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Guest Artists Featured in UW Symphony Orchestra Concert Nov. 17

November 10, 2016
orchestra seen from distance
The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra will perform Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s Thursday, Nov. 17 concert will present a work the composer called a hymn to the greatness of man’s spirit: Symphony No. 5 by Sergei Prokofiev.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. Tickets cost $10 for the public, $7 for senior citizens and $6 for students. For tickets, call (307) 766-6666, visit the Performing Arts box office, or go online at

World War II was still raging during Symphony No. 5’s composition. For their safety, the Soviets had evacuated valuable composers to Ivanovo, 180 miles east of Moscow. Secure from the German attack, Prokofiev composed the symphony there, with the premiere taking place Jan. 13, 1945.

“The symphony is a celebration of victory, a paean to the triumph of Russian forces, or is it a tragic hymn to the war dead and the sacrifices of those caught up the conflict?” UW Symphony Orchestra Director Michael Griffith says. “Both and more.”

The concert will begin with a work by Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen. She is on the UW campus four weeks this year as part of the UW Department of Music’s Eminent Artist project.

Among her more than 500 compositions, the “Overture, Parachutes Dancing” from 1983 is especially appealing, Griffith says. It is dance music, as created by a contemporary classical composer imagining Renaissance dancers.

The concerto on this program comes from Mozart. His Piano Concerto No. 21 has taken on the subtitle of “Elvira Madigan” over the past few decades, from the 1967 Swedish film of the same name, Griffith says.

The concert also features guest piano soloist Daniel Hsu, who also will be featured in the next UW Cultural Programs event Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts concert hall.

The Philadelphia Enquirer says Hsu is a “poet with an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions and coaxes.” The 19-year-old prodigy has played Carnegie Hall, the Tokyo Symphony and WHYY Radio in Philadelphia.

Continuing this year in the concert hall are “Tweet Seats.” Audience members who like to stay connected to social media are welcome -- silently -- to post their comments and share their experiences online. “Tweet Seats” are available only in the back two rows of the auditorium.

A UW women’s basketball game is scheduled the same night as the concert.

“Parking will still be free for concert attendees. Just tell the attendant that you’re there for the symphony concert,” Griffith says. He suggests patrons arrive early for the concert.

For more information about the UW Symphony Orchestra, contact Griffith at (307) 766-3069 or

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