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Oct. 8: Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Plays Bernstein, Tchaikovsky Under Conductor Morales, Oct. 10


Eric Sloss                           

Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Plays Bernstein,
Tchaikovsky Under Conductor Morales, Oct. 10

PITTSBURGH — Walter Morales, music director for Carnegie Mellon University's Contemporary Ensemble, will conduct the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic in a program of music by Leonard Bernstein and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Carnegie Music Hall. The program includes Bernstein's Serenade and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian."

Noel Zahler, head of the School of Music, said, "This concert will have all of the things we love about Bernstein and Tchaikovsky's music: attractive melodies, drama and gorgeous orchestration. It is a pleasure to have Morales conduct this music."

Bernstein's Serenade is scored for solo violin, strings, harp and percussion and was written in 1954, when Bernstein took a sabbatical to concentrate on composition. He also wrote music for Elia Kazan's film "On the Waterfront." Bernstein's Serenade was partially inspired by Plato's Symposium, which focuses on love. The Serenade was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation and was dedicated to the memory of conductor Serge Koussevitzky and his wife, Natalie, both champions of new music.

Tchaikovsky wrote his second symphony in 1872 while on vacation in the Ukraine. The work uses Ukrainian folk material and helped Tchaikovsky gain favor with the group of nationalist Russian composers known as "The Five," which included Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Tchaikovsky had been criticized by "The Five" for being too Western in his style of composition.     

As music director, Morales is in his fifth season with Carnegie Mellon's Contemporary Ensemble and in his third season with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. He was recently appointed music head of the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh. Morales performs regularly as a pianist and has collaborated with Sarah Chang and Midori. As conductor, he was chorus master for the Pittsburgh Opera's productions of "Susannah" and "Candide," and in 2002 he directed Bartok's "Bluebeard Castle" with the Pittsburgh Opera.

Tickets are available before the concert and are $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and free for Carnegie Mellon students with ID.