2015 - 2016 Concerts

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Robert Olson Photograph

Those Amazing Russians!

Saturday Oct. 3, 2015
Concert Time - 7:30 pm

Preconcert Talk - 6:30 pm

Super Conductor
Paul Erhard - Bass
Robert Olson - Conductor

LSO Super Conductor Contest

LSO Super conductor fund raising contest is now under way with three great contestants. They are Jennifer Motycka, Karen Gregg and Paul Trapkus.  Click here to read more about each contestant.


Greetings LSO fans!
   One day not too long ago, it occurred to me that the Russian culture experienced an unbelievable explosion of creativity at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially in music and literature.  Think about it … in a just a few short years, the country went from one of, relatively speaking, musical irrelevance to the likes of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev.  And this list doesn’t include lesser known Russian composers such as Glinka, Borodin (Polyvetsian Dances), Balakirev, and Cui.  This period yielded an enormous wealth of great music, producing some of our most beloved works for the orchestra.   How interesting it would be to focus on this amazing, fertile body of great works.
   In addition, when I think of Russia and its internal political strife during this period, “War and Peace” comes to mind, not in the least for the great novel of the same name.  It seemed a logical step to explore this theme as well during the season.    
   For example, on our November program (War and Peace, Part I) featuring the Longmont Chorale, we are performing Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem on the first half,a work that ‘pleas for peace and warns of war’, as Vaughan Williams was a confirmed pacifist.  The second half features Prokofiev’s powerful Fifth Symphony, which was actually given its world premiere on the same night victorious cannons could be heard celebrating a major victory for the Russians in WWII.
   I am particularly excited about the February program, subtitled ‘War and Peace Part II’.  The featured work on the first half is the American composer John Corigliano’s First Symphony, also known as the ‘Aids Symphony’, for it was composed for and dedicated to the numerous close friends who died of the terrible disease when it was at its zenith.  What greater musical composition to counterbalance such a powerful and intimate piece than Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, the vivid telling of the struggles of an artist as he searches for perfection, ultimately finding it only in heaven.  It is an extremely powerful pairing of pieces, and when I conducted this same program in Kansas City many years ago, I cried like a baby at the end of the Strauss.
    Our first concert features a bass soloist, our very first in the history of the LSO.  CU professor Paul Erhard will present the world premiere of a lyrical work by Gonzalez as well as a work by renowned movie composer, Nino Rota (think Godfather, for one).  And later in the season, close friend and fellow musician Chih-long Hu will perform Tchaikovsky’s First piano concerto, arguably the most familiar concerto for any instrument in the repertoire. 
     We have plenty of humor and gaiety as well   We continue to take advantage of the great skills of conductor David Rutherford, who has been presenting one great Family Pops concert after another these last 3-4 years.  This year’s theme will be Pirates and you can be certain the orchestra will be “well dressed” for this one, so make sure you do the same!  And this year David will also conduct the final Pops concert in May, as we project two silent films on ‘the big screen’ as the orchestra performs the original music composed for them …. Live … of course. 
   It will be a wonderful season with something for everyone.  Please join the LSO family this concert season!
Robert Olson