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Sinfonietta performs Autumn Treasures concert Nov. 13

Matthew Savery

Matthew Savery

Originally Published: November 7, 2016 4:12 p.m.

The Verde Valley Sinfonietta presents its first concert of the season on Nov. 13, Sunday, at 2:30 p.m., at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on Upper Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona.

Matthew Savery, Music Director of the Bozeman (MT) Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir, as well as the Wyoming Symphony, will be guest conductor in a program featuring Beethoven’s Second Symphony, Rossini’s Overture to the Barber of Seville, Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8 in B minor and Hubay’s Scenes de la Czardas, Op. 18, No. 3. The Sinfonietta’s concertmaster, Bill Cummings, will solo in the Hubay.

The program title, “Autumn Treasures” represents the character of the musical program, each work a treasure of the classical repertoire, perhaps with the exception of the Hubay. Concertmaster Cummings chose the Hubay as a virtuosic piece that would contrast with the rest of the program. It is a treasure of the violin repertoire, but less known to audiences.

Savery is the first of three candidates for the Music Director post who will be auditioned this season. A search committee of the Sinfonietta Board of Trustees will evaluate each candidate, taking into account surveys from the orchestra and audience as well as the traditional interview process.

Savery has been the Music Director/Conductor of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra for twenty-three years. During that time he has also guest-conducted orchestras throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

He has worked with many of the eminent soloists of our time, and also instituted a commissioning program for new works that were premiered by his orchestras. League of American Orchestras former president Henry Fogel singled out the Bozeman Symphony audience attendance figures under Savery as “astounding.” Savery is a protégé of the late renowned conducting teacher, Gustav Meier, and graduated from the master’s degree program that Meier directed at the University of Michigan. His undergraduate degree is from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Violin soloist Bill Cummings is well known in the northern Arizona music community. He has been soloist with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and with the Coconino Community Orchestra.

He is a regular performer with the Prescott Pops, the Prescott Chamber Orchestra and with his duo, “Traditional Blend.” Cummings is a graduate of Wichita State University and NAU. He is currently an instructor of music in the Prescott Unified School District. Prior to that he taught music in the Flagstaff public schools for thirty-three years.

The music on the November 13 program promises to treat the audience to several of the masterpieces in the orchestral literature. Beethoven’s Second Symphony was written in 1803, just as the composer realized that he was going deaf.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the tragedy unfolding in his life, Beethoven wrote an explosive final movement, in its time shocking and unpredictable, and with what has been described as a nose-thumbing sense of humor. Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor was written in 1822, after Beethoven had completed his 7th and 8th symphonies.

It was not performed until 1865 because Schubert had set it aside, uncompleted, as he, too, was undergoing serious illness. Yet it is now a staple of the symphonic repertory, recognized as a masterpiece, unique in its day. Rossini’s Overture to his comic opera, the Barber of Seville, originally set the stage for his opera, but it is now performed frequently as a stand-alone piece. The haunting opening depicts the background intrigue of the romantic characters of the opera, and soon bursts into a frolicking theme, albeit with references to serious mischief-making.

Jeno Hubay, a 19th c. late Romantic Hungarian composer, wrote a number of works for solo violin in the flashy gypsy or czardas style. The Op. 18, No. 3 is a favorite showpiece among violinists worldwide.

Tickets for the Nov. 13 concert are available on the Sinfonietta website, VVSinfonietta.org, and also at the door. Patron Reserved Tickets are $60 and if purchased in advance include parking in a reserved area and free intermission refreshments; Patron Reserved Tickets purchased at the door for $60 include the free intermission refreshments.

General Admission Tickets are $25 in advance online or $30 at the door.