Bedell Performance Hall - River Campus. The stellar artistry of guest cellist, Julian Schwarz, performing Elgar’s famous Cello Concerto in E Minor. The second half of the program the orchestra will perform one of the most popular symphonic works of all time: Dvorak’s “From the New World” Symphony.  

The Southeast Missouri Symphony will close out its 2023—2024 season with a performance of Dvorak’s iconic “New World” Symphony on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in the Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Also on the program will be the evocative Cello Concerto by British composer Sir Edward Elgar with special guest artist Julian Schwarz as the cello soloist. Dr. Sara Edgerton, Professor of Music at Southeast Missouri State University and the Artistic Director of the Southeast Missouri Symphony, will conduct the concert program.

The program will open with a short, stirring march by Felix Mendelssohn, his March from the incidental music to Athalie, a play by Racine. This will be followed by Sir Edward Elgar’s beautiful Cello Concerto in E Minor. Composed and premiered in 1919, the year immediately following the conclusion of World War I, this composition is the last major work that Elgar completed. It conveys wide-ranging moods and expression, from tranquility and tenderness to outbursts of despair and longing. Its overall sense is of nostalgia, resignation, a feeling of loss and sadness. As described by the Elgar scholar, Michael Kennedy, this is “the music of wood smoke and autumn bonfires.” Julian Schwarz will be the guest soloist in this performance. Schwarz has performed nationally and internationally as a celebrated cellist, noted for his “powerful tone, effortless virtuosity, and extraordinarily large color palette.” From his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony, Julian has maintained a very active performing career, with performances in Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia, and throughout Europe and North America. He has made extensive recordings and is an ardent champion of new music.

On the second half of the concert the orchestra will perform one of the most well-known works for symphonic orchestra, Antonin Dvorak’s glorious New World Symphony. Dvorak was one of the most significant Romantic era composers; his compositions reflect the lovely characteristics of his native Czechoslovakian music. His New World Symphony was composed in the United States in 1893, written during Dvorak’s tenure as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. Dvorak drew upon Native American music, as well as African-American spirituals, for this symphonic work, which presents memorable and enchanting melodies, rich harmonies, and exciting orchestration. This work is deservedly one of the most beloved of symphonic compositions ever written.

This concert will be the final concert that Dr. Sara Edgerton will conduct with the Southeast Missouri Symphony. She will be retiring from Southeast Missouri State University at the end of the spring semester, after serving for 33 years as Director of the Orchestra at Southeast. “I am so proud of all that the orchestra program has accomplished during my tenure at Southeast,” Dr. Edgerton commented. “The orchestra has performed on the Great Wall of China, has given concerts with spectacular soloists such as David Halen, Mark O’Connor, Valentina Igoshina, and Jack Gibbons, and has played such fantastic repertoire as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the wonderful students at Southeast and to grow the orchestra program over the years.”

The concert will take place on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, starting at 7:30 pm, in the Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus. Tickets for the concert are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting the River Campus Box Office during normal office hours, by calling (573) 651-2265, or by visiting RiverCampus.org.

Current SEMO students can get a $5 ticket, visit any one of the three University box offices with your Southeast ID.