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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Civic Symphony of Green Bay opening 25th season Oct. 5 at Meyer Theatre

Critic At Large

Violinist Wen-Lei Gu will be featured

Season image.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)

Civic Symphony of Green Bay will open its 25th season with events Oct. 5 the Meyer Theatre in downtown Green Bay.

According to a press release: In addition to a concert at 7 p.m., the organization’s first of two “Suppers at the Symphony” with a three-course meal will be presented at the adjacent Backstage at the Meyer starting at 5 p.m. Info: gbcivic.org/events.

The concert will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3,” Edouard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole,” Charles Young’s “Fanfare to the Northern Sky” and Seong Hee Moon’s “From Darkness into Light.”

+ The Beethoven work is known as his “Eroica” symphony. Beethoven originally wrote this symphony in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte but later changed the dedication to honor Prince Franz Joseph after Bonaparte declared himself the emperor of France. Beethoven later titled the piece “Eroica” because of its heroic sound and wrote an inscription on the piece that it was composed to “celebrate the memory of a great man.”

+ The Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole” is a dramatic romantic piece for solo violin and orchestra. This performance will feature Wen-Lei Gu, a world-renowned violinist, who is associate professor of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton. Wen-Lei Gu made her international debut at age 13, performing the Camille Saint–Saëns “Violin Concerto in B minor” in England with Yehudi Menuhin at the baton. Her most recent recording is “Brahms: The Three Sonatas for Violin & Piano / Gu, Kautsky” with pianist Catherine Kautsky released by Centaur Records in February 2019.  

+ Young’s “Fanfare for the Northern Sky” was commissioned by the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in 1998. People living during the Middle Ages in Europe believed the Northern Lights were heavenly warriors battling in the sky. Young work pays tribute to the legends inspired by the Aurora Borealis. Young was a music professor at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point until 2017 and currently is associate dean at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Ohio.

+ The Seong Hee Moon work was inspired by scriptures in the Bible referring to times of darkness and coming out into the light. Moon is a music professor at Sung-Kyul University in Korea and is also the sister of Seong-Kyung Graham, the conductor of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay.

The orchestra is made up of volunteer musicians who come from many backgrounds. They are doctors, engineers, teachers, professional musicians and more.

Patrick Miles led the orchestra for its first 10 years. Seong-Kyung Graham has been conductor and music director ever since.

Ahead, the orchestra will present “A French Musical Playground” at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Meyer Theatre, “Festival di Musica Italiana” at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Meyer Theatre and “Spring is in the Aire” at 3 p.m. April 19 in Walter Theatre at St. Norbert College. Info: gbcivic.org.

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