The Gateway Festival Orchestra will launch its 42nd season of free summer concerts with “Midwest Musical Masters,” highlighting composers and young artists from Missouri and Illinois, at 7:30 p.m. July 10 in Brookings Quadrangle.
Subsequent concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. July 17, 24 and 31. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn seating.
The orchestra is conducted by James Richards, professor of orchestral studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“Washington University is pleased to provide a relaxing, pleasant atmosphere for families to picnic and listen to classical music,” said Sue Taylor, Ph.D., concert coordinator for the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, which co-sponsors the series.
“Whereas the concert hall is generally not a suitable environment for young children, the Gateway Orchestra encourages parents to take advantage of this opportunity for their little ones to hear live music in comfortable surroundings.”
“Midwest Musical Masters” will open with Three Bentons, by John Cheetham, professor of music theory and composition at the University of Missouri. Commissioned by the Jefferson City High School Orchestra, the piece debuted in 2004 and is inspired by the work of Missouri painter Thomas Hart Benton.
The program will continue with Molto Klezmoto by Ted Juch, a student at Marquette High School. Molto Klezmoto was recently named runner-up in the Merle J. Isaac Composition Contest, an international competition sponsored by the American String Teachers Association and the National School Orchestra Association.
In addition, violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore, a student at Franklin Middle School in Springfield, Ill., will be soloist for Charles-Auguste de Bériot’s Scene de Ballet.
Keith Miller, a graduate of Hazelwood East High School now attending the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will appear as soloist in Giovanni Bottesini’s Concerto No. 2 for Bass.
Hornist Emily Wozniak, a recent graduate of Webster Groves High School who will enter the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music this fall, will be soloist for Richard Strauss’ Concerto for Horn, No. 1.
The concert series will continue July 17 with “The French Connection,” an all-French program that will include César Franck’s Symphony in D Minor as well as a set of popular songs featuring local singer Elsie Parker.
On July 24, the orchestra will present “Russian Enchantment,” featuring music by Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Borodin, Anatol Liadov and Alexander Glazunov, as well as Peter Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.
The series will conclude July 31 with “Classic to Romantic,” featuring works by Viennese composers. Highlights include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Overture to Egmont; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s overture to The Impressario and Flute Concerto No. 1, featuring Jan Scott, the orchestra’s principal flutist; and Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 in C Minor (“Tragic”).
Gateway Festival Orchestra
The Gateway Festival Orchestra was established in 1964 by conductor William Schatzkamer, professor emeritus in piano in the Department of Music, and other local musicians, in part to provide summer employment to members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Gateway was the first integrated professional orchestra in the St. Louis area and its formation ultimately led to the merger of the Black Musicians’ Association with the Musicians’ Association of St. Louis (now Local 2-197 of the American Federation of Musicians).
The group originally performed on the downtown riverfront but relocated to Washington University in 1970.
The summer concert series is sponsored by the Arts & Education Council, the Missouri Arts Council and The Regional Arts Commission of Saint Louis.
For more information, call 935-4841.