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Cal Poly Symphony Opens Season with Music of Rachmaninov and Dvořák on Dec. 4

Event will be music Professor Thomas Davies' 34th and final holiday concert

The Cal Poly Symphony will be joined by pianist W. Terrence Spiller for its Fall Concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 4, in Harman Hall in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.

Spiller will perform Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor. It was written at breakneck speed when the composer was 18, said symphony conductor David Arrivée.

The concerto earned the young composer high marks and the Moscow Conservatory’s Great Gold Medal when it was performed among other student works. Dissatisfied, Rachmaninov revised the work years later and declared, “I have rewritten my first concerto; it is really good now.”

Spiller, chair of the Cal Poly Music Department, has won awards in international piano competitions, and has performed across the U.S. as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and accompanist.

The symphony will also perform Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major, which alternates frequently between dark and cheerful music. Despite this mixture of moods, Dvořák biographer Hans-Hubert Schönzeler observed that “the whole work breathes the spirit of Vysoká, and when one walks in those forests surrounding Dvořák’s country home on a sunny summer’s day, with the birds singing and the leaves of trees rustling in a gentle breeze, one can virtually hear the music.”

Tickets are $12 and $14 for the public, and $9 and $12 for students. Event parking is sponsored by the PAC. Tickets are available at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849).

A 10 percent discount is given to patrons who buy tickets to four Music Department events through the Cal Poly Ticket Office; a 15 percent discount is given on tickets to five or more events.

The concert is sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts, Music Department and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit the calendar website.