Philharmonic and choirs join to present concert March 2

The Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra, Concert Choir, Oriana Singers, and Glee Club will present “The French Connection,” an afternoon of music by 20th-century French composers, at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 2, in Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus of Penn State. The program also will feature two student winners of the Philharmonic's 2013-14 Concerto Competition, pianist John Livingston and violinist Hyunkyung Kim. Tickets, $12 for the general public and $4 for students, are available at the Eisenhower Ticket Center at 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX or online here. Buy in advance and save 40 percent (tickets purchased on the day of the concert are not eligible).

Twentieth-century French composer Francis Poulenc was often described as being half monk and half street urchin. His Gloria accurately reflects this same mixture of solemnity and mischievous exuberance. A beloved choral-orchestral work based the "Gloria in excelsis Deo" text from the Catholic Mass, the composition was commissioned to honor the conductor Sergei Koussevitzky and was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in 1961. Recent Penn State graduate Julia Wolcott appears as soprano soloist. The "Gloria" is conducted by Director of Choral Activities Christopher Kiver.

One of Francis Poulenc’s greatest musical mentors, French impressionist composer Maurice Ravel wrote the ballet "Daphnis et Chloé" for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes between 1909 and 1912. The story of the ballet traces the love affair between the title characters, orphans who are raised by shepherds. They undergo a series of separate adventures -- including kidnapping by pirates and an intervention by the god Pan -- before they are reunited and live happily ever after. After the ballet was completed, Ravel created two suites for orchestra based on his choreographed masterpiece. Suite No. 2 includes three scenes from the ballet’s final act. The Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Director of Orchestral Studies Gerardo Edelstein.

For more information regarding the soloists and ensembles participating in this concert, please access the full article on the School of Music website.

This concert is available through livestreaming video at the Penn State School of Music.

Last Updated February 18, 2014