The Valley Symphony Orchestra’s fall concert season begins this week with chamber work by “the greatest composer you’ve never heard.” The VSO will present three fall concerts online and broadcast on television beginning October 23 at 7 p.m. Though the Symphony is unable to hold in-person performances due to public health risks associated with Covid-19, Maestro Peter Dabrowski has planned a series of chamber concerts that will be specially produced and presented for all to enjoy, thanks to donor and sponsor support.
“We need music now more than ever,” said Maestro Dabrowski, music director and conductor of the Valley Symphony Orchestra for the last 20 years. “Listening to beautiful live music is a way for us to both mourn and celebrate, to remember what it means to be human. I cannot imagine a more necessary time for music than right now for the Valley.”
All concerts will be premiered live on Facebook on Friday nights followed by an encore broadcast on KRGV – Channel 5 on Sunday mornings. The concerts will be available to all, and those who wish to support the performances can make a donation or sponsor a musician.
“These digital fall concerts are our exciting invention in the face of obstacles we could not accept,” said Executive Director Katy Coy. “Instead of stepping away, or waiting it out, our leadership has decided that we should perform for everyone. We’re doubling down on making music and we couldn’t be more proud of creating opportunities for artists and truly unique performances for the Valley.”
The October 23 concert will feature the VSO piano quintet performing Erno Dohnányi’s piano quintet no. 1 in C minor. Dohnányi, often referred to as “the greatest composer you’ve never heard,” stood in the shadow of great classical composers such as Brahms and Liszt, and wrote this piece when he was just 17 years old. The work features two violins, viola, cello, and piano and is performed in four movements, or sections. Described as catchy and melodic, its full sounds remind the listener of a performance by an entire symphony orchestra.
The VSO string quintet consists of Geoffrey Wong, VSO Concertmaster (violin), Lindsey Gamble (violin), VSO Assistant Concertmaster, Jennifer Miller (viola), Benjamin Ponder (cello), and Juan Pablo Andrade (piano). The quintet's performance will premiere on October 23 at 7 p.m. on Facebook and be broadcast on October 25 at 11 a.m. on KRGV – Channel 5.
The fall concert series continues with Melody and Rhythm on November 20 and A Touch of Frost on December 18.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To learn more, join the VSO’s mailing list at valleyorchestra.org or call the VSO at (956) 661-1615.
About the Valley Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1952 as an orchestra of volunteer musicians, the Valley Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is beginning its 69th season of classical music performances in the Rio Grande Valley. Under the baton of Dr. Carl Seale, the orchestra was established at the University of Texas - Pan American, a legacy institution of the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley, and has since developed into an all-professional ensemble under the direction of Maestro Peter Dabrowski. The Valley Symphony Orchestra is a resident ensemble at the McAllen Performing Arts Center and presents a season of five masterworks concerts, a series of educational concerts, and other special events.
PHOTO CREDIT: Erika Sanchez Photography