WILLIAM SCHUMAN: American Festival Overture

Program Notes The American Festival Overture is one of William Schuman’s earliest works to achieve success and his first to be recorded. It was composed in 1939 at the encouragement of Serge Koussevitzky, who promised to perform it with the Boston Symphony. …

WILLIAM SCHUMAN: Composer Profile

Program Notes During the 1960s William Schuman was one of the most prominent figures in America’s classical music world—“probably the most powerful figure in the world of art music” and “the most important musical administrator of the 20th century,” according …

BARBER: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Program Notes Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto was one of the greatest popular successes of his later years. It was commissioned by his publisher G. Schirmer, in celebration of their hundredth anniversary, with a premiere to take place during the opening week of …

HOVHANNES: Symphony No. 2, “Mysterious Mountain”

Alan Hovhaness: Symphony No. 2, “Mysterious Mountain” Program Notes “Mysterious Mountain” is probably Alan Hovhaness’ most popular and often-performed orchestral work. It was commissioned by Leopold Stokowski, for his first concert as music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra in …

Program Notes: THE SISTERS by Nicolas Flagello

Nicolas Flagello was one of the last composers to develop a distinctive mode of expression based wholly on the principles and techniques of European late-Romanticism. Born in New York City in 1928, Flagello grew up in a highly musical family …

Program Notes: Psalm 130 By Vittorio Giannini

Program Notes Psalm 130By Vittorio Giannini Vittorio Giannini (1903-1966) was one of the many Italian-American composers who flourished during the 20th century, contributing to a distinguished repertoire shaped along traditional tonal, formal, and developmental lines. However, the extent of Giannini’s …

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW by Vittorio Giannini

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW by Vittorio Giannini Background As we follow the political thaw in Eastern Europe known as Glasnost. it is fascinating to observe another form of glasnost taking place — this one in the arena of American musical politics. For …

Flagello: Concerto Sinfonico for Saxophone Quartet

NICOLAS FLAGELLO: Concerto Sinfonico for Saxophone Quartet (1985) (NY Premiere) Allegro non troppo Lento movendo (quasi all barcanola) Allegro giusto Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia, Lawrence Leighton Smith, conductor. The New Hudson Saxophone Quartet. Nicolas Flagello, one of the last of America’s …