West Michigan Symphony Brings Words and Music to the Frauenthal Theater

Muskegon, Michigan, Nov. 26, 2014 – Friday, Feb. 6, West Michigan Symphony will bring words and music to Muskegon’s Frauenthal Theater.

Friday night’s concert will welcome Music Director Scott Speck back to the podium as the West Michigan Symphony features its President and CEO, Carla Hill narrating “Voices from the Gallery,” a witty and moving work by contemporary composer, the late Stephen Paulus. The work poses the question, If the great works of art could talk what would they say?

Always witty, although not always funny, the subjects reveal through their observations what the artists may have wished to project. Paulus coordinates each narrative vignette with appropriately atmospheric music, permitting the audience to see with the ear’s eye.

Paulus died in October 2014 at 65 years old but left a legacy of over 500 works. Fluent in all musical media, including orchestra, opera, chorus, chamber ensemble, solo voice, concert band, piano and organ, Paulus has composed 10 operas as well as alternative pieces like the one that will be featured in the concert.

When asked what the audience could expect from this combination of symphonic music and spoken word, narrator Hill remarked, “It is a great privilege to be invited once again to work with Scott Speck on this narration with orchestra – especially this wonderful contemporary work by Stephen Paulus. Not only is Scott a great director of music, he is also a great communicator and loves working with the spoken word.“

The second half of the concert will feature West Michigan Symphony’s principal bassoon, Vincent Karamanov, in Mozart’s only authenticated bassoon concerto. Mozart composed “Bassoon Concerto in B-Flat Major” during his first year as composer-in-residence in his native Salzburg, where he was employed as court musician.

The concert will close with a piece by a composer who was featured in the Symphony’s first concert 75 years ago, Franz Joseph Haydn. While on an extended trip to London in 1791, Haydn composed Friday’s featured piece, Symphony No.104. This was Haydn’s last and likely premiered in London in 1795 at an all-Haydn “benefit” concert, the proceeds of which traditionally went to the composer.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased by calling the WMS box office at 231.726.3231 ext. 223, in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, online at startickets.com or at info@westmichigansymphony.org.

Michigan Arts & Culture Council
National Endowment for the Arts