USD Orchestra plays West Side Story Oct. 23

The USD Symphony Orchestra will give a free concert on Sunday, October 23, at 3 p.m. in Bailey and Kathy Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall on the USD campus.  Formerly known as Slagle Auditorium, the hall was recently renovated and renamed in honor of the Aalfs, both USD alumni.  The concert will feature an orchestral suite taken from Leonard Bernstein's famous musical, West Side Story.  The suite contains many beloved melodies, including "Maria," "I Feel Pretty," and "Tonight." 

The program will also include great music by other American composers.  Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans in 1829, and is known as the first great American virtuoso pianist.  A child prodigy, he was taken to Paris for advanced study at the age of 13 and Chopin predicted that he would be one of the foremost pianists of the century. 

His piano compositions feature influences of the Creole music he heard growing up in New Orleans, and the orchestration of the Souvenir de Proto Rico is typical of these. 

Merle Isaac is well-known as a composer and arranger, and his South American Overture is made up of dances, including two tangos, drawn from the rich musical heritage of South America.  Also on the program will be two works by early American composers. Charles Callahan Perkins was born in Boston in 1823 into a wealthy family.  He studied art and music in Europe and spent his life supporting the arts in Boston.  His piano trio and two string quartets are the first works by an American composer published by Breitkopf and Hartel in the 1850s.  The Romanza performed by the orchestra is a transcription of a movement of the second string quartet. 

Also on the program is the Elegie by A. Walter Kramer. 

For more information contact Rick Rognstad, 677-5722.

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