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MSO Opens 20th Anniversary Season

September 1, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), the only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, kicks off its 20th anniversary season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” with performances at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills on Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m.; the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m.; and at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center within the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, on Sunday, October 1 at 3 p.m. The fall concert program, “East and West of the Rhine,” will feature the music of Ernest Chausson, Camille Saint-Saéns, Maurice Ravel, and Johannes Brahms.

Maestro Julien Benichou comments, “We are thrilled to be performing such symphonies as Brahms’ moving Symphony No. 4 in our first concert and to be welcoming violinist Virgil Boutellis-Taft who will perform in Chausson’s Poème and Saint Saëns’ Danse Macabre.”

Symphony No. 4 Op. 98 was Brahms last symphony. Richard Strauss, a Futurist, wrote that the Andante of the Symphony No. 4 reminded him of “… a funeral procession moving in silence across moonlit heights…”.  The music soars with passion and feeling of great intensity, but not of grief or mourning.

Ernest Chausson’s Poeme for Violin and Orchestra was written in 1896. The work was probably inspired by a short story by the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, The Song of Triumphant Love, in which two young men, one a violinist, fall in love with the same woman. It was written for a virtuoso violinist at the height of French Romanticism and remains a favorite of skilled performers.

Maurice Ravel’s Ma Mere l’Oye (Mother Goose) was initially written in 1910 as a work for piano for four hands, based on various children’s stories. It was a gift to Mimie and Jean Godebski, whose parents were friends of Maurice Ravel. The work was orchestrated in 1911 and was always popular because of its flowing melodies, fine harmonies and superb orchestration. Now over a century old, it is still considered “modern music,” yet easy to digest.

Camille Saint Saens was a child prodigy who entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13. Danse Macabre was originally written in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano and orchestrated in 1874. The work is based on an old superstition about how Death plays its fiddle on Halloween and skeletons emerge from their graves to dance from midnight until dawn.

The opening night concert at Chesapeake College will feature a special catered reception at intermission sponsored by Piazza in Easton. Hors d’oeuvres and prosecco will be served.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

Season subscriptions for the 2017 – 2018 season of the MSO are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone 888-846-8600. Individual tickets will be sold in advance online and at the door. For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.



September 1, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Chesapeake College
1000 College Circle
Wye Mills, MD 21679 United States
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Allison Rogers



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