The University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Strong Auditorium on the River Campus in a concert that will feature this year's concerto competition winners, Jennifer Cheng and Sean Newhouse, as well as an American symphonic work performed only once previously.
The University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra is a 100-member ensemble composed of University of Rochester undergraduates and talented musicians from the greater Rochester area. Each fall, the ensemble holds a concerto competition, giving winners the opportunity to perform a solo with the orchestra in the spring.
Cheng, a native of Bothell, Wash., is a sophomore majoring in biochemistry at the University. She studies piano with Professor Tony Caramia at the University's world-famous Eastman School of Music. Cheng has also studied violin for five years. She will perform the first movement from Prokofiev's "Piano Concerto No. 3" with the orchestra.
Newhouse, a native of South Burlington, Vt., is a music major at the University and is currently a Take Five Scholar studying political philosophy and theory. The Take Five Program allows selected students to enhance their undergraduate degrees by taking a tuition-free fifth year of study to explore new subjects outside of their major. In addition, Newhouse has served as assistant conductor of the University's Chamber Singers and University Choir. He will be the soloist for "Concerto for Violin, movement 1" by Samuel Barber.
Also on the program for the orchestra's March 1 concert will be the Rochester premiere of American composer Helen Gunderson's Symphony Fantasie. Gunderson taught theory and composition at Louisiana State University, where she established the Festival of Contemporary Music, the oldest event of its kind in the United States. While her compositions were seldom made public, Symphony Fantasie was performed by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in the early 1930s, and to the family's knowledge has not been performed since.
The Symphony Orchestra is performing under the direction of David Harman, professor of music and director of orchestral activities. Admission is free. For more information, contact the music department at (585) 275-2828.