LSO takes Chicago and the Twin Cities by storm

Alicia Bones

Over reading period, the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra plans to take over Illinois and Minnesota with the forceful strains of Shostakovich. The LSO will embark on its first regional tour February 14 – 17.
The LSO tour is the latest in a string of regional appearances by Lawrence Conservatory ensembles in recent years. Cantala Women’s Choir went to Minnesota in 2007 and the Wind Ensemble will visit Omaha, Neb. later this year.
The LSO will perform two concerts on their tour under the baton of David Becker, professor of music and the director of orchestral studies at Lawrence.
Their first concert will be at Stillwater Area High School in Stillwater, Minn. in conjunction with the high school’s orchestra. The second concert will be in Chicago, where they will perform at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.
The LSO’s concert will consist of a diverse set of pieces. They will perform Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47,” which was probably composed in response to the “Great Terror” in the Soviet Union, during which Stalin killed a great number of people.
They will also perform the Mexican composer and violinist Silvestre Revueltas’ work “Sensemay****accent final a****,” based on the poem of the same name by the Afro-Cuban poet Nicol****accent a****s Guill****accent e****n.
Internationally renowned violin soloist Wen-Lei Gu, assistant professor of music, will accompany the orchestra on tour with and has solos in two pieces.
She will perform the solo in French composer Saint-Sa***umlaut e***ns’ “Introduction and Rondo Capriccio, Op. 28.” She will also play a repeat performance of Spanish composer Sarasate’s “Ziegeunerweisen, Op. 20,” which many Lawrentians heard at the LSO’s on-campus performance February 3.
In addition, the LSO will be involved in activities beneficial to its members as aspiring professional musicians.
The members of LSO will attend a dress rehearsal of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and a lecture before a Chicago Symphony concert. They will then stay for the concert of Mozart pieces conducted by Mitsuko Uchida, a world-famous conductor and pianist.
The LSO will also have time for other leisure activities, such as visiting the Field Museum or the Art Institute in Chicago and, of course, checking out the Mall of America in Bloomington.
Free time seems to be a highlight of the trip for some of the orchestra’s members.
Sophomore violist Sonia Emmons said, “I am hoping to spend a lot of time at the Chicago Art Institute, and maybe even sleep there like the girl does at the Met in ‘From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.'”
In the LSO’s attempted takeover of Chicago and Minneapolis, hopefully the old saying will prove true — Shostakovich conquers all.
LSO Tour Concerts:
February 14 at 7 p.m.: Stillwater Area High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd. Stillwater, MN
February 16 at 7:30 p.m.: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL. Price: $25