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Sun, May 21


Second Church in Newton

Dancing Through the Centuries

Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Earl Lee leads Pro Arte for the second year in a row through a concert spanning full of energy and vibrancy. Dance with them in the final orchestra concert of Season 45.

Dancing Through the Centuries
Dancing Through the Centuries

Time & Location

May 21, 2023, 3:00 PM

Second Church in Newton, 60 Highland St, West Newton, MA 02465, USA

About the event

Dancing through the Centuries

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Earl Lee, conductor


BARTOK Romanian Dances

BUNCH Supermaximum

BIBER Battalia

PRICE Andante moderato

GEMINIANI/WIANCKO La Follia Variations (Frencesco Geminiani)

Pro Arte and Earl Lee, Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, have crafted a fascinating program based on music and movement stretching back six hundred years.  Béla Bartók wrote that he would raise the folk music in and around his native Hungary “to the level of art song.”  His popular Romanian Folk Dances are evocative arrangements of traditional Transylvanian fiddle tunes.  The soulful songs of Southern chain gangs inspired Kenji Bunch’s powerful Supermaximum.  Battalia, by Baroque composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, is a bracing depiction of a battle that requires unconventional techniques from its string players.  As the first Black woman to be widely recognized as a symphonic composer, Florence Price was a pioneer in American music.  Her Andante moderato is a luminous arrangement of the slow movement from one of her string quartets.  In music, La Follia—Italian for “folly”—refers to a frenzied peasant dance from fifteenth-century Portugal.  The dance’s catchy chord progression later spread throughout Europe, forming the basis for countless compositions, including a set of variations for solo violin by Arcangelo Corelli, which was later arranged by his pupil Francesco Geminiani for string orchestra.  In her La Folia Variations, contemporary composer Michi Wiancko takes this a step further, reflecting Geminiani’s Baroque concerto grosso in a dreamy twenty-first-century mirror.


Read the review from Boston Classical Review

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