Springfield Symphony Orchestra Offers World Premiere Of Piano Concerto

A world premiere is a big deal.

When you think about it, symphony orchestras play a fairly limited repertoire, largely consisting of symphonies and concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and other masters active in the 18th and19th centuries. Occasionally, when time and money permit, a new composition is added to that canon of chestnuts.

Commissioning and premiering a brand new work augments, extends, and hopefully enhances the repertoire. It invites an audience sated with standards to experience notes never before heard in this combination, and to climb aboard a composer’s mind, taking an emotional journey no one has ever taken, to a destination no one has ever visited.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra concertgoers have this rare opportunity on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Symphony Hall, as Maestro Kevin Rhodes, the SSO and piano soloist Jeffrey Biegel, a favorite guest of Springfield audiences, present the world premiere of composer Kenneth Fuchs’s Piano Concerto (“Spiritualist”), After Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler.

Fuchs, professor of composition at the University of Connecticut, has written music for orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. The London Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, has recorded four discs of Fuchs’s music for Naxos American Classics. The first disc, released in 2005, was nominated for two Grammy Awards. The second, containing music for horn, was released in 2008. The third, recorded in London’s historic Abbey Road Studios, was released in 2012, and was included in the 2012 Grammy Award nominations. The fourth, also recorded at Abbey Road in 2013, features baritone Roderick Williams in a program of vocal music.

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Tickets for the March 12 performance priced from $22-$65 may be obtained online at www.springfieldsymphony.org or by calling the box office at 733-2291. Classical Conversations, an informal half-hour discussion of the evening’s music beginning at 6:30 p.m., will be led by John Montanari, (NEPR, retired). The concert is sponsored by Falcetti Music, with media sponsor, News Radio 560 WHYN.