January 26, 2005


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Classical Music: All-Mozart concert in Concord on Saturday, Jan. 28

Granite State Symphony, Concord Chorale team up for birthday tribute

By Jeff Rapsis  jrapsis@hippopress.com

Preview: One way to know Mozart's upcoming milestone birthday must be a big occasion in the classical music world—this weekend's celebration in Concord will take two conductors, not one.

Actually, two conductors are on hand because the Saturday, Jan. 28 concert involves a pair of the area's best musical groups: the Concord-based Granite State Symphony Orchestra and the Concord Chorale.

But whoever waves the stick on the podium, the concert is a chance to hear a good selection of Mozart's music performed live, which, after all, is the way the composer intended it to be heard. (He predated stereos by about 200 years.)

Though celebrated throughout the current season, Mozart's actual 250th birthday is Jan. 26. Not only is this weekend's concert close to the actual date, but it's one of the most interesting and worthwhile local Mozart-fests on the calendar.

Mozart, widely regarded as music's greatest child prodigy and all-around genius, completed hundreds of works of all kinds throughout his 35-year life. Where to start? This weekend's program includes sacred and secular works, and provides a good dose of the composer's skill and craftsmanship.

GSSO music director Robert C. Babb will lead Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus and the Violin Concerto No. 4, with concertmaster Elliot Markow as soloist. Ryan Turner, director of the Concord Chorale, will lead the majestic Coronation Mass and the lively overture to Mozart's opera "Lucio Silla."

The concert is on Saturday Jan. 28 at 8 p.m. at Concord City Auditorium. Tickets are $18 to $20; to purchase call 226-4776 or visit www.gsso.org.

Text of press release below:


Maestros Share Stage in Celebration of Mozart’s 250th Birthday

GSSO, Concord Chorale directors to conduct gala concert in turns

CONCORD - In a rare display of true collaboration in the world of classical concerts, Robert Babb, Director of the Granite State Symphony Orchestra and Ryan Turner, Director of the Concord Chorale, will conduct in turns during the groups’ January 28th collaboration concert “A Mozart Birthday Celebration.” Fans of Mozart will have an opportunity to hear some of the composer’s most extraordinary music for orchestra and chorus at the event, staged in honor of Mozart’s 250th birthday, which falls on January 27th. The program will feature the composer’s Violin Concerto #4 and Ave Verum Corpus, both conducted by Mr. Babb, and Coronation Mass and the overture to the opera Lucio Silla, conducted by Mr. Turner.

“This is a unique opportunity for the audience to watch two conducting styles in one evening,” Ryan Turner explains. “In a world where it’s often hard for music directors to share the same space, Bob (Babb) and I really hit it off and are excited to present this event together.” This will be the first joint concert staged by GSSO and the Concord Chorale, both established as premiere groups in New Hampshire’s performing arts community. The idea for the collaboration came to Robert Babb last spring. “The timing just seemed right to do something together,” he explained, “I have a dream of making Concord a hub for the arts in New Hampshire, and I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate way to bring our groups together than by commemorating Mozart’s life and music. I hope this joint concert is the first of many to come.”

“A Mozart Birthday Celebration” will take place at the Concord City Auditorium on Saturday, January 28th at 8 pm. Violin Concerto #4 will feature New Hampshire violinist Elliott Markow. Coronation Mass will feature soloists Carole Haber, soprano, Eva Nagorka, mezzo-soprano, Kyle Masterson, tenor, and Mark-Andrew Cleveland, bass.

Tickets for “A Mozart Birthday Celebration” can be purchased at www.gsso.org, or by calling 603-226-4776. Tickets are $20/$18, general seating. For more information about the Concord Chorale and GSSO, visit www.concordchorale.org, and www.gsso.org.

- END-

The Concord Chorale is an auditioned vocal ensemble dedicated to performing outstanding choral music for the enrichment and enjoyment of the community.

The Granite State Symphony Orchestra (GSSO) was created to provide New Hampshire's finest professional musicians with the opportunity to play classical music at a cost accessible to people of all ages. The symphony is located in Concord and performs concerts at a number of venues around the state.

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