Hundreds attend symphony's season opener at Bedell Performance Hall

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
AARON EISENHAUER ~ The violin section of the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra performs Tuesday in the first movement of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante at the Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus.

A crowd of 607 attended the season-opening concert for the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra Tuesday night.

Guest soloists David Halen and Jonathan Vinocour from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra also performed at the gala, which was held at the Bedell Performance Hall on Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus.

The performance opened with Mozart's "Impresario Overture," written for a 1786 performance in Vienna, Austria. The work recounts the trials of a theatrical manager working with his actors and singers on a new production.

The second half of the concert featured Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Written between 1804 and 1808, the piece was first performed in Vienna in December 1808.

"For the size of our town, we're just blessed to have that here," said Helen Ueleke of Cape Girardeau.

Adelaide Parsons said she loves the opportunity to see such a performance at the River Campus because she can be home in just 10 minutes.

"We're crazy about the venue," Parsons said.

The orchestra performed under the direction of Sara Edgerton, professor of cello and string bass at Southeast as well as artistic director and conductor of the orchestra. Recently, Edgerton performed a number of concerts in China and taught at Shanghai Normal University.

"We're so grateful that we have Sara," said Barbara Metthews of Cape Girardeau, who is on the symphony board.

Vinocour joined the St. Louis orchestra in 2007 as principal violist. His festival appearances have included performances in Aspen, Colo., Marlboro, Vt., and Tanglewood, Mass.

In 2006 he won first place in the Holland America Music Society and recorded his first solo album.

Halen joined the St. Louis orchestra in 1991 and is currently concertmaster of the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen. He has appeared as a soloist with the St. Louis, San Francisco and Houston symphony orchestras on a regular basis and has been a featured speaker at workshops with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Halen is also co-founder and artistic director of the Innsbrook Institute, and coordinates a weeklong music festival in June for aspiring artists.


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