September 29, 2003

SMU's Meadows Symphony Orchestra Presents "Beautiful Bach, Brilliant Brahms, " Oct. 17 & 19

DALLAS (SMU) - The Meadows Symphony Orchestra at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, led by conductor Paul Phillips, will present "Beautiful Bach, Brilliant Brahms" at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Caruth Auditorium of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley and in the parking garage beneath the Meadows Museum. Tickets are $12 adults, $9 seniors and $6 SMU students/faculty/staff. For ticket information, call 214-768-2787.

The program will open with J. S. Bach's beautiful Cantata No. 202 featuring soloist Joan Heller, associate professor and head of the voice department at SMU. Ms. Heller is an internationally acclaimed soprano, and has performed her extensive repertoire throughout the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union, in both live concerts and television and radio broadcasts.

Following the Cantata, the orchestra will perform Samuel Barber's powerful Essay No. 2 for Orchestra under the baton of Dustin Soiseth, assistant conductor of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Soiseth is currently in his second year of graduate study in conducting at the Meadows School, and is a student of Dr. Phillips.

After intermission, the concert will conclude with Dr. Phillips conducting Johannes Brahms' brilliant and moving Second Symphony. After a 20-year struggle to compose his first symphony, Brahms composed his second in only a year. More pastoral and intimate than the first, the second earned instant and lasting acclaim, and has become one of the most beloved works of the entire symphonic repertoire for both audiences and performers.

The Meadows Symphony Orchestra is comprised of gifted students from throughout the United States and countries around the world, all of whom are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or artist certificate programs in the Division of Music at the Meadows School. Many of the performers are active as international soloists, are music competition prizewinners and perform as orchestral musicians in music festivals both in the United States and internationally.

Paul Phillips is professor of music and director of orchestral activities at the Meadows School of the Arts. He formerly served as assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Phillips earned both master's and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and studied conducting with James Rives-Jones, Erich Leinsdorf and others. He has accompanied such well-known soloists as Itzhak Perlman and James Galway and has recorded for the Novisse, Albany and Centaur labels.

The 2003-2004 season sponsor of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra is The Dallas Morning News. The Meadows School of the Arts Division of Music is also sponsored by WRR 101.1 FM.