Symphony Sneak Peek

Symphony Sneak Peek: Wed 9/18/19 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Join Maestra Anne Harrigan and members of the BSO&C in the Taproom at the Pub Station for a sneak peek of the BSO&C’s 2019-2020 Symphony Season Live at the Lincoln Center. Maestra Harrigan will focus on the jazz-inspired opening night, including stories and histories of Gershwin and Ravel. She will also provide insights into the whole season. This is an opportunity to learn about what the symphony has to offer beyond the concert hall this upcoming season. This is a Free event with a no-host bar and light snacks provided.

The Staff

Ignacio Barron Viéla: Executive Director
ignacio@billingssymphony.org

Candy Holzer: Director of Education
candy@billingssymphony.org

Michelle Dawson: Manager of Marketing & Public Relations
michelle@billingssymphony.org

Sandy Cantesano: Manager of Development & Events
sandy@billingssymphony.org

Holly Robinson: Office & Bookkeeping Coordinator
holly@billingssymphony.org

Lisa Bollman: Orchestra Librarian/Operations Manager
librarian@billingssymphony.org

Richele  Sitton: Orchestra Personnel Manager
personnel@billingssymphony.org

Rebekah Reger: Stage Manager
operations@billingssymphony.org

Robin Aalseth: Chorale Librarian

Rachmaninoff

Lincoln Center
April 18, 2020  | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm
The symphony season ends with one of the finest pianists of his generation and the last great Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Featuring the return of MASO winner, Tanner Jorden playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, with special side-by-side performance with the Billings Youth Orchestra.

Tanner Jorden
16-year-old Tanner Jorden’s current teacher, Dorothea Cromley, is the former Professor of Piano at Montana State University–Billings. In 2015, the Billings native began participating in—and winning—competitions locally and internationally. He competed in the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition in November 2016.

Tanner won the state Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competition in 2016, 2017 and 2018, receiving honorable mentions in the Junior and Senior divisions at Northwest regionals. In January 2019, he won the Northwest regional competition and competed in the National MTNA competition in March 2019. In January 2017, he received first place in the Junior division of the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras (MASO) Concerto Competition, and in April of that year performed a debut recital at MSU–B as a Connections student. Tanner made his orchestral debut with the Great Falls Symphony in February 2017, and has since performed with the Billings, Helena, Glacier and Northwest College (Powell, WY) Symphonies. In January 2019, Tanner again received first place in the 15th biennial MASO Young Artist Competition, this time in the Senior division.

 Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2
Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto was the first piece he composed after his long bout of depression and writer’s block. It was his great comeback that became a smash hit, bringing Rachmaninoff back to his former self. Dedicated with gratitude to Dr. Dahl, the Piano Concerto No. 2 premiered on November 9, 1901, with Rachmaninoff performing and his cousin, Alexander Siloti, conducting, and is considered by many to be the greatest piano concerto ever written.

 Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No 2. In E Minor
After the disaster of his first symphony, Rachmaninoff was hesitant to begin composing again. The success of his Piano Concerto No. 2, however, instilled him with confidence, but not so much that he was ready to let the world know he was back at it. He wrote the Symphony No. 2 in secrecy for about a year, when word of his newest composition leaked out in the press. He confessed to a friend: “I have composed a symphony. It’s true! … I finished it a month ago and immediately put it aside. It was a severe worry to me and I’m not going to think about it anymore.” But think about it he did, and the hard work and turmoil paid off. A year later, Rachmaninoff conducted the premiere in Saint Petersburg in January 1908, with great, reassuring success.

Upcoming Events

 

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West Side Story in Concert

Lincoln Center
March 14, 2020 | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm

First time in Montana! Witness the forbidden love, feuding families, and rival gangs in this modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

Featuring Jerome Robbins’ award-winning adaptation with music from Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents with a cast of Broadway professionals.

Jessica Soza (Maria)
Jessica Soza has had the pleasure of singing in 10 cities and 7 countries all over Europe. Her most notable credits involve playing Maria with the international tour of West Side Story in 152 performances. She graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles and obtained her BA from CSU, San Bernardino. Upon graduation, she moved to New York, during which she left to tour Europe with West Side Story. She returned to the United States after the tour closed and is now pursuing her MFA in Acting and Pedagogical Performance at CSU, Long Beach.

 

Michael Winslow (Riff)
Michael “Mikey” Winslow hails from Grand Rapids and is thrilled to be performing in West Side Story again. Broadway credits include West Side Story, American Idiot, On the Town, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Hamilton. Guest appearances with symphonies include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, and the Battle Creek Symphony. He has performed the role of almost every Jet in West Side Story and will be assisting with stage direction in this production.

 

 

Clyde Alves (Tony)
Clyde Alves is an actor, singer, dancer, and songwriter who has starred as Ozzie in the Broadway revival of On the Town (Astaire Award Nomination). Other Broadway credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes, Wicked, Hairspray, Oklahoma!, and as Tommy Djilias in The Music Man (2000 Astaire Award Winner). He has performed Off-Broadway in Altar Boyz (Juan). At New York City Center Encores, Clyde was seen in Follies, Anyone Can Whistle, and Bells Are Ringing. In National Tours, he performed in A Chorus Line (Mike). Symphony performances include On the Town with the San Francisco Symphony and West Side Story with the Battle Creek Symphony. Clyde resides in NYC with his wife and son. “I have never felt so alive as when performing West Side Story to students whose lives may mirror those of the characters. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to present these outreaches and this performance in Billings, especially at the Montana Women’s Prison.”


Aline Mayagoitia (Anita)
An award-winning actress, Aline Mayagoitia attended the prestigious Musical Theatre program at the University of Michigan. In her college years, she discovered a love for writing and directing, as well as working extensively in the film department. In her four years, she performed/produced/wrote/ directed/choreographed over 20 live shows and screen projects, and also served as creative director of the MOSAIC: Intercultural Performance Ensemblea student-led organization dedicated to increasing diversity and representation in the theatre community. Aline toured Costa Rica with a bilingual version of Evita, doing community engagement activities and serving as the main translator for the project.

Upcoming Events

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A Celebration of Mozart

Lincoln Center
February 15, 2020 | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm

The Billings Symphony Chorale joins the orchestra to pay homage to one of the classical music’s greatest composers, with Mozart’s Requiem and Symphony No. 35.

Mozart’s Requiem
The Requiem was secretly commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg to commemorate the passing of his wife. Once Mozart received the first half of his commission—paid by messenger—he began writing, never knowing who he was writing for. Incredibly ill at the time, Mozart is said to have been convinced he was writing the Requiem for his own funeral. Indeed, he passed away on December 5, 1791, at the age of 35, leaving the work unfinished. Mozart’s wife recruited his student, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, to complete the Requiem in secrecy, and 100 days after Mozart’s death, it was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg. Many believe von Walsegg tried to pass it off as his own work, as he was known to do. However, Mozart’s wife was very vocal about the commissioned project and was able to quash his claim.

Mozart’s Symphony No. 35
Also known as the Haffner Symphony, Symphony No. 35 was Mozart’s second work commissioned by the Haffner family of Salzburg, Austria. After the success of his Haffner Serenade for the wedding of Marie Elizabeth Haffner, the family again sought Mozart to commemorate the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner the Younger. This second Haffner serenade was later reworked by Mozart into a full symphony, making its debut performance as Symphony No. 35 on March 23, 1783, at Vienna’s Burg Theatre.

Upcoming Events

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Family Concert: Flat Stanley

Lincoln Center
January 25, 2020 | 12:00 pm
Adventures in Music Day
Billings Public Library | 9:30 am – 11:45 pm

Flat Stanley travels the globe with the orchestra! Discover the cultures of the world through musical stories, instruments, and songs, featuring the return of Tim Marrone.

Where we feature music from all parts of the world! Selections include classics: Glière’s Russian Sailor’s Dance, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5, Offenbach’s Can-Can, and Copland’s famous “Hoe-Down” from Rodeo. 

First published in the 1960s, Flat Stanley is a classic, fun tale of a boy with a difference. The story is timeless and still just as relevant – with its messages of acceptance, jealousy and good versus evil – in the modern world. As Arthur learns to understand his brother’s situation and the family adapts to this new version of Stanley, children see that being different or standing out from the crowd is not always easy.

Tim Marrone
Tim Marrone received his training at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City and has appeared on stage throughout the Northeast, most recently in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. For ten years, Tim served as a founding member of the Maryland-based clown/theatre troupe Theatricks. He has appeared as a silent comic character for the Washington National Opera, The Maryland Lyric Opera, The Summer Opera Series at Catholic University, and has toured as a clown with the George Carden Circus. Tim has co-written and performed productions with: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra; The Lafayette Symphony Orchestra; The Billings Symphony Orchestra; The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; The Lincoln Symphony Orchestra; The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Ever want to test out a trombone? Beat on the drum or pluck on a bass? Adventures in Music Day and the Instrument Petting Zoo is the perfect opportunity to try them out. This event is FREE to the public! Thanks to Eckroth Music, Hansen Music, Kirk’s House of Music,  Billings Public Library, and Galt String Gallery for making this day possible!

Upcoming Events

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Celtic Christmas

Lincoln Center
December 21, 2019 | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm

Back by popular demand, award-winning Jeremy Kittel, Billings’ favorite fiddler, violinist, and Celtic-influenced composer, is bringing some friends to celebrate the Holiday season.

Jeremy Kittel
An American violinist and fiddler, Jeremy Kittel just received a Grammy nomination for best arrangement /composition. He has been placed in the community alongside many prevalent composers such as Alan Silvestri and John Williams. Fluent in multiple music genres, Kittel composes original music that draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, classical, electronic and more.

Kittel performs with his group, Kittel & Co., as a soloist with orchestras, and in collaborative and supporting roles with many of today’s leading artists. He has worked with Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, My Morning Jacket, Aoife O’Donovan, Jars of Clay, and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He was also a part of the Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet for 5 years.

This is Jeremy Kittel’s second appearance with the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, having performed in December 2015’s Celtic Christmas.

Quinn Bachand
Kittel & Co.’s guitarist Quinn Bachand began performing the acoustic guitar around the world at age 11. By 17 he played over a dozen different instruments, recording and producing albums with his sister Qristina. The duo quickly rose to the top of the international Celtic music world, and together they have won two Irish Music Awards: 2010 Top Traditional Group and 2011 Top Duo.

With diverse musical talents and a bottomless pool of creativity, Bachand has been dubbed the “Young Lion” of the Celtic guitar (Daniel Lapp) and “Canada’s top Celtic guitarist” (Ashley MacIsaac). His contemporary edge to traditional Celtic music has sparked worldwide attention. An in-demand sideman, Bachand has toured nationally and internationally. He is also the frontman of the gypsy jazz band Brishen, singing and playing lead guitar, violin, and tenor banjo.

Cillian Vallely
Cillian Vallely is the uilleann pipes and low whistle player of the renowned Irish band Lúnasa described as “the hottest Celtic band on the planet” (Irish Voice). In recent years, he has played and recorded with Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Merchant, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tim O’Brien, and Riverdance, in addition to recording as a guest on over 50 albums. With Lúnasa, he has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Glastonbury Festival, WOMADelaide, Edmonton Folk Festival, as well as multiple tours of Asia, Australia, the US, and Europe. “Vallely, whose family has played a seminal role in piping and Irish music in the north of Ireland for years, shows why he is one of the most respected pipers playing today” (Irish Voice).

Erin Small
Erin Small is a prominent teacher, conductor, and performer within the Billings community. She is an elementary music teacher for the Billings district, and joyfully serves over 750 children per week. She is also the director of Yellowstone Valley Voices, which is an advanced choral program for young singers throughout the valley. Over the last decade, Erin has performed with various local organizations such as; Venture Theatre, Billings Studio Theatre, Rimrock Opera and the High Plains Chamber Singers. In 2016, she made her debut with the Billings Symphony performing as a guest artist for the Holiday Pops performance. She is thrilled to perform once again and considers it an honor to work with such amazing musicians.

Elizabeth (“Zee”) Ní Bhraonáin, TCRG
Elizabeth (“Zee”) Ní Bhraonáin is a registered Irish dance teacher, certified by the Irish Dancing Commission (Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha). She grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and started her dancing career at the age of six, learning her first steps from Annie McBride, an internationally-known San Francisco dancing master. Zee has performed with artists such as the Black Brothers, Tempest, and Ari Dro, and has competitively danced at the highest local, regional and national levels. She taught as an assistant teacher with the McBride school from 2007-2013; receiving her teaching credential in December 2012. In 2013, she put down roots for her Irish dancing school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and, since then, has choreographed dancing for events with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Frederick Meijer Gardens and the Dogwood Performing Arts Center. Zee’s competitive success continues with her students, who include top-ten regional champions and the reigning Mid-America Regional Under-10 Mixed Ceili Champions

Jacqueline Curtis Low, ADCRG/Claddagh Irish Dance Academy
Dublin, Ireland native Jacqueline Curtis Low started dancing at the age of 9 and immediately fell in love with it. After 25 years of teaching dance professionally in Ireland, Jacqueline and her husband relocated to Billings, where she opened the Claddagh Irish Dance Academy in 2014. In addition to being the teacher, artistic director, and choreographer of her school, Jacqueline is a member of the largest Irish dance organizations in the world—Comhdháil na Múinteoirí le Rincí Gaelacha Teoranta (Congress of Irish Dance Teachers)—and currently serves as Chairperson of the Branch of the Americas.

The Claddagh Irish Dance Academy encourages and promotes the art and practice of traditional and authentic Irish Dancing. Jacqueline prepares her pupils for feiseanna (competitions), displays, and shows. In recent years the Claddagh Dancers have been busy with numerous performances, entertaining and wowing audiences with their traditional and contemporary dance routines. Visit claddaghirishdance.com to learn more about the Academy, upcoming performances or available classes!

Upcoming Events

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Holiday Tour of Homes

Various Locations around Billings
December 7, 2019 | 10 am-3 pm
Tickets: $25

Celebrate the spirit of the Holidays with our 15th annual Holiday Tour of Homes. Local families open their beautifully decorated homes for this self-guided tour.

 

 

The tour features festively decorated locations throughout Billings. All stops will feature music provided by the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale members and students of Billings Youth Orchestra. All proceeds benefit the BSO&C.

 

Check back for updates!

Upcoming Events

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The Nutcracker

Lincoln Center
November 30, 2019 | 2:00 pm
November 30, 2019 | 7:00 pm
December 1, 2019 | 2:00 pm

Join us for this Billings Symphony Thanksgiving weekend tradition!  The Nutcracker is performed by the San Diego Ballet.

More than 100 local child singers and dancers take the stage for this charming Thanksgiving weekend tradition. With its signature theatrics and beloved choreography, the San Diego Ballet delivers a light-hearted interpretation of this holiday classic that is expressive and dramatic. Principal dancers are seasoned professionals who bring strong brilliant technique, expressive artistry and high energy to this well-loved ballet. Audiences easily connect with their inspired performances to Peter Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed live by the Billings Symphony Orchestra in the pit below the stage.

 

San Diego Ballet Company
was founded in 1990 by Robin Morgan and featuring strong contemporary ballets created by award-winning, resident choreographer, Javier Velasco. San Diego Ballet has collaborated with many organizations including the SD Symphony, SD Opera, SD Chamber Orchestra, SD Camarada, Grossmont Symphony, SD Culture Shock, and SD Dance Theater during their seasons.  SDB is also a touring company to the Midwest and Southwestern states and has been voted #1 dance troupe by The Reader’s poll of the SD Union/Tribune, Signonsandiego.com, City Beat, BestOf San Diego.com., and the only Nutcracker in San Diego included in CBS-Los Angeles top picks of “So Cal’s 5 Best Nutcrackers!”

San Diego Ballet’s large varied repertoire which continues to enjoy growth and critical acclaim with original pieces such as Mambomania (music of Perez Prado), Luna Lunera (with poetry of Garcia Lorca and music composed by David Burge), Opus Swing (to music of Ellington, Miller and Goodman), Sweet Dreams (to the music of Patsy Cline),The Brontes, (a musical based on the lives of the three historical sisters), Sweet Synergy (to jazz music composed by Charles McPherson) and Ritmos Latinos. Balanchine’s works include Serenade, Concerto Barroco, and Rubies. More classical pieces include Nutcracker, Paquita, Firebird, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Seven Beauties, Romeo & Juliet, Alice & Wonderland, Don Juan and Giselle.

Touted as a “model in its field,” San Diego Ballet’s educational outreach program works to reach students through in-school performances, lessons, curriculum guides for teachers, scholarships and benefit theater performances. More than 300,000 children have been served since 1995. SDB travels all over San Diego City & County to help promote dance appreciation for children and working with Young Audiences and many others to provide Student Benefit Performances for K-12 and In-School Performances providing a peek into the world of the dancer-in-training.

Robin Sherertz Morgan | Artistic Director
A native of San Diego, Ms. Morgan began her dancing career with the original San Diego Ballet under the guidance of Richard Carter and Nancy Johnson and later Jillana.   She was awarded a full Ford Foundation Scholarship to the School of American Ballet, New York City Ballet’s school and later danced with NYCB under the direction of George Balanchine, toured NY with Suki Schorer’s NYCB’s Lecture Ensemble, and performed in the Virgin Islands with Helgi Tomasson and Kay Mazzo NYCB Troupe.

Returning to San Diego, Ms. Morgan developed her reputation first as a notable dancer and later as a teacher in many local studios.  After turning down a contract with PNB to stay in SD she served on the faculty of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Chula Vista, as an officer for the San Diego Dance Alliance, and was Rehearsal Assistant for San Francisco Ballet’s San Diego productions of Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.  Ms. Morgan has choreographed dances for various theater groups as well as network television, including an NBC-TV movie.  She gives master classes at studios, summer programs, and universities and was honored by the San Diego Area Dance Alliance for her leadership in the dance community.

In 1989, she founded the San Diego School of Ballet, developing talented dancers and presenting successful student performances.  San Diego Ballet was established in 1990 to provide graduating students the opportunity to remain in San Diego and work alongside other professional dancers who want to live and work in the beautiful city of San Diego.

Javier Velasco | Artistic Director
Javier Velasco has supplied dances for productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, and has a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Repertory Theatre, where he has staged productions of A Christmas Carol, Cabaret, Hairspray, Tommy, In the Heights, Evita and many others. He has enjoyed many long creative relationships, having worked with: Luis Valdez on the 20th Anniversary production of Zoot Suit, Bandido, and Corridos.; composer Steve Gunderson on the premieres of Suds (nyc) Dixie Highway, Back to Bacharach, David (nyc), Everybody’s Talkin, and The House of Dreams.

Mr. Velasco currently serves as artistic director of the San Diego Ballet, having created over 70 original pieces for the company since its inception, including 10 pieces in collaboration with composer David Burge, to commissioned scores. His ballet set to the poems of Kenneth Fearing, LOVE: 20 cents the first quarter-mile, was given the award for Best Choreography by the San Diego Area Dance Alliance, the third time he was honored by the organization and his Mambomania won Grand Prize at the 1st Palm Desert Dance Festival.  More recently, Mr. Velasco was awarded a Creative Catalyst Fellowship by the San Diego Foundation to create new works for SDB company with jazz great, Charles McPherson.

School of Classical Ballet
Since 1970, the School of Classical Ballet in Billings, Montana, has offered high-quality dance education to dancers of all ages.  Students who have trained at SCB have gone on to prestigious summer programs, high-quality colleges and universities, and professional dance companies.

Betty Loos | Co-Director
Betty Loos directed her own school for six years before co-founding the School of Classical Ballet with former business partner Jana Stockton.  Betty received her early training from June Austin and Hungarian teachers Ildiko Perjessy and Angela Mc Alpin in Billings, MT.  She continued her training at the University of Utah under the direction of William Christiansen, and at the Teachers’ Training Program through the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and National Ballet of Canada. She has furthered her training through numerous intensive workshops with teachers such as David Howard, Fredbjorn Bjornson, and Conrad Ludlow.  She was awarded a teacher’s fellowship to attend the National Ballet of Canada. Former students have danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theater, Smuin Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, David Taylor, and apprenticed with the National Ballet of Canada. Betty has also trained in modern dance with Ririe Woodbury, Mark Morris, Bill T. Jones, Doug Varone, and Sandra Neels.

Betty has also served as a Founder, Co-Director and choreographer with the Billings children’s community dance company, Motion Arts Dance Company (MADCO) started fall of 2012.

Julia Marble | Primary Instructor
Julia Marble graduated from the National Academy of the Arts, in Champaign-Urbana, IL. While there, she was fortunate to train with Lupe Serrano, Christine Hennesy, Corey Winthrop, Michael Maule, Anthony Valdor and Gwynn Ashton. She attended the Cornish Institute of the Allied Arts in Seattle, WA. studying with Pat Hon, Noelle Mason, and others. She later moved to New York City to further her training under many great teachers. Ballet: from Marjorie Mussman, Finis Jhung; Modern: with Mary Hinkson (Graham), Milton Myers (Horton), and at the Cunningham and Limon Studios; Jazz: from various studios including the American Dance Machine Intensives with Buzz Miller, Lee Theodore, and Gemsi DeLappe. She continued special training with studies in Pilates at the Carole Treir Studio and in early-childhood development to enhance her teaching skills with younger children. She received instruction from Seattle’s Anne Green Gilbert and through another youth program in Atlanta called “Tempo, Level, Energy, and Shape”.

She danced professionally as a member of the Matthews-Masters Dance Company (Directors: Gary Masters and Fred Mathews), Sue Bernhardt and Dancers, and with many other modern dance groups in NYC.

The Nutcracker
The story takes place at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Stalhbaum and their children, Clara and Fritz during the 19th century.  One of the guests at their Christmas party is Clara’s godfather, Drosselmeyer, and his nephew.  After bringing life-like dolls to entertain the children, he presents Clara with a Nutcracker doll that she immediately falls in love with but Fritz snatches the doll away and it breaks.  Drosselmeyer fixes the Nutcracker, and everyone joins in a dance led by Clara’s Grandfather which brings the party to an end.

After everyone has gone to bed, Clara sneaks down to retrieve her Nutcracker but instead finds her brother’s empty rat cage. Suddenly, the escaped rats turn giant-size and as the clock strikes midnight, they steal her Nutcracker doll and everything in her house begins to change. The Christmas tree grows gigantic and Clara, grief-stricken over the loss of her doll, watches her Nutcracker now transformed into a Prince lead the battle against the rats along with life-size toy soldiers.  Just as he is to receive a fatal wound Clara saves him by hitting the Rat King on the head with her shoe. The Prince invites Clara to visit the candy kingdom as a reward for saving his life.

First Clara and the Prince journey through the snow and after watching the Snow King and Snow Queen dance, they finally arrive in the Land of the Sweets, where they are greeted and entertained by the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy and her retinue.

Upcoming Events

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An American Landscape: A Chorale Concert

St. Patrick Co-Cathedral
November 16, 2019 | 7:30 pm
November 17, 2019 | 3:00 pm

Join the Billings Symphony Chorale and listen as their powerful voices fill the beautiful St. Patrick Co-Cathedral under the direction of Dr. Steven Hart.

The program includes traditional shaker and spiritual melodies, and Randall Thompson’s Frostiana. The Massachusetts town of Amherst commissioned Thompson to write a piece commemorating its bicentennial in 1959. Amherst, known for its association with Robert Frost, suggested using poems written by Frost. Frost and Thompson knew each other for some time and admired each other’s artistry. It was decided that Frostiana would be a setting of Frost’s poetry, chosen by Thompson for the occasion.

Upcoming Events

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2019-2020 Special Events

 

Whiskey & Wine

09.12.2019

Enjoy samples from the top Whiskey and Wine distributors in Montana, while listening to performances from BSO&C members. All proceeds benefit the BSO&C This event is part of NxNW, a collective collaboration of local arts and culture, Sept 12-22.
Purchase TicketsLearn More

 

 

A Tribute to Ballets Russes

Celebrate the famous Ballets Russes with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”,  featuring the return of former BSO&C intern violinist and MASO winner, Rosie Weiss.

 

Rosie Weiss
Rosie Weiss is a violinist and fiddler who grew up near Billings, Montana. Fluent in multiple musical genres, she strives to break down barriers between musical traditions. Her training began with Suzuki violin at the age of 3, with teachers Laura Dalbey and Vikki Payne. Randy Tracy, the concertmaster of the Billings Symphony, later became her primary teacher and mentor. Angela Ahn (of the Ahn Trio), cellist John Kirk, Peter Zazofsky (of the Muir String Quartet), and pianists Amanda Olson, LeeHancock, and Ann Tappan also played significant roles in her pre-college education.

Rosie received a full scholarship to attend the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where she is currently pursuing a violin performance degree with Scott Flavin. At Frost, she performs with two orchestras, including the highly acclaimed Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and a wide variety of small ensembles; and has been a finalist in the school-wide concerto and ensemble competitions. Recently, Rosie recorded on the Grammy Award-winning album, “American Dreamers: Voices of Hope, Music of Freedom” by the John Daversa Big Band. She recently won the 15th Biennial MASO Young Artist Competition, college division.

Krista Leigh Pasini
(choreographer)

Krista Leigh Pasini is a classically trained dance artist and postmodern choreographer working with somatically informed performative inquiries, historiography, and movement ontology research. Her research weds extensive technical training with poetic gestural patterning, which she integrates into her role as an educator and choreographic collaborator. As co-director of HaltForce Art Collective LLC—currently based in Eastern Montana—Krista facilitates and produces performance-driven artist residencies and education. Pasini’s creative versatility blends dance, performance art, theater into site-specific events and immersive installations. Krista is a University Honors Scholar with a BFA in History from Montana State University–Billings, and presently an MFA candidate at Goddard College pursuing a master’s in fine arts in Interdisciplinary Art.

Erica Gionfriddo (dancer)
Erica Gionfriddo is a dance artist, educator, and somatic researcher who believes in the intelligent body each of us occupies. She is the co-founder of ARCOS Dance, whose ongoing inquiry probes the intersection of technology and humanity through rigorous interdisciplinary experimentation. Erica’s extensive experience as a GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® trainer guides her pedagogical methodology, which she brings in her capacity as lecturer in dance at the University of Texas at Austin and as a national teaching artist. Erica holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Shenandoah Conservatory and is currently an MFA candidate at Hollins University.

Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes, founded by impresario Sergei Diaghilev, was the premier ballet company in Paris from 1909 to his death in 1929. Diaghilev’s revolutionary collaborations promoted young artists, choreographers, dancers, and composers. The works commissioned by Ballets Russes have procured some of the most memorable and awe-inspiring art of the time. Artists and composers commissioned by Diaghilev include Coco Channel, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, and Claude Debussy.

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
Stravinsky’s third full-ballet commission for the Ballets Russes (The Firebird Suite, 1910, and Petruska, 1911), The Rite of Spring tells the pagan tale of the advent of spring and the sacrifice of a young girl who dances herself to death.

Its premiere, at the Théâtre de Champs-Elysées on May 29, 1913, caused a scandal. It was not just Stravinsky’s primordial, elemental music, nor Vaslav’s Nijinsky’s exotic choreography, nor Nicholas Roerich’s bizarre settings that prompted the near-riot that ensued in the theatre. There were anti-Russian, anti-Diaghilev and anti-Nijinsky factions at work in Paris, determined to disrupt proceedings before a note of music had been heard.

When first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on May 29, 1913, the avant-garde nature of the Stravinsky’s score and Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography caused a sensation (by now-disputed claims, a riot). Although designed as a work for the stage, Stravinsky’s music achieved equal, if not greater, recognition as a concert piece, and is widely considered to be one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.

Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Claude Debussy’s 1894 symphonic poem was inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem L’après-midi d’un faune, which tells the story of a faun trying to recall whether his memory of two beautiful nymphs is real or a dream.

French composer Pierre Boulez considered Prelude as the beginning of modern music and a turning point in the history of music. Nearly two decades later, as part of the Ballets Russes’ 1912 Paris season, Vaslav Nijinsky translated Mallarmé’s poem to dance, using Debussy’s symphonic poem for the music. The more common version known today was choreographed by Jerome Robbins in 1958.

Upcoming Events

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A 1920’s Evening

Lincoln Center
September 21, 2019 | 7:30 pm
Concert Cues | 6:45 pm
Spend a jazz-inspired opening night with Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, featuring American composer and pianist, Conrad Tao. This event is part of NxNW, a collective collaboration of local arts and culture, Sept 12-22.

 

Conrad Tao
Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, performing to acclaim from critics and audiences alike. His accolades and awards include being a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a YoungArts gold medal-winner in music, a Gilmore Young Artist, an Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, and a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist. The former prodigy continues to emerge as a mature, thoughtful and thought-provoking artist, confidently pushing boundaries as a leading performer, composer, curator, and commissioner, championing new music while continuing to present core repertoire in a new light.

In 2018-19, Tao makes his performance debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra, and his 2018-19 season begins with the World Premiere of Everything Must Go, commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, as well as the inauguration of their new Nightcap series. He makes his LA Opera debut in the West Coast premiere of David Lang’s, the loser, where he plays the onstage role of the apparition and memory of Glenn Gould. In January 2019, Tao and dancer-choreographer Caleb Teicher continue to develop More Forever as part of Guggenheim’s Works & Process series.

Tao continues to perform concertos with orchestras around the world including returns to the Swedish Radio, San Diego, Baltimore, Pacific, and Colorado Symphonies, as well as with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa. Conrad also performs duo chamber music concerts with violinist Stefan Jackiw, including a debut performance at 92Y, ensemble engagements with the JCT Trio around the world, as well as solo recital programs.

Tao’s career as composer has garnered eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the Carlos Surinach Prize from BMI, and he has been commissioned by the Dallas Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Washington Performing Arts Society, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and others. Tao is a Warner Classics recording artist, and his first two albums Voyages and Pictures have been praised by NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, and many more.

An American in Paris
In the spring of 1928, George Gershwin took his fifth trip to Europe. Before departing, he made sketches for an orchestral piece requested by conductor Walter Damrosch for the fledgling New York Philharmonic. (This was his second Damrosch commission; the first having been the 1925 Piano Concerto in F). During Gershwin’s travels, the sketches developed into what would become one of his most popular works—the amiable tone poem, An American in Paris. Gershwin actually was an American in Paris for part of that time, and his brother Ira reported that the entire “blues” section of the piece was composed in the Hotel Majestic in that city.

Gershwin’s interpretation of Paris in the 1920s was heavily influenced by the sounds of the city. He was so taken with the sounds of Parisian taxi horns; he brought some back with him and gave them a prominent position in his new piece. Gershwin completed An American in Paris just four weeks before its scheduled December 13, 1928 premiere at Carnegie Hall. While the audience loved it, Gershwin wasn’t completely satisfied with Damrosch’s interpretation, thinking his tempos were sluggish and dragging. Some critics, despite finding it better crafted than the Concerto in F, didn’t believe it belonged on a classical program. Gershwin responded to the critics, “It’s not a Beethoven Symphony, you know… It’s a humorous piece, nothing solemn about it. It’s not intended to draw tears. If it pleases symphony audiences as a light, jolly piece, a series of expressions musically expressed, it succeeds.”

Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major
Ravel began formulating a plan for what would become his Piano Concerto in G Major in 1906 while he was traveling Europe and the United States. Due to other projects he had going at the time, he couldn’t continue working on it until 1929. He was surprised that few Americans were influenced by the jazzy sounds prevalent in Paris at the time.

His original plan was to perform the piece himself upon completion. Unfortunately, his declining health prevented him from doing so. He reached out to French pianist, teacher, and friend, Marguerite Long, to play in his stead. She eagerly agreed. Soon after the premiere in January 1932, with the Orchestre Lamoureaux, Ravel and Long embarked on a lengthy tour across Europe where they and the piano concerto were well received. Ravel would later dedicate his Piano Concerto in G Major to Long. The American premiere took place in two locations simultaneously on April 22, 1932, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Upcoming Events

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Whiskey & Wine

September 12, 2019 | 6 pm – 9 pm
Tickets: $40

Enjoy the last moments of summer while tasting fine whiskey and wine from Montana’s top distributors. Listen to live music by the Billings Symphony musicians, and indulge in hors d’ oeuvres provided by the Northern Hotel!

Montana’s top distributors gather at Henry’s Garage (12 Garden Ave,  Billings MT) for a tasting like no other in Billings. Guests enjoy samples of the region’s finest whiskey and wines provided by City Vineyard, Winegardners Wines, Geroge’s Distributing, Intermountain Distributing, Hayden Sprits, and Eagle Beverage.

Light hors d ‘oeuvres provided by the Northern Hotel.

 

 

Sponsorships are still available!

Single Barrel Sponsor: $750
Sponsorship includes logo located on all advertising (posters, eblasts, social media, & website). The logo will also be listed on all tickets and predominantly placed on signage at the venue, recognition from stage, featured on a Thank You slide in the September concert slide show, and 6 tickets to the event. Sponsors at this level have the opportunity to bring company banner to display at the event and any giveaways at the registration table.

Sommelier Sponsor: $500
Sponsorship includes text recognition on all advertising (posters, eblasts, social media), logo on website, and signage at the venue, recognition from stage, featured on a Thank You slide in the September concert slide show, and 4 tickets to the event. Sponsors at this level also have an opportunity to bring giveaways to at the registration table.

Corked Sponsor: $250
Sponsorship includes text recognition on the BSO&C website, social media, signage at the venue, featured on a Thank You slide in the September slideshow, and 2 tickets to the event.

Upcoming Events

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2019-2020 Season

A 1920’s Evening

09.21.2019

September 21, 2019 | 7:30 pm Spend a jazz-inspired opening night with Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, featuring American composer and pianist, Conrad Tao. This event is part of NxNW, a collective collaboration of local arts and culture, Sept 12-22.
Purchase TicketsLearn More

A Tribute to Ballets Russes

11.02.2019

November 2, 2019 | 7:30 pm Celebrate the famous Ballets Russes with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”,  featuring the return of former BSO&C intern violinist and MASO winner, Rosie Weiss.
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Celtic Christmas

12.21.2019

December 21, 2019 | 7:30 pm Back by popular demand, award-winning Jeremy Kittel, Billings’ favorite fiddler, violinist, and Celtic-influenced composer, is bringing some friends to celebrate the Holiday season.
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A Celebration of Mozart

02.15.2020

February 15, 2020 | 7:30 pm The Billings Symphony Chorale joins the orchestra to pay homage to one of the classical music’s greatest composers, with Mozart’s Requiem and Symphony No. 35.
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Rachmaninoff

04.18.2020

April 18, 2020 | 7:30 pm The symphony season ends with one of the finest pianists of his generation and the last great Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Purchase TicketsLearn More

 

 

 

2019 MASO Young Artist Competition

Every two years, Montana music students compete for opportunities to play with Montana’s Symphony Orchestras’ and win cash prizes.
The 2019 Young Artists Competition is open to musicians ages 13 through 22 to perform a work for solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment.

Start Rehearsing,
Win Cash Prizes!

Junior Division $450 Prize
(Ages 13 through 15)

Senior Division $650 Prize
(Ages 16 through high school Graduate)

College Division $1,000 Prize
(Post high school through age 22)

Mark Your Calendar
Application deadline: Postmarked no later than Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Competition at MSU Bozeman: Saturday, January 12, 2019

Get your Application Here!

Auditions

There are several ways that you can be involved with The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. We welcome your participation in one or more of the following opportunities and look forward to having you as part of our organization and our community.

Announcing auditions for the 2019-2020 season
Sunday, April 14, 2019
2019 Audition Rep List
2019 Application

Job Postings:

None available at this time.

Openings in:

Assistant Concertmaster (email personnel@billingssymphony.org to audition)
Principal Bassoon
Principal Percussion
Principal Tuba
Principal Harp – candidate must provide own harp
Section Flute/Piccolo – primarily second with obligation to piccolo*
Section Trumpet – rotating between 2nd and 3rd*
Section Violin
Section Cello
Section Bass
Substitutes in all sections

2019-2020 Repertoire Includes:

Gershwin’s American In Paris
Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring,
Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 and Requiem
Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2

The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is a part time, per service orchestra.  There are currently 40 services in 2019-2020 concert season. but the number of services offered to each player are determined by orchestration.   *Wind rotation and part assignment is determined by the principal.  See the audition application for schedule and instrumentation to determine the number of services per musician.

Per service rates for 2019-2020 are as follows:

  • Principal and Assistant Concertmaster $80/service
  • Non-string section $64/service
  • Section string $56/service
  • Intern (high school) $40/service

A travel stipend (.42/ mile up to $400 per concert or airfare reimbursement up to $400) and homestay lodging is also provided for out of town musicians.  No per diem is provided.  Musicians are responsible for their ground transportation while in Billings.

Tenured members are expected to perform all subscription concerts in a season for which there is need for their position.  If there is a conflict, 1 concert per year will be excused for principal and 2 for section players.  Substitutes are contracted on an annual basis.

 

Audition procedure

Applicants (except for assistant concertmaster) should send the audition application to auditions@billingssymphony.org as soon as possible and not later than Thursday, April 4, 2019. Audition slots are limited and may be closed before that date if full.  Discounted hotel rates may be available – contact the BSO&C office for more information.

Tenured membership is available to both residents and non-residents of Billings. The Billings Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra and all musicians must successfully complete a double-blind (“behind the screen”) audition prior to engagement. Double-blind auditions are held with the auditionee performing behind a screen where s/he cannot see the audition committee and in the same fashion, the audition committee does not know her/his identity.

Please note:  For assistant and section positions (i.e., all non-principal positions), preference will be given to qualified musicians living within 250 miles of Billings.  The Assistant Concertmaster position is a principal level position. Qualified musicians are defined as musicians who have passed into the final round of auditions. Musicians seriously considering relocating to Billings should indicate this on their application.  All information will be shared anonymously.

All auditions for tenured positions must take place in person. Tenured auditions are held behind the screen and may or may not have two rounds. Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S.

If you are interested in a substitute-only audition you may elect to submit an online audition via YouTube link. Please note that acceptance to the Billings Symphony Orchestra’s Substitute and Extra list does not guarantee employment.

Thank you for your interest in the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale!

About the Billings Symphony Orchestra

The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is widely regarded as one of the finest orchestras in the region. Many different talents and skills are needed to provide management and support for this cultural treasure.  The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale is an equal opportunity employer.

The Billings Symphony Orchestra is a part-time per service professional orchestra offering tenured membership to its players. The Orchestra performs a six-concert subscription series, an annual Family concert, The Nutcracker, a free outdoor concert, several run-out concerts, chamber music concerts and educational outreaches.

Move to Montana!

Many of our musicians have moved to the area because of the beauty of the landscape, the quality of life, and the unique culture of our community.  The Montana/Wyoming area offers many opportunities to professional musicians, including performance opportunities in several orchestras, extensive chamber music and Symphony outreach opportunities and many opportunities for private teaching.  There is an especially strong need for bassoon, cello and bass private teachers in the area.

About Living in Billings

Chorale Auditions

Check back for dates and times of auditions. Audition are held at The Lincoln Center and are by appointment only. Please contact Candy candy@billingssymphony.org to schedule your audition.

Auditonees are required to perform one solo vocal literature (classical only), an complete a vocal range. An accompanist will be provided. Please bring 2 copies of the solo vocal material.

The Billings Symphony Chorale welcomes new singers. Rehearsals take place Monday evenings from 7-9 pm, and auditions are scheduled throughout the year. Contact the Billings Symphony office to schedule an audition.

 

 

 

International Spy Gala

Break out your poodle skirts & saddle shoes & join us at the hop, for our Annual Gala, The Fabulous 50’s!

Start the night with cocktail hour in Bernie’s, the Northern Hotel’s authentic 1950’s diner. Then head upstairs to the Grand Ballroom for a 50’s inspired formal dinner followed by dancing with music provided by the Midlife Chryslers!

Single Tickets and Tables are available (see below for details).

Help us continue to enrich lives through music by purchasing your tickets today!
The BSO&C performs over 90 outreaches each year benefiting our community. These outreaches  include nursing home and school visits, community programs to lower income areas, and so much more!
Thank you for your continued support and unyielding generosity!
For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Sandy Contesano at 406-294-3713 or sandy@billingssymphony.org

 

Live Auction Packages:

 

Sponsor Opportunities:

$10,000 (can be shared, $5,000 each)

Benefits include: logo predominately displayed on everything that goes out for the event from start to finish. This includes save-the-date cards, spring playbill, slide before each concert, invitations, television, Billings Gazette ads, posters, and any additional advertising acquired leading up to event. At event, logo predominately displayed on all posters and signage throughout venue, recognition from stage, logo recognition in event
program, online & social media. Includes VIP Reserved table of 8 at Gala with name/logo recognition at table.

$3,500 ( 2 available)

Benefits include: logo placement on stage, in event program, advertising, online & social media, recognition from stage. Includes VIP Reserved table of 8 at Gala with name/logo recognition at table

$3,500 (can be shared $1,750)

Benefits include: Logo placement on Bar, on drink tickets for guests, in advertising, online, social media & recognition from stage. Includes VIP Reserved table of 8 (4 for each sponsor) at Gala with name/logo
recognition at table.

$2,500

Benefits include: logo/name predominately displayed in ballroom, recognition from stage, logo recognition in event program, advertising, online, & social media. Includes VIP Reserved table of 8 at Gala with name/logo
recognition at table.

$2,500

Benefits include: Logo placement in centerpiece, in ballroom, online, social media, & recognition from stage. Includes 8 tickets to Gala.

$1,750

Benefits include: Private lunch with Maestra Anne Harrigan, seating with Anne at Gala, recognition online, social media, & from stage. Includes 2 tickets to Gala. (lunch to be coordinated directly with Anne)

$1,000

Benefits include: Logo placement on program, online, social media, & recognition from stage. Includes 2 tickets to Gala.

$750

Benefits include: Logo placement on invitations, online, social media & recognition from stage.
Includes 2 tickets to Gala.

Table Sponsorship Options:


$1,500

Recognition at table, in program & from stage, name recognition online. Includes 8 tickets to Gala.


$750

Recognition at table, in program & from stage, name recognition online. Includes 4 tickets to Gala.

 

 

Beethoven & Brahms

Single tickets on sale NOW!

Brian Ganz

Brian Ganz is regarded internationally as one of the leading pianists of his generation. “One comes away from a Brian Ganz recital not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.” Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post.

Mr. Ganz is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studied with Leon Fleisher.  He also studied with Ylda Novik and the late Claire Deene.  A gifted teacher, he has been Artist-in-Residence at St. Mary’s College of Maryland since 1986, and in 2000 joined the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory.  He has been honored to serve on numerous competition juries, including the Long-Thibaud Competition.

Mr. Ganz deems himself “an active explorer of the many ways in which the study and performance of great music can remind us of the Spirit that unites all living things.”  He has donated numerous performances in benefit concerts and was a founding member of the Washington Chapter of Artists to End Hunger. brianganz.net

Mozart’s Overture to II Re Pastore K 208

Written in just six weeks for its March 1775 premiere, Il Re Pastore (The Shepherd King) is a youthful work whose dramatic insignificance earned it the name of “serenade”—a type of dramatic cantata. The richness of its orchestration, its inexhaustible melodic inspiration and its dazzlingly ingenious score wonderfully foreshadows the then-19-years-old composer’s future works. Despite flat characters and Metastasio’s somewhat outdated and rather incredible libretto, this exquisite bucolic tale brims with energy, spirit and enthusiasm. The appearance of a quartet of lovers of somewhat dubious fidelity automatically puts a modern audience in mind of Così fan tutte. The principal psychological theme of the opera is, however, the demands of love against the demands of kingship, as Aminta, the shepherd-king, tussles with his conscience, and in this Il re pastore is closer in theme to Idomeneo than any other of Mozart’s operas.

Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto

Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 5, otherwise known as the Emperor Concerto, premiered on January 13, 1811 in Leipzig, Germany. It has grown in popularity over the years, becoming mandatory for any professional pianist to play.  The name Emperor Concerto was given by the English publisher Johann Baptist Cramer. It is doubtful that Beethoven would have approved of the name due to his immense dislike of Napoleon Bonaparte who invaded Vienna in 1808 when Beethoven was working on the concerto.

The Emperor Concerto is the last complete piano concerto Beethoven wrote.

Allegro

Adagio

Rondo

Brahms Symphony No. 1

Brahms Symphony No. 1 took nearly 15 years to complete. Brahms, like many composers of the era, felt the presence of Beethoven looming over him (even though Beethoven died six years before Brahms was born.) He made countless edits and revisions. Finally, at the urging of his friends and family he released it November 4, 1876 in Karlsruhe, Germany. The critics were instantly impressed, calling it Beethoven’s tenth. For Brahms, this was the highest praise he could have received.

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Symphony Royale

Enjoy the beloved music of the Royals with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3, Handel’s Water Suite, Vivaldi’s Credo in E minor, and more, Saturday, March 16 beginning at 7:30 pm at the Alberta Bair Theater, Concert Cues, an interactive discussion before the show begins at 6:45 pm.
Featuring the Billings Symphony Chorale

Tickets on sale NOW!

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Credo in E minor, RV 591

The Credo belongs to the large group of church works which Vivaldi composed in Venice between 1713 and 1717 for the Ospedale della Pietà, the convent and orphanage which was his primary place of employment. Written solely for choir and strings, the four-movement work is a companion piece to the Gloria, RV 588 (the less well-known of Vivaldi’s two settings).

Bach Brandenburg Concerto #3

The six Brandenburg Concertos—the “cold call” portfolio Bach dedicated and sent to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt in hopes of a job offer—give us a glimpse into the evolution of modern orchestral composition. In the Baroque era, a “concerto” wasn’t necessarily a virtuoso solo showpiece as we think of it today. The word frequently referred to a work in which musicians perform in concert (as a group). Concerto No. 3 was originally composed for three violins, three violas, three cellos, bass, and harpsichord. The nine upper strings serve as both concertino (soloists) and ripieno (accompanists), fluidly transitioning between roles throughout the piece.

The Water Suite

As King George I planned his July 17, 1717 barge party, he asked Handel to provide music in the form of an orchestra composition for about 50 musicians. Handel responded with Water Music, which, according to one eyewitness, engaged an ensemble of flutes, recorders, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, horns, violins, and basses. (Timpani were likely added after the limiting factor of a barge-borne performance was eliminated.) The king was so delighted with the new work that he asked to hear it over and over—for a total of four performances, lasting about an hour apiece.

Because Water Music was assembled and published posthumously as a complete collection, the order in which the Handel wished the various movements to be played remains uncertain. Instead, movements are grouped according to their keys and instrumentations, creating three shorter suites—in F major, in D major, and in G major.