Orchestra Concert I
Love for Three Oranges by Sergei Prokofiev
American Symphony by Lionel Semiatin
Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius
Featuring Kiril Laskarov on Violin.
$20 General Admission
Pre-Concert Lecture by Principal Clarinetist, David Tuttle in the Theater Lobby.
Post-Concert Reception to follow the performance that will be held in the Cafeteria.
Lionel Semiatin on his American Symphony
It takes living outside of the United States to fully appreciate the magnificence of this country and how widely it is admired.
While I was living in Montreal, Canada many years ago, it was inevitable that I should have this experience. Being an American living outside my country impelled me to start to compose an American Symphony – one which could continue the great symphonic traditions, but in an American way.
The first movement – an energetic and forceful expression – was composed from 1939 to 1941. The second movement – more reflective of our wide-open plains and ranges – was completed in 1942.
When I entered the U.S. Army in 1943, only the first eight bars of the third movement were completed. After I returned from WWII and left the Service, I completely forgot about this symphony for several decades. But in 1975, I read that the American Bicentennial was about to occur in 1976, and that prompted me to return to the symphony, which I completed in the summer of 1975.
In the revised version, about five percent of the first movement was revised, as well as all of the orchestration of the first two movements. An alto saxophone was inserted in three of the four movements. The third movement – lively and joyful, and the fourth movement – in similar spirit – were completed in 1975. The last movement (the fourth) has an extensive summary of all of the main themes of the symphony.
The first and third movements have been played before, both by the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra, and in separate concerts. This performance will be the World Premiere of the entire American Symphony.
It might be interesting to note that this entire four-movement symphony was composed without the use of the piano or any other aural device or instrument, going directly from the composer’s mind to the page as a musical score.