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The Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra (GNSO) continues its 2023/24 season on Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 pm at Aquinas Hall on the Mount Saint Mary College campus in Newburgh. The three pieces represent the intersection of the power of creation and endings.

“The title of this program refers to the peak of Prokofiev’s career and the nadir of Elgar’s” says Maestro Russell Ger, “and tying the two together is Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, a work of brilliantly explosive color depicting both the birth and death of stars”.

Elgar’s Cello Concerto was the composer’s last major composition, written at a time when his music had already fallen out of favor with the public. Seen as a relic from the era of Edwardian excess, the concerto failed to resonate with the disillusioned post-war populace. Today, it is amongst the most beloved classical works ever composed, possessed of an emotional immediacy and overwhelming lyricism that can’t fail but to move. We are thrilled that our soloist for this concerto will be the dynamic NY Philharmonic cellist, Sumire Kudo.

Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 was the greatest success the composer ever experienced, instantly hailed as one of the great musical achievements of the age. This aura of historical significance was no doubt intensified by the fact that artillery fire interrupted the premiere to signal the Red Army’s successful push through the Nazi frontlines. Reflecting the tumult of its time, the Fifth Symphony is a work of contradiction; filled with serenity and volatility, sincerity and impudence, poignancy and urgency, it remains utterly compelling.

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