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UW Symphony Opening Night is Thursday

October 3, 2011 — Popular works, a great soloist and an exciting new concerto highlight the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra opening night  performance Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the UW Fine Arts concert hall. Longtime UWSO Director Michael Griffith will conduct.

Tickets cost $6 for students, $7 for senior citizens and $10 for the public. Call (307) 766-6666 to order tickets. Tickets are also available at , or at the Fine Arts and Wyoming Union Box Offices. Season tickets are still available, too.

The concert begins with the main theme from Tchaikovsky's ever-popular ballet, "Swan Lake."

"This scene -- when the Prince first sees the beautiful half-swan, half woman Odette -- is quintessential Tchaikovsky," says Griffith. "It takes an incredibly beautiful melody and fills it with passion and drama. Even those not familiar with ballet will recognize this melody."

Dvorak's immensely popular "8th Symphony" will fill the second half of the evening. Dvorak relied heavily on folk-like melodies from his native Bohemia, so the work is filled with lovely melodies of great simplicity, Griffith says.

Between the Tchaikovsky and the Dvorak pieces will be a new (2005) violin concerto from American composer Lee Actor. Audience members might hear traces of Samuel Barber, Aram Khachaturian, Philip Glass and even John Williams in this new work.

"Rooted in 19th century tradition, filled with 20th century sounds, it is truly one of the first great works of the 21st century," Griffith says.

The UWSO will also have encores to share, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Bizet.

Violin soloist John Fadial will join the UWSO for the Actor piece. He is one of the newest members of the UW faculty, and while audiences have heard him with the Summit Chamber Players and in recital, this is his first performance as a UWSO soloist. In addition to his work at UW he is concertmaster of the Greensboro Symphony in North Carolina, a member of the Stanislas Sextet in France, and has performed on four continents as a United States Information Service Artistic Ambassador.

Now in his 23rd year as director of Orchestral Activities at UW, Griffith has been guest conductor for Orquestra Petrobras Pro Musica in Rio de Janeiro, Cleveland's Opus I Chamber Orchestra, Opera Fort Collins, the Fort Collins Symphony, Denver's Mercury Ensemble, the Cheyenne Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, and high school honors ensembles in states from Maryland to Colorado. He and the UWSO are winners of an ASCAP/American Symphony Orchestra League Award for Adventurous Programming and the soundtrack he conducted for Wyoming Public Television's Wyoming Voices won both a Gold Aurora award and a Videographer Award of Distinction.

Orchestra tours are funded by the Symphony Association for UW and its Ricky Blackstone Orchestra Travel Endowment, private donors and host communities. The UWSO is a part of the UW Department of Music.

Violin soloist John Fadial will join the UW Symphony for the concert.

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