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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 25, No. 5, Sept. 1, 2005

Sinfonia adds ‘touch of dance’ to 2005-06 season
The UI’s Sinfonia da Camera will set its 2005-06 season in motion – literally – by introducing “a touch of dance” to its performances.

Philip T. Johnston, a UI professor of dance, will serve as the orchestra’s choreographic director for the season. Most of the programs – with the exception of a Feb. 4 performance celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth – will feature some flavor of dance, ranging from traditional to contemporary. Dancers will include Johnston, other UI dance faculty members and students.
“We just thought it was a good time to celebrate dance,” said Ian Hobson, the chamber orchestra’s music director and a UI professor of music. “It’s something new … an idea that grew out of our musicians and a board member who were particularly interested in dance and music in all its guises.”

The mixing begins at 3 p.m. on Sept. 11 in the Foellinger Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, when the program reflects a homegrown, all-American spirit with a Broadway Gala concert featuring music by Leonard Bernstein; Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II; and others. Highlights will include a performance of Aaron Copland’s classic ballet “Rodeo,” which will feature nine dancers performing during two of the four movements. A champagne reception and silent auction will follow.

The remainder of the season takes on a more international tone and will include two historic premieres: the American premiere of Romanian composer George Enescu’s opera “Oedipe,” and the world premiere of Mauro Giuliani’s long-lost Concerto for Terz Guitar, reconstructed and performed by James Buckland.

The semi-staged performance of “Oedipe” on Oct. 15 – planned as part of a broader campus commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Enescu’s death – will feature an international cast of vocalists.

The premiere of Giuliani’s Concerto, Op. 36, for Terz Guitar will be featured during the March 4 program, which is billed as “A Mediterranean Evening.” According to the orchestra’s assistant director, Rebecca Riley, a terz guitar is the original instrument Giuliani composed for during the early 19th century. It is smaller than a traditional guitar and tuned a minor third higher.

Details about the 2005-06 season are available on the orchestra’s Web site.

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