The Williams College Department of Music presents the Berkshire Symphony in its first concert of the season, Friday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. There is also a pre-concert talk with conductor Ronald Feldman in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, adjacent to the lobby of Chapin Hall, beginning at 7:15 p.m. These events are free and open to the public.
The evening’s performance features pianist Doris Stevenson, Artist in Residence at Williams, and includes work by Beethoven, Paine, and Sibelius. Stevenson will perform
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37. Described by Gregor Piatigorsky as “an artist of the highest order,” Stevenson’s acute sensitivity and musicianship have made her a sought-after partner with some of the leading string musicians.
Also on the program is John Knowles Paine’s Overture to Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, op. 28. The overture was well received at its premiere in Boston in 1876. Though John Knowles Paine is relatively unknown to modern audiences, he was the first important American composer with thorough compositional training in the western classical tradition. He was also an important figure in music education, and was a founder of the music department at Harvard.
To finish the concert in grand style the Berkshire Symphony takes on Sibelius’s strikingly innovative Symphony No. 7. This work, completed in 1924, is notable for its single-movement structure.
About Doris Stevenson
Stevenson has won lavish praise from critics and public alike in performances around the world. She has soloed with the Boston Pops, played at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Salle Pleyel in Paris, Sala de Musica Arango in Bogota, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. She has performed with Gregor Piatigorsky, Ruggiero Ricci and Paul Tortelier, great players of the past. She was invited earlier in her career to perform with Heifetz and Piatigorsky in their chamber concerts. The list of distinguished artists she has performed with includes cellists Andre Navarra, Leslie Parnas and Gary Hoffman, violinists Charles Castleman and Elmar Olivera, violists Walter Trampler and Paul Neubauer and singers Kaaren Erickson and Catherine Malfitano. She is a founding member of the Sitka Summer Music Festival in Alaska and has toured throughout that state, playing in many remote Native Alaskan communities. She has participated in many chamber music festivals and has performed in 48 of the 50 states. This spring she performs with cellist Zuill Bailey at the Phillips Gallery in Washington D.C., at Bargemusic in New York and at Smith College. She plays a score of outreach concerts each season for the Piatigorsky Foundation in schools, libraries, prisons, and remote communities, bringing live classical music with commentary to people who wouldn’t otherwise hear it.
About the Berkshire Symphony
The Berkshire Symphony is a very special orchestra that offers an extraordinary opportunity for both student and professional musicians, as well as the audience. The Berkshire Symphony pairs Williams students with their teachers and mentors throughout the rehearsal period and season, exposing the students to a level of professionalism and discipline that is rare in an educational setting. At the same time, the students’ infectious enthusiasm contributes to the Berkshire Symphony’s remarkable energy and rich sound. This makes the Berkshire Symphony unique and very exciting.