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Reading Symphony Orchestra Opens 105th Season with Gems, Jewels & Masterpieces

Sep 14, 2017 • by Reading Symphony Orchestra

Cellist Julie Albers Featured in Elgar’s Cello Concert

Program Also Includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3

READING, PA — The Reading Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Andrew Constantine, opens its 105th season with a concert entitled Gems, Jewels & Masterpieces, on Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Santander Performing Arts Center. The RSO is joined by Julie Albers —  principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra —  for Elgar’s introspective Cello Concerto. Also on the program is Beethoven’s dramatic Leonore Overture No. 3 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

Single tickets for the October 14 concert can be purchased in-person at the Santander Center Box Office, through Ticketmaster, or by calling the RSO office at 610-373-7557 or emailing [email protected].

Additional RSO performances in the 2017-18 Classics season include An Evening of Fantasy on November 11 at the Santander Performing Arts Center; Happy Birthday, Amadeus! on January 27 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral; Soaring Strings on March 3 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral; Glorious Gershwin on April 14 at the Santander Performing Arts Center; and Picture This! on May 5 at the Santander Performing Arts Center; in addition to Bach and the Reformation on October 29 and the New Year’s Eve concert featuring Time for Three on December 31.

Program Information

Gems, Jewels & Masterpieces

Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

Santander Performing Arts Center

BEETHOVEN             Leonore Overture No. 3

ELGAR                       Cello Concerto

            Julie Albers, Cello

TCHAIKOVSKY         Symphony No. 5

About the Artists

American cellist Julie Albers is recognized for her superlative artistry, her charismatic and radiant performing style, and her intense musicianship. She was born into a musical family in Longmont, Colorado and began violin studies at the age of two with her mother, switching to cello at four. She moved to Cleveland during her junior year of high school to pursue studies through the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Aaron. Ms. Albers soon was awarded the Grand Prize at the XIII International Competition for Young Musicians in Douai, France, and as a result toured France as soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Douai.

Ms. Albers made her major orchestral debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1998, and thereafter has performed in recital and with orchestras throughout North America, Europe, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2001, she won Second Prize in Munich’s Internationalen Musikwettbewerbes der ARD, and was also awarded the Wilhelm-Weichsler-Musikpreis der Stadt Osnabruch. While in Germany, she recorded solo and chamber music of Kodaly for the Bavarian Radio, that have been heard throughout Europe. In 2003, Ms. Albers was named the first Gold Medal Laureate of South Korea’s Gyeongnam International Music Competition, winning the $25,000 Grand Prize.

In North America, Ms. Albers has performed with many important orchestras and ensembles. Recent performances have included her debut on the San Francisco Performances series as well as concerto appearances with the Orchestras of Colorado, Indianapolis, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, and Munchener Kammerorchester, among others.

In addition to solo performances, Ms. Albers regularly participates in chamber music festivals around the world. 2009 marked the end of a three year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. She is currently active with the Albers String Trio and the Cortona Trio, and is the principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Albers’ debut album with Orion Weiss is available on the Artek Label. She performs on a N.F. Vuillaume cello made in 1872 and makes her home in Atlanta with her husband, Bourbon, and their dog, Dozer.

Andrew Constantine was appointed Music Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra in April 2007 following a two-year search involving nearly three hundred conductors. Previously, Constantine served as Associate Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for three years following an appointment by Yuri Temirkanov in 2004.

Constantine works regularly with nearly all of the top British orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as having strong relationships with a number of European and Scandinavian orchestras including the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He is additionally the Music Director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Indiana.

In the United States, Constantine has developed a reputation for imaginative and compelling programming as well as a profound commitment to music education. In 2003, he was awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Leicester for his “contribution to music” and was also awarded a highly prestigious British NESTA Fellowship.

Since 1913, the Reading Symphony Orchestra has been providing uninterrupted access to exceptional classical music to the citizens of Berks County and beyond. Throughout the past 105 years as one of the nation’s continuously operating symphonies, the RSO has performed masterworks from Bach to Beethoven, and many more, and has been joined by illustrious guest soloists including pianists Yuja Wang, and Fabio Bidini, violinist Midori, and guitarist Jason Vieaux. 

The RSO has blossomed under the artistic leadership of Maestros Harry Fahrbach, Walter Pfeiffer, Hans Kindler, Alexander Hilsberg, Louis Vyner, Sidney Rothstein, and its current music director Andrew Constantine. The orchestra currently performs six concerts annually on its Classics series, with additional Pops performances and collaborations with other community performing arts organizations.

The RSO’s numerous educational and outreach programs continue to benefit the community. Among others, the Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings program gives talented area music students the opportunity to perform advanced orchestral repertoire with like-minded peers under the guidance of skilled artistic staff; the Orchestra Zone program provides free private instrumental music lessons to underserved students in the Reading School District; and the Masterclass series gives community members a chance to learn from visiting soloists.  

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