LEWISTON – In its second concert of the season in Lewiston, the Midcoast Symphony will perform Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor with Joshua Gordon as soloist. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, at the Franco-American Heritage Center in St. Mary’s Church.

Also on the program are Beethoven’s “Fidelio” Overture, Arvo Part’s “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.”

Gordon, a graduate of Juilliard, is artist-in-residence at Brandeis University. He was principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic in 2000-2001 before joining the Lydian String Quartet in 2002. He is also currently the principal cellist of the New England String Ensemble. He has performed throughout the United States and has appeared at Australia’s Kowmung Music Festival, which was founded by the Midcoast Symphony’s music director, Rohan Smith.

The Beethoven overture, Schumann concerto and Stravinsky suite span the musical spectrum from the classic to the modern, and are all well-known. The least-known work on the program, Arvo Part’s “Cantus,” was written after the death of the great British composer Benjamin Britten in 1976. Part, who lived in Estonia, had never met Britten, but had great admiration for his music. The “Cantus,” which is only five minutes long, is modern, but has links to Gregorian chant and medieval polyphony. It expresses a deep sense of grief and loss in a simple musical language performed by the strings of the orchestra.

Two spring concerts

The Midcoast Symphony will have two concerts in Lewiston this spring. The first will be March 25 and feature Portland Symphony Concertmaster Charles Dimmick in a performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major. That program will be led by guest conductor Janna Hymes-Bianchi, a former associate conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony who now lives in Camden.

The other concert, on May 20, will include a number of orchestral favorites by composers such as Verdi, Ravel, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov and Dvorak.

Tickets for the January concert are $12 and are available at Victor News, Carroll’s Music, at the door and online at www.midcoastsymphony.org. Those 18 and under are admitted free.


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