 36 by Lowell Liebermann, one of America's most frequently performed and recorded living composers, in the second half.
"This is an exciting year with the SSO programming so much music that has been written and composed during our lifetimes," said Durrenberger, who has been teaching a variety of music and piano classes at Wittenberg since 1999. "It all makes for exciting performances and wonderful educational opportunities. I hope as many people as possible will choose to attend."
In addition to presenting a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. in the Turner Theater of the Performing Arts Center, Liebermann is scheduled to make an appearance on campus as well. He will preview the work with Durrenberger at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, in Wittenberg's Krieg Hall.
This is the second time Durrenberger and Liebermann have collaborated on the piece. Durrenberger performed it with the Westerville Symphony in June.
The concert is one of four MasterWorks concerts, performances by the SSO with world class soloists in a traditional concert setting, scheduled for the 2009-10 SSO season. In addition, two concerts are labeled NightLights, which are described as "casual concerts of great light classics."
"The SSO's music director, Peter Stafford Wilson, has done a great job with programming," Durrenberger said. "He continues to challenge the orchestra and its audience by expanding the repertoire performed."
Durrenberger is making his second solo performance with the SSO, although he has joined the orchestra many times in recent years. His first solo concerto performance with the ensemble came in July 2005 when he played George Gershwin's famed Rhapsody in Blue at the Veteran's Park Amphitheater as part of the Springfield Arts Council's annual Summer Arts Festival.
The Springfield Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1943 and performed its first complete concert in 1944 at Central Methodist Church in Springfield. The SSO now presents more than 90 events each year, including a six-concert subscription series, small ensemble visits to area schools, Concerts for Young People, the Springfield Youth Symphony and Springfield Youth String Ensemble, free outreach performances and two fund-raisers. The orchestra also plays several concerts each summer as part of the Summer Arts Festival, which was created in 1967 to provide community activities headlined by local arts organizations during their annual summer offseason.
Durrenberger, who earned a bachelor of music from Oberlin College and a master's and doctorate of musical arts with honors from the University of Southern California School of Music, has earned top prizes in such major national and international competitions as the Coleman and Carmel Chamber Music Competitions, the Los Angeles Etude Musical Club Piano Competition, the Young Keyboard Artists Association International Piano Competition and the National Music Teachers Association National Piano Competition. He traveled to the Far East in 2004 to present a series of master classes at major universities and conservatories in Tapei, Shanghai, Shenyang and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
All WittSem students can attend 2009-10 SSO performances for free. They simply need to request tickets within 10 days of each performance. In addition, there are discounted tickets available for Wittenberg faculty, staff and alumni. For more information, log on to http://www.springfieldsym.org or call (937) 328-3874.
Written by: Ryan Maurer
Photo by: Erin Pence
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