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Mozart, Eulogy kick off Sidney orchestra season

Special guest, composition by orchestra conductor highlight first concert
Sidney Classical Orchestra artistic director Stephen Brown guides the group in a series of three concerts this season.

The popular Sidney Classical Orchestra is set to launch an exciting 19th season.

After a bit of a break in the 2009-10 season, they came back with a three-concert series last year and are offering a similar selection this season.

“We are back on our feet,” said artistic director Stephen Brown, who will conduct two of three concerts in the series.

“We are running on a much smaller budget, and our capacity to do larger works is not there anymore,” Brown said. “However, the music we will be presenting is great stuff and still of a very high caliber. The season will be composed of two orchestral concerts and a solo piano recital. It should be three, very fine musical evenings.”

The concerts will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday nights at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 10030 Third St., Sidney.

The first concert, Mozart Elegance and Joy, is this Friday (Nov. 25). It will feature Mozart’s first truly great piano concerto, No. 9 in E flat major, K. 271, Jeunehomme. This concerto has been admired by audiences and critics ever since the 21-year-old Mozart wrote it in 1777.

Pianist Robert Holliston, well known for his Pacific Opera talks, is the soloist. Holliston has performed with orchestra previously, as the soloist in Beethoven, Brahms, and Brown concertos.

Brown’s own Eulogy for Meghan Reid, a work for string orchestra, will also be on the bill.

“Last year we performed the premiere of this work,” he said. “It was extremely well received. Many people wrote or phoned to tell me how much it affected them. I was deeply moved by this and thought we should play it again.”

Rounding off the programme will be one of Haydn’s middle period symphonies, No. 59, the Fire Symphony.

“We think of Haydn as somewhat of a genteel composer, not containing the  raw emotions of a Beethoven,” Brown said. “Not so, his Sturm und Drang (storm and stress) period was just that. Themes get tossed about with abandon, it’s great.”

This season

• Nov. 25 — Mozart Elegance and Joy

Jan. 13 — Four Concerto Evening

March 30 — Beethoven solo piano recital

Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 10030 Third St., Sidney.