Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

Nov. 21, 2005

Whitworth Orchestra to Perform Dec. 7 Concert, "Majestic Music"

Threads of history and royalty are woven throughout the Whitworth Orchestra's fall concert program, "Majestic Music." The concert will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m., in Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth College. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3280.

The Whitworth Orchestra, under the direction of Philip Baldwin, director of string studies and assistant professor of violin, will perform four selections: Finlandia, by Jean Sibelius; Andante, by Serge Prokofiev; Five Courtly Dances, by Benjamin Britten; and Symphony No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven. Spokane Symphony Conductor Eckart Preu, Associate Conductor Morihiko Nakahara, and symphony musicians have worked with the orchestra during rehearsals of the Beethoven symphony.

The concert's title, "Majestic Music," was inspired by Five Courtly Dances from the opera Gloriana, which Britten wrote for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of England. The opera tells the story of the legendary love affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex. The music follows the style of Elizabethan-era composers of the 16th century.

Finlandia is often considered the national anthem of Finland; its composer, Jean Sibelius, holds a place of high honor in Finnish history. Completing the royalty theme, Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 begins with a rhythm that is associated with royal processions.

This is Baldwin's first concert as conductor of the Whitworth Orchestra; he joined the Whitworth faculty this fall.

"I'm very proud of the orchestra members' talent and the level at which they're playing this difficult program," Baldwin says. "The orchestra program has never been under the direction of a full-time faculty member, hence it has been primarily a string orchestra. It is my job to build the program and create an orchestra on the same performance level as the other Whitworth ensembles. I think this concert will be outstanding."

Prior to his appointment at Whitworth, Baldwin was assistant professor of violin and viola at Eastern Washington University and was the director of orchestras at the University of Puget Sound and Southern Utah University.

Baldwin is a member of the Spokane Symphony and conductor of the Spokane Junior Symphony Orchestra. He is the former concertmaster of the Southwest Symphony and former principal viola of the LaCrosse Symphony. He has also performed with the Tacoma, Akron, Canton and Columbus symphonies. As a well-known clinician, he has conducted violin master-classes throughout Washington, Maryland and Utah, and abroad in Ireland and England. He was recently selected as the conductor of the 2005 Washington Junior All-State Orchestra.

Baldwin has performed as a recitalist and soloist, and has recorded a CD of trios by Khachaturian, Ives and Bolcom, with clarinetist Michael Dean and pianist Carol Stivers.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Contacts:

Philip Baldwin, assistant professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3268 or pbaldwin@whitworth.edu.

Joan Lack or Loree Swegle, music department program assistants, (509) 777-3280 or jlack@whitworth.edu or lswegle@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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