Sage City Symphony closes out 2015 with Dvorak, Tchaikovsky

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NORTH BENNINGTON >> Sage City Symphony put on its last concert of 2015 on Sunday, performing a piece from the early years of Pyotyr Illyich Tchaikovsky and a piece from the later years of Antonin Dvorak.

Music director Michael Finckel led the orchestra in performing Dvorak's "Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 104," written between 1894 and 1895, featuring cello soloist Peter Seidenberg. Seidenberg, who made his solo debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has played in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Groups he has performed with include the Century Orchestra of Osaka, the New American Chamber Orchestra, De Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Eastman-Rochester Philharmonic. He is the recipient of a bachelor's degree in music from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and a master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

In the third and final movement of the Dvorak piece, Finckel gave the audience a chuckle when he flourished his baton so dramatically, it sent his score flying through the air. After the performance was concluded, the orchestra picked up again from before the score was lost, so as to have a better recording of the end of the piece.

The second half of the show was Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 1, Op. 13: Winter Daydreams," which was written between 1966 and 1868, and revised in 1874, but not performed live until 1883. During the intermission and before the show, the Symphony held its annual silent auction to raise money for the group. This concert was sponsored by People's United Bank.

The concert was dedicated to Joseph Schor, who passed away on September 23 at the age of 95. Schor was the first violinist of the Bennington String Quartet and concertmaster of the Sage City Symphony. In 1991, Schor, along with his wife, Cathy, founded the strings program at what was then the North Bennington Graded School. The program still continues to this day, although the Schors retired from running the program in 2010. In his obituary, it was requested that any contributions in his name be made to the Sage City Symphony. In the concert's program, Schor was described as, "one of the greatest concertmasters the orchestra has ever had."

As with all Sage City concerts, Sunday's was free and held in the Greenwall Auditorium in the Visual and Performing Arts building at Bennington College. The next performance is a chamber concert on Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. at Greenwall. The repertoire for that show will include Ludwig van Beethoven's famous "Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67," as well as other works.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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