Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 14, 2006

Whitworth Orchestra to Perform Nov. 28 Concert, "Romantic Russians"

The Whitworth Orchestra will perform in concert on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth College. The concert, "Romantic Russians," will feature Borodin's Second Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture. Admission for seniors, Whitworth students and faculty is free; general admission is $5 at the door. For more information, please call (509) 777-3280.

"The audience can look forward to a night of stirring melodies, bold climaxes and above all, the world of imagination that these two great works engender," says Phillip Baldwin, conductor of the Whitworth Orchestra and director of string studies.

"Romantic Russians" refers both to the era in which these works were written and to the subject matter of Tchaikovsky's overture. The Romantic era in music is often considered to have occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and it is during this time that Russian music rose to prominence. A group of 19th-century composers dubbed "The Mighty Five" strove to create a distinctive Russian style based on nationalism and in opposition to models found in German music. Many of these important composers, including Alexander Borodin, were self-taught, highly original amateurs. Borodin's Second Symphony of 1877 is sometimes referred to as the "Bogatirskaya" symphony because it depicts the famous warriors found in Russian epic literature.

Tchaikovsky wrote the Romeo and Juliet Overture at the urging of Mily Balakirev, a composer and member of the Mighty Five. The work depicts various scenes from the Shakespearean masterpiece, including the Friar's solemn speech, the two lovers, the battle scenes and the tragic deaths.

The Whitworth Orchestra performs the great symphonic and string literature of the past and present. Under the leadership of Philip Baldwin, D.M.A., the ensemble has grown from a string orchestra to a full orchestra and has recently performed works by Beethoven, Prokofiev, Britten and Sibelius. Whitworth's orchestra program is enhanced through a partnership with the Spokane Symphony. The partnership brings some of the area's finest musicians to campus for master classes, sectional coaching, and other events.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college, which has an enrollment of 2,500 students, offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Philip Baldwin, conductor of the Whitworth Orchestra and director of string studies, 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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