The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


World-class pianist Bax joins MSO for first fall concert


This Saturday and Sunday, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform its first concert series of the 2010-11 season. 


Beginning the concerts, Dr. Phillips will lead the MSO through his work “Midday.” Dr. Phillips notes that his work is a “strange piece.”


This is only his second work ever composed for full orchestra, and it is structured as a follow-up of his first work “Before Dawn,” which expressed the events of Sept. 11.  


While “Before Dawn” is a very subdued piece, “Midday” confronts the listener immediately with its intensity and blistering pace. 


SMU faculty member and concert pianist, Alessio Bax will perform with the MSO for the first time since 2002 when he played Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto for Piano.”  


Despite his long absence from a solo appearance with the MSO, Bax has been involved with SMU continuously since 1994 when he enrolled as a 16 year old in the two-year Artist Certificate program to study with Joaquín Achúcarro.  


Bax will be gracing the stage with Sergei Rachmaninoff’s timeless “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.” This is not the first time that he has performed this piece in his career and probably will not be his last.


“I enjoy coming back to a piece after a while,” Bax said. “Because I have grown as a musician in that time span and approach the work with more insight and enjoyment.”


Concluding the MSO concerts this weekend will be Johannes Brahms’ “Fourth Symphony.”  From the first statement, a longing sigh from the violins, this work expresses the deepest human emotions.


Two years ago, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra recorded Thom Sleeper’s Symphony No. 1 for CD release on Albany Records. That disc has now come out and has received two outstanding reviews. 


The Classical Music Sentinal said about the album, “The Dallas based Meadows Symphony Orchestra under conductor Paul Phillips project the work’s intent very well and certainly display their technical skills during the Misterioso movement.”


Students of the MSO have gone on to win positions in professional ensembles such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony and the West Point Band.  Undergraduate, Graduate, and Artist Certificate musicians rotate chair positions from concert to concert to provide a well rounded educational experience for all the students.  


Dr. Phillips spent much time planning this concert and said that he keeps both an educational and musical mission in his position of the conductor of the MSO.


 “For the students, I want to give them a chance to perform a repertoire that represents the style of music that most major orchestras play,” Phillips said. “For the audience, I want to provide musically satisfying concerts.”


Tickets are $7 for students and SMU faculty and staff. 


Saturday’s performance will be at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s performance at 3 p.m. Both concerts will be held in Caruth Auditorium.

More to Discover