Artistic Director & Conductor
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   February is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and so the Symphony of the Hills devotes our February 26th performance (and our March 3rd children’s concerts) to the theme “True Romance.” We are presenting symphonic works from the ages inspired by that greatest of human expressions: Love. Throughout history artists, poets, dancers and troubadours have described love and romance in their creative works. Of course, love has many sides to it; the Greeks have at least four words to describe various types of love, including brotherly, romantic, friendly, and familial. At this concert you will hear music representing all of the many splendored feelings of love and romance. For example, Howard Hanson looked at Romanticism as an ideal in composing his Symphony No. 2. He even subtitled his symphony with the word “Romantic.” In this work Hanson presents profound and deep themes in the woodwinds and strings followed by exclamations of joy in the brass and percussion. Hanson, unlike some of the avant-garde 20th century composers, strongly believed in keeping the Romantic tradition alive in writing music. Another featured composer, Fritz Kreisler, wrote a beautiful violin solo entitled, Liebesleid, performed by concertmaster Daniel Kobialka, which musically describes the feelings of being love sick or heartbroken. Similarly, Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” from his opera Gianni Schicchi, is a tender love song, presented in an orchestral transcription for this program.

Symphony of the Hills

True Romance


Dr. Gene Dowdy
Associate Conductor

  Pyotr Tchaikovsky drew his inspiration from the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet. The rapturous theme from his Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture will have you envisioning the fated couple from the quiet chapel to the soaring feelings of true love as you hear what has become one of the most iconic musical representations of love. Almost 90 years later, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim would join up to write West Side Story based on that same Shakespearean tragedy. In their version, numerous moods and influences of a modern romance story are heard including Latin dance tunes, snappy Jazz riffs, and also tender hearted moments. Finally, we will present Anderson’s Blue Tango. Fill in your dance card as you enjoy an orchestral version of a tango, that most romantic of dances.

   Love and music go hand in hand.  Thank you for sharing the True Romance concert with us, and please share your love of the Symphony of the Hills with a friend!

Gene Dowdy
Associate Conductor

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Photographs by Debbie Conner, unless otherwise noted.
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