CWSO Commences its 70th Season

October 13, 2018

On October 13 and 14, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra will commence its 70th season with a burst of energy and enthusiasm commemorating the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death in a performance of the exuberant “Overture to Barber of Seville.” Its familiarity to non-concert-goers evolved through popular culture outlets: it appeared in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, in the Beatles film, Help, and in an episode of the NBC sitcom, Seinfeld. 
In celebration of 70 years of music-making, CWSO commissioned Stacey Berk, principal oboist, to compose a brand new piece to honor the musicians, staff and central Wisconsin community that have supported the orchestra through the years. The piece, Reflections, is colorful and contemplative, alluding to earlier master works while showcasing modern instrumentation and compositional ideas. Stacey describes her work as “a celebration of CWSO and reflecting back on the 70 years that they have played all these great classic pieces and yet also bring my piece into the next 70 years in which I can utilize some more contemporary compositional techniques. Reflecting backward to look ahead to the future.” Berk holds the title of Professor of Oboe and Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, where she was awarded the 2009 University Excellence in Teaching Award. 
After this uplifting work, CWSO takes the listener through the ecstasy and turmoil of “Romeo and Juliet” commemorating the 125th anniversary of Tchaikovsky’s death. Tchaikovsky brings Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy to life evoking fiery fight scenes and a haunting love theme.
The concert will conclude with Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Sketches” from West Side Story to celebrate the centennial of his birth. West Side Story is an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in 1950’s working class New York. In 1961, Bernstein transplanted the music of West Side Story into a purely orchestral setting called Symphonic Dances which allowed its brilliant score to serve as a concert work. Bernstein’s score is energetic, and colored with Latin idioms, cool jazz, and tender lyricism.