Spring 2016

Conductor Mark Shapiro
with Guest Artist Andrew Son

For this concert Nova Sinfonia is extending a special welcome to new comers from various Halifax schools.

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Brahms Brahms (1833 – 1897)

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, by Johannes Brahms, was one of a pair of contrasting concert overtures — the other being the Tragic Overture, Op. 81. Brahms composed the work during the summer of 1880 as a musical "thank you" to the University of Breslau, which had awarded him an honorary doctorate the previous year.

Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, S.124

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

Franz Liszt composed his Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, S.124 over a 26-year period; the main themes date from 1830, while the final version dates 1849. The concerto consists of four movements and lasts approximately 20 minutes. It premiered in Weimar on February 17, 1855, with Liszt at the piano and Hector Berlioz conducting.

King Lear Overture

Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)

Le roi Lear (King Lear), Op. 4. Composed in Nice in 1831 during Berlioz's journey back to France after his stay in Italy (due to winning the Prix de Rome). The overture is based on Shakespeare's King Lear, a recent discovery for the composer whose love of the dramatist is evident in many other of his works. It was first performed at the Paris Conservatoire on 22 December 1833.

Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)

The Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, (German: Variationen über ein Thema von Jos. Haydn), now also called the Saint Anthony Variations, is a work in the form of a theme and variations, composed by Johannes Brahms in the summer of 1873 at Tutzing in Bavaria. It consists of a theme in B-flat major based on a "Chorale St Antoni", eight variations, and a finale. The work was published in two versions: for two pianos, written first but designated Op. 56b; and for orchestra, designated Op. 56a.

The orchestral version is better known and much more often heard than the two-piano version. It is often said to be the first independent set of variations for orchestra in the history of music, although there is at least one earlier piece in the same form, Antonio Salieri's Twenty-six Variations on 'La folia di Spagna' written in 1815.

7:30 pm, Faith Tabernacle Church, 6225 Summit Street, Halifax, NS