Virginia Tech and New River Valley Symphony to feature Copland's <cite>Appalachian Spring</cite> in upcoming concert

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 13, 2008 – The Virginia Tech Department of Music and the New River Valley Symphony present "An Evening of Ballet Music."

Under the direction of Maestro James Glazebrook, the concert features Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m., in Burruss Auditorium located in Burruss Hall on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.

Copland’s expansive and energetic Appalachian Spring is a landmark of American music. Commissioned by the Library of Congress, Appalachian Spring was written to accompany Martha Graham's choreography for a ballet about American pioneers. Originally called “A Ballet for Martha,” Graham renamed it Appalachian Spring before she danced the premier performance at the Library of Congress in 1944. Already well known for his “Americana” style in Rodeo, the tremendously successful 1942 ballet, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, was instantly recognized as a 20th century masterpiece and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1945.

Romeo and Juliet is Prokofiev’s most widely admired work. Completed in 1935 in Stalin’s Russia, it is filled with much more lyrical music than he had previously used in his compositions. According to his autobiography, he became absorbed with the lyrical aspects of his music at that time. The three-act Romeo and Juliet, which was much longer than the shorter one-act ballets he had scored for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in France, provided him the opportunity to experiment. As a result, Prokofiev’s use of extended melody and “leitmotif” that associates a certain melodic phrase to a person or idea, allowed him to create a musical masterpiece that also reflected the drama and passion of one of Shakespeare’s most romantic tragedies.

The New River Valley Symphony is a university-community orchestra with 80 student, faculty, and community resident musicians selected through an audition process. Under the baton of Music Director James Glazebrook, the ensemble performs symphonic literature of the highest aesthetic value.

Glazebrook teaches violin and viola, conducting, and string methods at Virginia Tech. His varied career has encompassed professional performance, conducting, and music education. As a violinist, he has been a member of the San Diego Symphony and Opera Orchestras, and concertmaster of the Colorado Springs, New Hampshire Music Festival, and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras. He has been a guest conductor for the Roanoke Symphony, the La Jolla Civic Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, and the New Hampshire Music Festival. Glazebrook is also the conductor of the Roanoke Youth Symphony.

Tickets for the New River Valley Symphony concerts are $8 for general admission and $5 for seniors/students and are available in advance by calling the University Unions and Student Activities ticket office at (540) 231-5615, at the box office online or at the door one hour prior to performance. For more information on the performance, please contact the School of the Arts at (540) 231-5200.

The Department of Music at Virginia Tech provides professional music training to select music students and enhances the cultural life of the university, region, and the Commonwealth through teaching, professional service, artistic performance, creativity, and research. The Department of Music, located in the School of the Arts within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, also provides high-quality training to a wide variety of ensembles and courses for large numbers of non-music majors.