CONTACT: Victoria Winkelman, 214-768-3785
Kami Duncan, 214-768-2788,

February 11, 2004


Featuring works inspired by the Bible and Superman arch-villain Lex Luthor

DALLAS (SMU) -- The Meadows Symphony Orchestra at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present “Sacred and Profane,” a concert of music inspired by sources ranging from the Bible to Superman comics, at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 29, in Caruth Auditorium of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Led by conductor Paul Phillips, the orchestra will perform four striking works by contemporary composers. The widely divergent styles of the four compositions reflect the source material of each. 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 more information, call the Meadows ticket office at 214-768-2787.

Biblical sources provide the wellspring for the first half of the concert, which will open with the world premiere of “Fast Falls the Eventide,” an inspiring, lyrical work based on the popular southern hymn “Abide With Me.” The piece was composed for the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and conductor Paul Phillips by Dr. Robert Frank, assistant professor of composition and theory at the Meadows School. Also included will be Carlisle Floyd’s song cycle “The Pilgrimage” with guest soloist Donnie Ray Albert, a Meadows alumnus (M.M. ‘75) who performs with opera companies and orchestras throughout the world.

The second half of the concert showcases two energetic and controversial works. The first will be Michael Daugherty’s wild “Lex,” performed by award-winning violinist and Meadows alumna Miroslava Ivanchenko (Artist Certificate ’00; M.M. ’02). “Lex,” excerpted from the “Metropolis” symphony written in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Superman comic books, takes its title from Superman’s arch-enemy Lex Luthor and, according to Daugherty, features a “virtuoso violin soloist (Lex) who plays a fiendishly difficult fast triplet motive in perpetual motion, pursued by the orchestration and a percussion section.” The concert will close with “The Miraculous Mandarin Suite,” a dark and evocative ballet score by Bela Bartok that caused a scandal when it debuted in 1926.

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 David Effron, 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.