PSO principal players featured in Symphonie fantastique concert in Portland on Nov. 11


PORTLAND — The Portland Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its musicians with the Symphonie Fantastique concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Merrill Auditorium. The concert, conducted by PSO Music Director Robert Moody, will feature solos from eight of PSO’s principal players.

The concert will open with Bartok’s Rumanian Folk Dances for String Orchestra followed by Martin’s Concert for 7 Wind Instruments, Timpani and Strings. After a brief intermission, the symphony will return for Berlioz’s powerful Symphonie fantastique.

Drawing from his own desperate infatuation with an actress he never met, Berlioz composed Symphonie fantastique and subtitled it “Episode in the life of an artist.” Berlioz tells his story with musical originality that was revolutionary for his time, and the audience is transported through the imaginative world of the artist who, in the end, had composed the most remarkable symphony ever written. His muse must have been impressed by the piece as well since, after it premiered, he was able to win her over and they eventually married, albeit briefly.

Featured Soloists:

Lisa Hennessy is the principal flutist with the PSO, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and Boston Ballet Orchestra. She performs regularly throughout New England. She holds a Master’s in Music from the New England Conservatory and is a previous winner of Boston’s James Pappoutsakis Flute Competition and NEC’s Concerto Competition.

Amanda Hardy joined the PSO in 2013, where she occupies the Clinton Graffam Chair. She has performed as a soloist with the Boston Pops, the Chelsea Music Festival Orchestra, the NEC Back Ensemble, the Drake Symphony Orchestra, and the Des Moines Youth Symphony. Hardy is on the faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory School and also teaches at Northeastern University.

Thomas Parchman has been principal clarinetist with the PSO since 1984. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California, a Master of Music from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor’s degree in both Music Education and Performance from Southern Methodist University. He is also the principal clarinetist and orchestra manager for PORTopera.

Janet Polk is principal bassoonist with the PSO as well as the Vermont Symphony, Opera North, and PORTopera. As a musician, she has won prizes at the International Concert Artists Guild competition and the John Knowles Paine competition, and has performed at the prestigious Round Top Festival in Texas with the block ensemble. Polk teaches bassoon at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College.

John Boden has held the position of principal horn with the PSO since 1981 and during that time has worked with nearly all of the professional orchestras in New England. Boden holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory.

Joseph Foley is principal trumpet of the PSO, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra of Houston, TX. He received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from BU and is a former founding member of the Atlantic Brass Quintet. Foley has taught clinics and masters classes around the world and currently serves as Professor of Trumpet at Rhode Island College.

Nicholas Orovich has held the position of principal trombonist with the PSO since 1979. He was a founding member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, where he performed regularly until his retirement in 2008. Orovich attended L’Institute de Hautes Etudes Musicales in Switzerland and received his Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory. He is a faculty member of the Department of Music at the University of New Hampshire and is currently the department chair.

Principal timpanist John Tanzer performs regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He graduated from the New England Conservatory and was awarded the Tourjee Alumni Award for performance excellence.

Related Concert Activities:

A Concert Conversation will be held in the Rehearsal Hall at Merrill Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 11. This is free for all ticket holders and begins an hour and 15 minutes prior to the concert’s 7:30 p.m. start time.

An on-stage PostConcert Q & A with guest artists will follow the concert.

The concert will be broadcast on MPBN at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Tickets to the PSO concert range from $25-$75 and are available at 207-842-0800,, or 20 Myrtle St.