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This Weekend @ Concerts from the Library of Congress

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This Weekend @ Concerts from the Library of Congress

Jennifer Higdon by J. Henry Fair
Jennifer Higdon by J. Henry Fair

Saturday, March 7, 2015 – 8:00pm (Coolidge Auditorium)
Robert Spano, conductor
Roberto Díaz, viola
Rachel Sterrenberg, soprano

Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, leads the Curtis Chamber Orchestra in an exclusive Washington, DC appearance. Sensational violist Roberto Díaz premieres a new concerto by Jennifer Higdon, commissioned by the Library of Congress and the Curtis Institute, and Spano puts on his composer hat for a performance of his Hölderlin-Lieder. Known for playing with “great elegance and style” (The Washington Post), the orchestra rounds out the program with works by Prokofiev and Mozart. Free tickets required (advance tickets are sold out, RUSH tickets may be obtained beginning at 6:00pm on March 7).

PROKOFIEV Classical Symphony, op. 25
HIGDON Viola Concerto (World Premiere)
(Commissioned by the Library of Congress, with support from the family of Cameron and Jane Baird, and John J. Medveckis; the Curtis Institute of Music, with support from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia;
the Aspen Music Festival; and the Nashville Symphony)
SPANO Hölderlin Songs (World Premiere, Orchestral Version)
MOZART Symphony no. 41 in C major, KV 551 (“Jupiter”)

Pre-Concert Conversation with the Jennifer Higdon (6:30pm, LJ-119)
Program Notes

Presented in association with the family of Cameron and Jane Baird, John J. Medveckis, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, and the Embassy of Italy

Commemorating the 325th birthday of the “Tuscan-Medici” Viola

Viola by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1690, “Tuscan-Medici”
Originally part of an ensemble made for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando de Medici, this 1690 viola eventually was separated from its brethren and sold in 1803 to an Englishman in Florence. Over the next 100 years, the viola landed in France, returned to England, and eventually made its way to New York City through the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. In 1925 it was sold to Herbert N. Straus, a German whose family had founded the Macy’s department store empire. The “Tuscan-Medici” was purchased in 1957 by Cameron and Jane Baird. The Bairds were instrumental in bringing the Buffalo Philharmonic to prominence in the 1940s and 1950s. The couple sponsored chamber music concerts in Buffalo and were friends of the Budapest String Quartet. The viola has been on loan to the Music Division since 1977. The year 2015 marks the 325th birthday of the “Tuscan-Medici” viola.

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