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Symphony Orchestra gears up for quartet of concerts

The MIT Symphony Orchestra is coming back strong after its whirlwind tour of England last May, with four concerts planned for 2002-03.

Lecturer Frederick Harris, music director of the MIT Wind Ensemble and Festival Jazz Ensemble, is the orchestra's acting director (music director Dante Anzolini is on leave this year). The ensemble, composed of MIT and Wellesley students, will rehearse Tuesday and Thursday evenings and will perform in Kresge Auditorium in October, December, March and May.

"MITSO members this year have a special opportunity to experience an amalgam of traditional, nontraditional and contemporary orchestral literature with four different conductors," said Harris.

Harris said he was honored to work with the symphony orchestra in addition to his other roles. "I love all music and it's a fantastic honor to be able to come in contact with so many composers and terrific students during one academic year."

The orchestra's Oct. 25 program includes violinist Amanda Wang, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and winner of the 2002 MITSO Concerto Competition, performing Bruch's "Concerto for Violin No. 1," Dallapiccola's "Piccola Musica Notturna" and Beethoven's Third Symphony.

Guest conductor Ludovic Morlot, a native of Lyon, France, will lead the orchestra. Morlot, who received the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship to study at the Tanglewood Music Center last summer, will arrive at MIT in mid-October to work with the orchestra.

On Dec. 12, Daniel Stein, a sophomore in physics and a winner of the MITSO competition, will perform Ibert's "Flute Concerto" with the orchestra. The program also features Berlioz's "Roman Carnival Overture" and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. Harris will conduct.

The orchestra continues its work next semester with a performance on March 20, conducted by Institute Professor John Harbison. Harbison, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer whose opera "The Great Gatsby" was commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, will lead the orchestra in a performance of Haydn's "Symphony No. 90," Webern's "Symphony" and Brahms' "Violin Concerto" with soloist Rose Mary Harbison. The concert will also feature Assistant Professor Brian Robison's "Imagined Corners."

The orchestra's season ends with a May 9 concert conducted by David Alan Miller, music director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Miller, who was recently honored with the 2001 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming, will present John Harbison's "Piano Concerto," Haydn's "Symphony No. 44" and Brahms' First Symphony.

All performances take place in Kresge Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3 at the door and are available free of charge for members of the MIT community in Lobby 10 during the week of the performance. For more information, call 452-2394.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 18, 2002.

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