The Nittany Valley Symphony will begin its 2017-18 season, which includes four classical programs and a family concert, on Sunday with “Gallic Grandeur.”
The theme for this season is “Music: The Universal Language.”
“Music inspires greater understanding of ourselves and of the world around us,” said Michael Jinbo, Nittany Valley Symphony music director. “Music unearths, mirrors and magnifies our deepest emotions. Music touches us in an instant, often on a visceral level. Yet, with all its lofty qualities, music is also pure entertainment. Let us entertain you! Let us inspire you!”
“Gallic Grandeur” will feature guest soloist Kim Cook, distinguished professor of cello in the Penn State School of Music, on violincello. She will perform French masterworks from the late 19th century, including works by Fauré, Lalo and Franck.
On Nov. 5, “Virtuoso/Variation” will feature Penn State School of Music professor of violin Max Zorin. The concert at Eisenhower Auditorium will present violin virtuosity and orchestral variations, including works by Blacher, Paganini and Tchaikovsky.
A family concert featuring a piece for narrator and orchestra will be presented with “The Story of Babar,” on Jan. 28 at the Bellefonte Area High School. With narration by Helen Manfull, professor emerita of theatre in the Penn State School of Theatre, the program for the entire family will feature the Ann Keller Young Soloist Competition winner.
On March 25, “Music Without Borders” at Eisenhower Auditorium will feature guest soloist Christopher Guzman, associate professor of piano in the Penn State School of Music, on piano. The program defines a diverse world, united by the power of music, and includes works by Copland, Prokofiev and Borodin.
The NVS season winds down April 29 with “The End of Romanticism,” at the Mount Nittany Middle School auditorium. Guest soloist, baritone Ted Christopher, artistic director of the Penn State Opera Theatre, will lead a program about love, death and transcendence at the end of the Romantic era, including works by Wagner, Mahler and R. Strauss.
Jinbo said he is very excited about this season and its theme.
“Music has the ability to express cultural diversity while maintaining a universal and timeless appeal,” he said. “We need music more than ever in today’s world, I think.”
Jinbo said he is very proud of the symphony and how it has enhanced life in Happy Valley. He is keenly aware of his dual responsibilities as music director, to provide quality musical experiences for both the orchestra and the audience.
“The symphony’s 50th anniversary is a testament to the love of music shared by so many people over the years,” he said. “I’m glad to have shared many wonderful musical experiences with the symphony for over half of its existence. I hope that the symphony brings beauty and inspiration to audiences for generations to come, as it continues to be a model of community cooperation.”
As always, Jinbo is confident audiences will thoroughly enjoy the music that he has selected for this season. Beyond that, it is also his hope that Nittany Valley Symphony’s concerts inspire people to make music more a part of their lives.
“Music reminds us of the very best of humankind, which is especially important during trying times,” he said. “After all, who doesn’t need more beauty and inspiration in their life?”
IF YOU GO
- What: Nittany Valley Symphony’s “Gallic Grandeur”
- When: 4 p.m. Sunday
- Where: Bellefonte Area High School, 830 E. Bishop St., Bellefonte
- Info: www.nvs.org