An ear for music

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By Special to the Monitor

Music that features every part of the orchestra, is new and familiar, and challenges and satisfies both the musician and the audience. These are the qualities in music that the music selection committee of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra uses in planning a program.


These qualities are clearly and poignantly evident in the concert to be presented on April 17.

The program will open with the “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland.  This piece for brass and percussion was composed in 1942.

The familiar “Holberg Suite” op. 40 for strings by Edvard Grieg will follow.  This fine section piece, written only for the string section of the orchestra, was composed for piano and later arranged, as a tribute, in the form of a pastiche of old dance-movements, to Ludvig Holberg, a Norgewian dramatist.

A not-so-familiar work, “The First Essay” for orchestra by Samuel Barber will feature the winds and brass. This one movement piece is a more recent composition and has passages in it that are reminiscent of his well known “Adagio.” The NBC Symphony, under Toscanini premiered this number on November 5, 1938.

The foremost number on the program is “The Symphony No. 3” by Johannes Brahms. Although not played as often as his other three symphonies, parts of this symphony should be well known to music lovers.  Like all Brahms’ compositions, it is full of the unexpected, emotionally charged –  rhythmically and tonally. To the musicians, it is a challenge and a satisfaction to play.

The musicians in the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra believe and vision that the community will enjoy this vibrant concert, under the direction of Michael Gyurik.  It will be presented at 7 p.m. on April 17 in the Duane Smith Auditorium. Tickets will be available at the door and are priced at $15 for adults, $10 for students.