MasterWorks I: “A Night of Firsts”
October, 13, 2018
This is a performance of works that were the “first” for the three composers on the program. The concert will begin with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s the overture to his very first opera, Apollo et Hyacinthus which he wrote at the age of eleven years old. In this brief opening work, you can hear not only true “Mozartian” style, but an innocence of youth in how the work was written.
Next on the program is a work by Johann Sebastian Bach, his first keyboard concerto. The Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052, will be performed by Maestro Dollinger’s wife, Rei Hotoda. Ms. Hotoda has performed with the Muscatine Symphony numerous times including a performance on Iowa Public Television. She will not only be playing the solo part, but in true Baroque fashion, she will be conducting the orchestra as well.
The culmination of the evening will be the first symphony written by another giant of symphonic repertoire, Felix Mendelssohn. His Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 11, his first full orchestra symphony, is a vibrant and energetic work that was influenced by the great composers Mendelssohn admired – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and von Weber. A true virtuosic work that demonstrates the sound Mendelssohn would come to be known for all the while paying homage to the style and structure of Mozart and the detailed counterpoint of Bach.
MasterWorks II: “Heroic Memories”
November, 10, 2018
This concert presents a collection of works inspired by great heroics in many senses of the word. 2018 marks the anniversary of the birth of one of America’s greatest composers, conductors, and overall musician – Leonard Bernstein. His life spanned across many areas; composer, conductor, educator, and humanitarian. Bernstein brought music to millions of young audience members in a way that was not only engaging but fun. He has a number of works that have become part of the symphonic lexicon, but none more than his West Side Story. In honor of his birthday, the MSO will present a glimpse into this masterfully written modern day version of Romeo and Juliet.
One of America’s greatest historic figures, President Abraham Lincoln, was a hero in many ways during his time through modern day. The Muscatine Symphony will be honoring him with the world premier of a work written to highlight and present numerous touching and inspired speeches he had given. The multi-movement work, written by David Stern, will also feature professional Lincoln reenactor Fritz Klein from the Lincoln Institute in Springfield, IL [www.lincolninstitute.com]. Mr. Klein’s unforgettable portrayal of Abraham Lincoln will be an experience of uplifting and stirring oratory.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Heroic” symphony will be presented on the second half of the performance. His Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, op. 55, the “Eroica” has become a model and staple of the symphonic repertory. In the perfection that is Beethoven, he begins this symphonic journey in the most simplistic way – two E-flat major chords followed by acrobatics over the E-flat triad. What Beethoven does with this kernel is nothing short of genius. The symphony as a whole is one of the most recognizable works in the symphonic liturgy, but perhaps the most famous is the slow second movement. This Adagio (funeral march) has become an iconic addition to American lore and history as it was the work performed during the J.F. Kennedy funeral.
Maestro Dollinger served in the United States Marine Corps from 1998-2006 as a Combat Engineer. One day of the year the all Marines hold highest is the Marine Corps Birthday. For todays performance, Maestro Dollinger will add a special celebration for the birth of the Marine Corps – November 10, 1775.
MasterWorks III: “Romance is in the Air”
February 16, 2019
The annual Delicious Combinations dinner and concert event will be one that celebrates the vast history of the musical stage. From Broadway to the silver screen to the modern television, musicals have been a vehicle to share adventure, comedy and of course love stories.
The evening will be full of musical hits from some of the greatest composers of stage of the 20th century. Works by George and Ira Gershwin, Lerner and Lowe, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber will be showcased along-side Grease, Les Miserables, and some of MGM’s greatest hits.
MasterWorks IV: “The Many Joys of Youth”
March 9, 2019
Each year the Muscatine Symphony partners with the Howe Foundation for our Young Artist Competition. The young musician who wins this highly competitive competition gets the opportunity to perform with the Symphony. This year’s performance will also feature the Iowa premier of Curtis Bryant’s Dinosaurs: A Primeval Symphony. The Symphony will partner with the Muscatine Schools art and music teachers to inspire the youth of Muscatine artistically. The children will produce artwork that will be on display in the auditorium lobby on concert night as well as selected pictures will be displayed during the performance! Along with the Bryant work, the Symphony will inspire our young students with the music of Gound’s Funeral March of a Marionette. The creativity that will be on display is always a treat for audience members and the young artists.
Franz Josef Haydn, the father of the symphony, created an enormous body of work through all the symphonic and instrumental genres. The Symphony will be presenting his Symphony No. 100 in G major. This work has held great fame and position in symphony halls around the world since its first performance in 1794. The work is home to a remarkable second movement that launched the work’s instant popularity. Rarely do you find a work that creates an instantaneous “Encore! Encore!” response from the audience after an interior movement’s performance.
MasterWorks V: “Dueling Batons: Scandinavian Marvels”
April 13, 2019
The Muscatine Symphony finishes the MasterWorks season with a concert filled with two of the most well-known Scandinavian composers – Edward Grieg and Jean Sibelius. With the assistance of Greg Pritchard, Maestro Dollinger has planned four fantastic works to end the season. Maestro Pritchard will lead the orchestra in the famous Holberg Suite, op. 40. A staple in the string orchestra lexicon, Pritchard will bring his own sense of musicianship to this performance by the MSO string section. Mr. Pritchard will then become soloist by performing Sibelius’ Swan of Tuonela. This beautiful, flowing tone poem conjures up amazing visions of one of Nature’s most beautiful birds in one’s imagination.
The performance will begin, however, with Maestro Dollinger leading the Symphony in Sibelius’ most famous tone poem, Finlandia. A work that was a subversive call to a nationalistic and pride in their culture against the oppressive Russian leadership. The work boasts one of music’s great melodies which sometimes catches audiences by surprise, coming at the last minute.
While the concert begins with an incredibly familiar work, Maestro Dollinger has chosen one of Sibelius’ lesser performed symphonies – Symphony No. 3 in C major, op. 52 will complete this concert and the MasterWorks season. In this work, Sibelius brings a new, pared down sound that is also new and revolutionary. It is a wondrous work created out of simplicity and culminating an astounding juxtaposing and blending of motifs that continue to grow with increased intensity to the end of the work.