Featured artist Bernadette Lo will play the “CROMOS Piano Suite” by Osvaldo Lacerda at Oak Ridge Community Orchestra concerts this weekend.
The first concert is at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge.
The second concert is at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 22, in the Cokesbury United Methodist Church in West Knoxville.
Also included in these two programs are Schubert’s “Symphony No. 5” and the rousing “Finlandia” by Sibelius.
Lo is a Knoxville-area collaborative pianist, soloist, and teacher. She is the visiting professor of piano at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and she performs regularly with artists around the region, a press release said. She has served as the official accompanist for numerous music festivals and competitions, including University of Tennessee Viola Celebration, Western Kentucky University Violin Fest and the Orpheus National Vocal Competition.
Lo performs regularly with the violist Hillary Herndon, with whom she recorded the album “La Viola,” receiving critical acclaims, the press release said. She also appeared as collaborative artist in many conferences, including the 41st International Horn Symposium, Southeast Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference, and 2016 International Tuba Euphonium Conference. In addition, she premiered many new chamber music compositions with the group “Waldland Ensemble.”
Besides college teaching, she also maintains a thriving private studio, the press release said. Lo holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Illinois.
“CROMOS” is a piano suite written in 1994 by Brazilian composer Osvaldo Lacerda (1927-2011). It calls for a full orchestra with solo piano. Lacerda’s unique nationalistic style is evident in this work. His melodies evoke the nature and characteristics of Brazilian folk music, especially music from the northeast of Brazil. “CROMOS” is a fully diatonic composition, but it contains an abundance of church modes and an elaborate chromaticism. In a total of eight movements, Lacerda assigns four movements for the whole orchestra, and one each for individual instrument families: a movement for strings, one for brass, one for percussion, and one for woodwinds. Thus, the title of the piece is an allusion to its two characteristics: the chromaticism that permeates the work, and the colors of the orchestral palette. “CROMOS” is a soloist-orchestra gem rooted in musical nationalism, that serves as a perfect example of acculturated folk music, the press release said.
During his brief 31-year lifetime (1797-1828), Franz Schubert was largely an unrecognized composer. But, he was prolific, composing more than 600 secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music, and a large body of chamber and piano music—more than 1,500 works total. It was only after his death that other famous composers discovered and championed his extensive work.
Schubert straddled the transition from the classical to the romantic composers. His “Fifth Symphony,” composed in 1816 at the age of 19, illustrates that transition, with elements reminiscent of Mozart and lyrical passages building on the style of Beethoven. The “Fifth Symphony” is unique in that it omits the clarinets, trumpets, and timpani normally included in symphonies during that era.
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic Period, whose music played an important role in the reinforcement of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as prodigious, and the intensity of “Finlandia” confirms that claim. “Finlandia, Op. 26” was first written in 1899, and revised in 1900. The piece was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire. In that performance, “Finlandia” was the last of seven pieces, each presented as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history.
To enjoy these compositions, join the concert on Saturday, May 21, at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge, which is on the corner of the Oak Ridge Turnpike and LaFayette Drive.
Alternatively, choose the performance at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, at Cokesbury United Methodist Church (South Campus), one-third mile east of the Pellissippi Parkway on Kingston Pike in Knoxville.
Admission is free. But modest donations at the door to support the orchestra’s routine operating expenses will be appreciated.
The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra (ORCO) is a 501(c)3, nonprofit volunteer organization, performing under the baton of Conductor and Music Director Marcelo Urias. Anyone wishing to regularly participate in the orchestra is encouraged to contact Personnel Manager Cyndi Jeffers, at [email protected]. Usually, the orchestra can accommodate additional string players, and occasionally there are openings in the brass, woodwind, and percussion sections. The orchestra welcomes experienced musicians of all ages. The Oak Ridge Community Orchestra is a rewarding venue for instrumentalists who enjoy playing for an appreciative audience, with music ranging from Baroque through Classical to Contemporary.
For more information about the ORCO, visit www.OakRidgeCommunityOrchestra.com.
This press release was submitted by Dale Gedcke.