“Orchestral Brilliance” Concerts this Fri. 9/15, Sat. 9/16, and Sun 9/17

Madison, Wis. September 12, 2017 — The Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO), with Music Director John DeMain conducting, opens its 92nd season with a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.

This thrilling season-opening concert showcases the Madison Symphony Orchestra. MSO’s own Principal Violist Chris Dozoryst shines as a soloist in Berlioz’s stunning Harold in Italy. Also featured is Leopold Stokowski’s famous orchestral arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation will be honored with Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony.

The concerts are Fri., Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 16, at 8:00 p.m., and Sun., Sept. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, 201 State Street.

The concerts present the music of two composers who shared a deeply spiritual relationship with the Lutheran faith, and passion for music. It is said that Johann Sebastian Bach set faith to music, and Felix Mendelssohn clarified faith for all to hear.

MSO Music Director John DeMain chose to pair Bach and Mendelssohn specifically for this program. “Both Bach and Mendelssohn were devout Lutherans, Mendelssohn having converted from Judaism when he was 12 years old. I decided to open the season with Leopold Stokowski’s great transcription of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and then give the first performance by the MSO of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, subtitled the Reformation. Indeed, this symphony quotes extensively from one of the greatest Christian Hymns of all time — A Mighty Fortress is our God.”

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor is a transcription for orchestra by Leopold Stokowski and became well-known after its inclusion in Disney’s Fantasia. The piece was originally cut from the theatrical release of the film, but was later added back in a 1946 re-release and included Stokowski directing the orchestra at the beginning of the piece.

Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy is considered an autobiographical vignette recounting the composer’s Italian experience. The piece is filled with youthful vitality, tinged with an appealing romantic sensibility that Berlioz borrowed freely from literature, most specifically Lord Byron’s poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Playing the solo viola part is MSO’s own Principal Violist, Chris Dozoryst.

The 2017–18 season will mark Christopher Dozoryst’s tenth season as principal viola with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his orchestral duties, Chris also performs with the MSO’s HeartStrings Program as violist with the Rhapsodie Quartet. He also performs and records, working locally and regionally in Madison and Chicago. He has performed numerous engagements with well-known musicians including Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Smokey Robinson.

Originally commissioned for a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession in 1830, Mendelssohn honors Martin Luther in his Symphony No. 5, Reformation by including in the finale the beloved hymn Ein’ feste Burg is unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our God) that Luther had written while the Augsburg Confession was in session. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses and the establishment of the Lutheran Church.

Major funding for the September concerts is provided by: the Wisconsin State Journal and Madison.com, Rosemarie and Fred Blancke, Capitol Lakes, The Gialamas Company, Inc., Marvin J. Levy, Nancy Mohs, andPeggy and Tom Pyle. Additional funding provided by: DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C., Forte Research Systems & Nimblify, Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Chris Dozoryst
The 2017–18 season will mark Christopher Dozoryst’s tenth season as principal viola with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. In conjunction with his orchestral duties, Chris also performs with the MSO’s HeartStrings program as violist with the Rhapsodie Quartet. He also performs and records work locally and regionally in Madison and Chicago. He has performed numerous engagements with well-known musicians including Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Smokey Robinson.

About Amy Hartsough
Amy W. Hartsough, Acting Director of Music at Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison WI, received her Bachelor of Music Performance cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and continued her studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England. She then received her Master of Music, followed by her Professional Artist Certificate as a Fellow in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute, at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Hartsough has performed with Present Music, Voces Aestetis, and produces salon/cabaret-style solo performances throughout the Madison area, featuring the works of Satie, Weill, Takemitsu, Britten, and Bolcom. She also teaches a private voice and piano studio, and enjoys accompanying young musicians for competitions and recitals.

About the Madison Symphony Orchestra
The Madison Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 92nd season in 2017–2018 and its 24th season under the leadership of Music Director John DeMain. The MSO has grown to be one of America’s leading regional orchestras, providing Madison and south central Wisconsin with cultural and educational opportunities to interact with great masterworks and top-tier guest artists from around the world. Discover more.

Contact: Peter Rodgers, Director of Marketing
Phone: (608) 260-8680 x226
Mobile: (415) 713-0235
Email: prodgers@madisonsymphony.org

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