CWSO to Perform "Friends & Favorites"

February 20, 2019

The CWSO continues its 70th season on February 23 & 24 with “Friends & Favorites.” Under the direction of Dr. Patrick Miles, the CWSO welcomes two guest artists and long-time friends of the orchestra; Susan Bender, soprano, and Michael Keller, piano. Susan Bender, professor of voice at UW-Stevens Point, will perform “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” by Samuel Barber, a poetic evocation from the perspective of a young boy on a warm, humid evening in the American South. Michael Keller, Professor Emeritus of piano at UW-Stevens Point, will perform Gerald Finzi’s pastoral masterpiece, “Eclogue for Piano and Strings.” The concert will open with Carl Maria Von Weber’s “Overture to Der Freischutz, Op. 77”, a piece that defines German romantic opera tradition. The concert will conclude with “Firebird Suite”(1919 version) by Igor Stravinsky, originally a 50 minute ballet composed for the Ballets Russes company (under the direction of Sergei Diaghilev) in 1910, later revised into shorter orchestral suites. The story is about the blessing and curse of whomever possesses the firebird, based upon Russian fairy tales. In addition to these works, the winner of 2018-19 “So You Think You Can Conduct” contest, Ellen Hilgendorf, will step on the podium to conduct the CWSO in a surprise offering.
The concerts will take place at Sentry Theater, 1800 Northpoint Drive, Stevens Point. Performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Entertainment during intermission will be provided by students from the Wausau Conservatory of Music.
(from left to right: Michael Keller and Suan Bender)