Berkshire Symphony

Berkshire Symphony

Guest Conductor – Federico Cortese, Music Director and Conductor, the Boston Youth Symphony and Chamber Orchestra
There will be a pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall.

The Williams College Department of Music presents the Berkshire Symphony with guest conductor Federico Cortese on Friday, March 13, at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. There will also be a pre-concert talk with Maestro Cortese at 7:15 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. These free events are open to the public.

The Symphony will be presenting a program called “Paris” with Stravinsky’s Suite No. 2 for Small Orchestra, Mozart’s Symphony No. 31, K.297 (“Paris”), and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, op. 64.

Federico Cortese assumed the post of Music Director of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras in 1999. Mr. Cortese has conducted operatic and symphonic engagements throughout the United States, Australia and Europe. From 1998-2002, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa. In addition to his annual scheduled concerts, Mr. Cortese led the Boston Symphony several times on short notice in Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, most notably performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Mr. Cortese has conducted several prominent symphony orchestras, including Atlanta, Dallas, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and Oslo Philharmonic. Opera engagements have included, among others, Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Spoleto Festival in Italy and the United States, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Saint Louis Opera, the Finnish National Opera, Opera Australia, and the Washington Opera. Mr. Cortese has been music coordinator and associate conductor of the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He also served as Assistant Conductor to Robert Spano at the Brooklyn Philharmonic and to Daniele Gatti at the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Mr. Cortese studied composition and conducting at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome and subsequently studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. In addition, he has been a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Mr. Cortese also studied literature and humanities and holds a law degree from La Sapienza University in Rome.

The Berkshire Symphony includes nearly 70 members, half of whom are students and half of whom are professional musicians. The ensemble presents four major concerts each season. In addition to performing the great standards of orchestral repertoire a recurring theme each year is the performance of contemporary works. Championing the works of living American composers has been an integral part of the mission of the Berkshire Symphony.

The final program in the spring features the winners of the Berkshire Symphony Student Soloist Competition: Alicia Choi ’09, violin; Alexander Taylor ’10, clarinet; and Tiffany Yu ’12, piano. This event is a great showcase for the extraordinary talent at Williams College and is always a highlight of the season.