Confluence of Sound

chamber orchestra starts season with profusion of soloists

Barbara Arnold

The Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s first concert of the season features the debut of a new composition by someone who is no stranger to the ensemble: In fact, he’s its conductor and artistic director. “Sunrise Where Two Rivers Meet, Celebrating the Confluence of the Arts” by Ivar Lunde Jr. will premiere at the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra’s first concert of its 17th season at7:30pm Saturday, Sept. 27, at Grace Lutheran Church. “The piece I created celebrates the natural beauty of the area, and the sunrise symbolizes a new beginning,” Lunde says. Visit Eau Claire, the local tourism promotion agency, won the right to commission the new piece by being the highest bidder at an ECCO silent auction this summer. The concert is entitled “Three Concertos-Six Soloists” and will feature Nicholas Phillips on piano; Susan Halderman, violin and cello; Lucinda Marvin and Ryan Poquette, violins; and Christa Garvey and Steven Maijala, oboes, playing music from the 18th century. Phillips will perform Mozart’s piano concerto No. 20, K. 466 in D minor, the first piano concerto Mozart wrote in a minor key, on a nine-foot grand piano on loan from Neff’s Piano Shop. The New York Times has described Phillips, an associate professor at UW-Eau Claire, as an “able and persuasive advocate” of new music. “This concerto has always been a personal favorite of mine, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play it with ECCO this month,” said Phillips. “It is one of only two concerti that Mozart wrote in a minor key. The piece is very dramatic, taking listeners on quite a musical journey. Mozart has a way of turning the simplest material into music that is just sublime; it is a joy for performers and audiences alike.” Lunde has spectacular concerts planned for the 2014-15 season, including Handel’s “Messiah”; his own new composition, “Five Fairy Tales”; and works by Scandinavian favorites, Grieg and Sibelius.

“Three Concertos-Six Soloists” concert by the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra • Saturday, Sept. 27, 7:30pm • Grace Lutheran Church, 202 W. Grand Ave., Eau Claire • $23 adult, $20 senior, $8 student (season ticket packages are also available through Sept. 27) • tickets available at the door and at Neff’s Piano Shop, Festival Foods, or Mega Foods East and West • (715) 831-3331 • •

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