The Southeast Missouri Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Sara Edgerton, will present its Gala Season Opening Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling 573-651-2265 or online at RiverCampusEvents.com
Special guest artist, Viviana Guzman, will join the symphony in a program featuring vibrant music from Spain and Latin America. Tangos, Spanish dances, and the thrilling “Carmen Suite,” by Bizet will be among the pieces performed at the gala concert.
“We are delighted to be able to feature Viviana Guzman as our guest artist on our Gala Season Opening Concert,” Edgerton said. “Audience members will be enchanted by her musicality, energy, and charisma, and the music is very appealing. Spanish and Latin American music, with its vibrant rhythms and attractive melodies, is always a big hit with concertgoers. Come and hear this colorful opening concert of our 2014—2015 symphony season.”
The program will open with the evocative “Night in the Tropics,” by American composer Louis Gottschalk. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1829, Gottschalk trained as a concert pianist in Europe and spent much of his short adult career giving concerts throughout the United States and South America.
Gottschalk’s “Night in the Tropics,” is an evocation of the beguiling rhythms and sounds of his native New Orleans. Viviana Guzman will next join the symphony in a performance of the beautiful “Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise” by Romantic era flutist and composer Franz Doppler.
The concert will continue with a series of intriguing and appealing tangos, which are popular dances that originated in the 1890s in South America. These tangos will feature Guzman as soloist with the orchestra and will include such memorable works as “Oblivion,” by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla and “Cumparsita,” by Gerardo Rodriguez. The first half of the concert will conclude with a thrilling arrangement of the virtuoso piece “Csardas,” arranged for solo flute and orchestra.
The second half of the concert will focus on Spanish-inspired music. The symphony will perform selections from “Le Cid Ballet,” a suite of Spanish dances from various regions of Spain. With vibrant rhythms and colorful orchestration, this work has remained a favorite amongst concert audiences for over 100 years. The concert will conclude with the celebrated “Carmen Suite” by Georges Bizet. From the opening movement, “Prelude,” with its ominous chords foreshadowing the tragic end of the opera, to the scintillating melody and rhythm of the famous “Toreador” song, this suite is a brilliant collection of some of the most beloved tunes in classical music.
Described by the New York Times as “an imaginative artist,” Chilean-born flutist, Guzmán performs over 80 concerts a year throughout the world. Having started musical training at the age of 5, she won her first competition at age 7, and by 15 she played as a soloist with orchestras, studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal, and was featured on NBC’s nationally televised John Denver music special. She has since appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and also has performed in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. This season, Viviana will be performing in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Tahiti, Easter Island, Warwick University (UK), Tokyo, Jakarta, Bangkok, Seoul, Beijing, San Jose, and a Mid-West Tour.
A Juilliard graduate, Guzmán’s latest album, “Traveling Sonata” received a Grammy nomination. She has been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Great Performances,” “West Coast Live,” and PBS, among others, and on television, she has appeared in the United States and Latin America. More recently, the premiere of her music video was aired on television internationally in 31 countries on Univision and Arts Showcase Network. She has recorded eight albums with different labels; and as an author/poet, her work has been published in Simon and Schuster, and her book of poetry entitled “Love Soliloquies,” was published in Syren Press.
Guzman has taught master classes and performed numerous solo recitals. A winner of the 1991 Young Artists Auditions of Artists International, Guzmán gave her New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall Recital Hall. Other first prizes in competitions include the New York Flute Club Competition, Five Towns Music and Arts Foundation and the Performer’s of Connecticut Young Artists Competition. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Lincoln Center Scholarship, Institute of Hispanic Culture Award, Shepherd Award, Immanuel Olshan Award, Hirsch Award, Phillips Foundation Award and Ruth Burr Award.