LEWISTON – Bates College’s music department this weekend will offer a concert by the college orchestra and one by pioneering American composer Pauline Oliveros.

In a youth-oriented program of music by Britten, Ravel and Beethoven, lecturer in music Philip Carlsen will conduct the Bates College Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6.

Acclaimed since the 1960s as an experimental composer and pioneer in meditative music, Oliveros will appear at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7.

The Bates College Orchestra program features works by Britten and Ravel related directly to childhood, as well as an early Beethoven work, the Symphony No. 1 in C major (Op. 21).

When he was 20, English composer Benjamin Britten paid an affectionate visit to his own past in “Simple Symphony,” a string orchestra piece based on themes from songs and solo piano works he’d written between ages 9 and 12. The four movements suggest the music’s character: “Boisterous Bouree,” “Playful Pizzicato,” “Sentimental Saraband” and “Frolicsome Finale.”

“Mother Goose Suite” by French composer Maurice Ravel offers five short musical vignettes for children, including the “Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty,” sparkling Asian-influenced sounds of “Laideronette, Empress of the Pagodas” and “Conversations of Beauty and the Beast,” in which the beast’s words are expressed by the contrabassoon, an instrument that Carlsen calls “a rare visitor to the Olin Arts Center stage.”

Beethoven was 30 when he wrote his first symphony. It also has a bright, youthful quality, expressed in exuberant themes, quick tempos and touches of humor.

Oliveros is distinguished research professor of music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Darius Milhaud composer in residence at Mills College. Both concerts in Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St., are free. FMI: call (207) 786-6135.

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