Department of Music's New River Valley Symphony to feature the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra horn section

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 10, 2008 – Virginia Tech Department of Music's New River Valley Symphony Series first concert of the season, featuring the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Horn Section in Robert Schumann's "Concert-piece for Four Horns" and the music of Berlioz and Mussorgsky/Ravel, will be held Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. in Burruss Hall Auditorium on the university's main campus.

Schumann, born in 1810, was a German Romantic composer and influential music critic. Until 1840, Schumann's published compositions were all for the piano; he later composed works for piano and orchestra, four symphonies, an opera, and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. His "Concert-piece for Four Horns” is reputedly one of the most challenging works ever composed for horn. It was conceived by Schumann to exploit the then new, valve-less horn. This work was premiered by The Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra in February 1850.

Louis Hector Berlioz, born in 1803, was a French Romantic composer. His Roman Carnival Overture Opus 9 was composed in 1843 and was first performed in Paris, in February 1844. This work, a stand-alone overture, is made up of material and themes from Berlioz's opera Benvenuto Cellini, including some music from the opera's carnival scene, from which the overture's title originates.

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, born in 1839, is known as an innovator of Russian music with compositions that often countered the norms of Western music. Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is a suite of ten piano pieces composed in 1874. This suite is generally acknowledged to be Mussorgsky's greatest solo piano composition, and has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists. It has become well known through many arrangements produced by other musicians and composers, with impressionist and expressionist composer Joseph-Maurice Ravel's arrangement being the most recorded and performed of all.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1953, is the largest professional orchestra in western Virginia. The orchestra has been nationally recognized for its artistic achievements, its innovative education programs, and its unique outreach with diverse audiences.

The New River Valley Symphony is a university-community orchestra comprised of approximately 80 members and is open to student, faculty, and community residents by audition. Conductor James Glazebrook’s varied career includes professional performance, conducting, and musical education. He has performed in numerous chamber music concerts, recitals, and festivals throughout the United States and has served as concertmaster of the Colorado Springs Symphony, the New Hampshire Music Festival, and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras.

Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors and are available in advance through the University Unions and Student Activities Box Office in the Squires Student Center, at (540) 231-5615 or online, and at the door one hour prior to performance time. The performance will be in the Burruss Hall Auditorium located on Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg.