Symphony to offer up works by Berry, Schumann, Sibelius


Symphony Concert: "Sounds of Rejoicing"

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Cordiner Hall, Whitman College campus, 46 S. Park St.

Pre-Concert Talk: Join us before the concert for a sneak-peek into the music of the evening. Our first "Inside the Music" pre-concert talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center, across the street from Cordiner. William Berry, our principal trumpet, and Edward Dixon, symphony manager and principal cellist, will lead this first behind-the-scenes look into the symphony program.

The Maestro's thoughts: The season's opening concert features a work by our principal trumpet, William Berry, "A Cup of Rejoicing." We welcome celebrated cellist, Nathaniel Rosen, who achieved international stature as the first American cellist to win a gold medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, shortly after winning the coveted Naumburg competition in 1977. Rosen's performance of the Schumann Cello Concerto promises to be a memorable one.

The second half of this exciting program offers the monumental Sibelius Second Symphony, a glorious symphonic masterpiece.

Composer: William Berry

Piece: "A Cup of Rejoicing"

Highlights to listen for: The tunes are sturdy and simple, often pentatonic, and the strong melodies have a rustic, American quality. In spite of their simplicity, they often possess an unconventional freedom, which can be heard in asymmetric melodic construction and uneven phrase lengths.

Did you know?: William Berry, besides playing principal trumpet with the Walla Walla Symphony, also plays with the Spokane Symphony, Clarion Brass and is an avid cyclist, often pedaling more than 100 miles weekly.

Composer: Schumann

Piece: Cello Concerto in A Minor (1850 premiered in 1860) -- featuring Nathaniel Rosen, cellist

Highlights to listen for: The second movement is a short lyrical piece in which Schumann features a descending musical interval intended as a tribute to his beloved wife, Clara.

Rosen's Montagnana cello that was made in 1738, during the Baroque period, has worked beautifully for him and promises to bring enchanting melodies to the stage at Cordiner.

Did you know?: The "Cello Concerto in A Minor" took Schumann only two weeks to complete and never actually premiered until after his death.

Composer: Sibelius

Piece: "Symphony No. 2 in D Major" (1902)

Highlights to listen for: The entire symphony, replete with its grand brass chorales, long sustained harmonies and affecting melodies, is a masterpiece of symphonic craft. The third and fourth movements are played attacca (without pause).

Did you know?: In Finland, this popular work with its grandiose finale was connected with the struggle for Finland's independence, even being dubbed the "Symphony of Independence," because it was written at a time of Russian sanctions on Finnish language and culture.

Be sure and get your tickets for our season opening concert. Call the symphony office at (509)-529-8020 or check us out online at

Get to the concert early and listen to William Berry and Edward Dixon take you "Inside the Music." Our premiere pre-concert talk will take you closer to the music and enhance your experience with us at the Walla Walla Symphony. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Ashley Akacich is a development associate for the Walla Walla Symphony.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in