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Philharmonic to play Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony

November 16, 2011
Lucia Matos

Lucia Matos

Under the direction of Lucia Matos, the NIU Philharmonic will perform its final concert of the semester at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21.

On the program is Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony (New World Symphony), as well as Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with NIU piano professor William Goldenberg as soloist, and a new composition by faculty assistant professor David Maki.

The concert will take place in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building. The concert is free and open to the public, and the auditorium is accessible to all.

Before the concert begins, John K. Novak will offer a 7 p.m. multimedia presentation titled “More than Americana in a European Frame: Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony.”

An associate professor of music theory, Novak has a lifelong interest in Czech and Viennese music because it’s what he grew up listening to and playing.

Research, both old and new, can answer many questions concerning Dvořák’s synthesis of American styles of music within the Czech and German frame of a symphony.

But,can the mere presence of diversity in itself make a symphony great?

Novak finds that the answer must consider:

  • the factors of central Europeans’19th century romantic notions of America;
  • Dvořák’s impressions of his journey to America by ship;
  • the effect of city and country life and touring in America;
  • Dvořák’s considerable homesickness for Bohemia and his family; and,
  • finally, to a great extent, the influence of H. W. Longfellow’s iconic poem, “The Legend of Hiawatha.”

Moreover, brilliant musical touches in Dvořák’s composition of introductions, transitions and codas, as well as the composer’s unique application of motivic development, orchestration and cyclical thematicism, all combine to make his last symphony one of the most expressive and beloved in the repertoire.

For those who are unable to attend, this concert will be featured as a live broadcast by NIU Media Services with four cameras.

Call (815) 753-1551 or (815) 753-1546 for more information.