Fort Collins Symphony Highlights Two Views of the American Experience with “Dvořák Discovery” on February 3, 2023

Under the baton of Maestro Wes Kenney, the Fort Collins Symphony (FCS) presents an evening of extraordinary music in the third of its Signature Concert series, “Dvořák Discovery.”  The event includes two pivotal compositions that interpret the American experience from different viewpoints. Patrons are invited to attend the concert in-person at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center or via live-stream at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2024.

Composer Florence Price

The FCS presents a rare opportunity to experience the Colorado premiere of Ethiopia’s Shadow in America written by composer Florence PriceThis work traces the physical and emotional journeys of those who were enslaved against their will and brought to the United States.

As a black woman living in Jim Crow America, Price faced prejudice and challenges because of both her gender and the color of her skin. She wrote the award-winning Ethiopia’s Shadow in America in 1932, just as she was starting to be recognized as a musical voice in America. But eventually, like many other women and people of color at the time, much of her work was lost and forgotten. It wasn’t until 2009 that a collection of her unpublished manuscripts was discovered in her former home near St. Anne, Illinois. Ethiopia’s Shadow in America was first premiered in 2015, 83 years after its composition. Its three-movement journey and Price’s own story stand as testaments to the resilience of the human spirit.

The 19th-century Czech composer Antonin Dvořák wrote his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” during a visit to the United States in 1892. His patron requested that he find a “national sound,” which he did by drawing inspiration from Black spirituals and Indigenous musical traditions. To this style he added his own undeniably European flavor to produce this instantly popular four-movement symphony. Because of its exceptional structure and unique local influences, Dvořák’s 9th Symphony is considered one of the most important American symphonies. The melody for the spiritual “Going Home” and the music for John William’s score for Jaws were both adapted from this work.

Violinist Yumi Hwang-Williams

Colorado Symphony Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams returns to the FCS to perform Dvořák’s tender and vibrant Violin Concerto. This beloved piece demands exceptional dexterity and artistry from the soloist to perform both its virtuosic and meditative melodies.

Featured Artist:

Yumi Hwang-Williams made her debut at the age of fifteen as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, just six years after emigrating from South Korea. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, she is known today for her stylish performances of the classics and her commitment to the works of present-day composers. Recently, Hwang-Williams recorded California composer John Wineglass’ #elijah for violin and orchestra with The London Symphony. It was released in 2023.

Got Instruments?

The non-profit Foundation Music School will be on-hand at both the Thursday night Open Rehearsal on February 1, 2024 and at the Saturday night concert to collect instruments for students in their needs-based scholarship program. For information about the school and instrument drive, please visit FoundationMusicSchool.org.

Tickets/Details:

When: Saturday, February 3, 2024, 7:30 p.m. Mountain Time

Where: The Fort Collins Lincoln Center: 417 West Magnolia Street, Fort Collins, CO 80521, and via live-stream

Cost: Adult: $2873, Student/Child: $11.50, Livestream: $28 per device.

Tickets and more information: FCSymphony.org/Discovery or by calling the Lincoln Center Box Office at 970.221.6730 (Noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday) or LCTix.com.

Week-of-Concert Events

Composer Talk: Join CSU professor Dr. K. Dawn Grapes for an informative and entertaining lecture about the concert’s featured composers. Sponsored by the Friends of the Symphony. Light refreshments provided.

  • Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
  • Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Venue: Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St, Fort Collins, CO 80524
  • Admission: Free

 

Open Rehearsal: Learn firsthand what it takes for an orchestra to bring live music to the stage.

  • Date: Thursday, February 1, 2024
  • Time: 7:00  8:30 p.m.
  • Venue: Lincoln Center, 417 W Magnolia St, Fort Collins, CO 80521
  • Admission: Free
  • Foundation Music School will be in the lobby to collect instruments

 

Maestro’s Musings Pre-Concert Lecture: Ticket holders (in-person and via livestream) are invited to join Maestro Wes Kenney for a pre-concert lecture in the concert hall.

  • Date: Saturday, February 3, 2024
  • Time: 6:30  7:00 p.m.
  • Venue: Lincoln Center, 417 W Magnolia St, Fort Collins, CO 80521
  • Admission: Included with ticket purchase
  • Foundation Music School will be in the lobby to collect instruments

About the Fort Collins Symphony
The Fort Collins Symphony has been an integral part of Northern Colorado’s cultural fabric since 1923 when visionary violinist Editha Todd Leonard established the Fort Collins Community Orchestra. In 1950, conductor Will Schwartz transformed the orchestra into the fully-professional Fort Collins Symphony that we know today. The FCS is led by Maestro Wes Kenney, now in his 21st season as the orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor.

The Fort Collins Symphony’s 100th Anniversary Season is dedicated to the memory of long-time board member John E. Roberts.

Signature Concert 3 sponsors: Trois Coeurs Foundation, Kenneth & Myra Monfort Charitable Foundation, and Plante Moran.

FCS Season sponsors: Arts Without End, City of Fort Collins Fort Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, David & Alison Dennis, Lyric Cinema, National Endowment for the Arts, Dr. Ed Siegel, and Dr. Peter Springberg.

Media Sponsors:  CO Sound 105.5, KUNC 91.5 FM, KRFC 88.9 FM Radio FC, and North 40 News.

For More Information, please contact Jeremy D. Cuebas, Marketing and Communications Director, at 970.482.4823 or via email at Marketing@FCSymphony.org.

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