Classical music on campus

Members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. [Photo courtesy of Orpheus]

World-renowned orchestra to play Friday

Winter Storm Jonas has passed. Students have returned to campus. The spring semester is underway, and with it Williams Arts Center’s series of events. Today at 8 p.m. in the Williams Arts Center, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist KhatiaBuniatishvili will be performing a variety of music by composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Arensky and Rachmaninoff.

The mission of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is to “create extraordinary musical experiences that enrich lives and empower individuals through collaboration, innovation, and a passion for artistic excellence,” according to their website. Someday, the orchestra hopes to be the world’s premier chamber orchestra.

After the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performs in Easton, they will be performing in Carnegie Hall. The college has hosted the orchestra many times before.

Buniatishvili, who Gramophone magazine calls “one of today’s most technically gifted young pianists,” makes her Orpheus debut with this tour. The Lafayette community will see her in the spotlight in the piano part of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 20.”Buniatishvili is also featured alongside Beyoncé on Coldplay’s new album, “A Head Full of Dreams.”

The orchestra will play Haydn’s “Symphony No. 1 in D major,”Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor,”Arensky’s“Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky,”and Rachmaninoff’s “Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17.”

A unique aspect of the orchestra is their choice to perform without a conductor. The musicians are challenged to be completely in tune with the music and with one another. A small reception will be held after the performance.

The orchestra has also created a program called Access Orpheus. This program focuses on the inclusion of kindergarten through twelfth grade students in the New York City public school systems in the music-making process. The students are given the opportunity to meet artists and musicians from the orchestra that visit their schools. Additionally, the orchestra provides free tickets for students to attend their concerts at Carnegie Hall.

The performance is free for Lafayette students, $5 for staff, and $33 for general admission.

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