To a New World

Saturday, March 11, 2023, 7:00PM
Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church
149 W Brush Hill Rd
Elmhurst, IL 60126

This concert is generously sponsored by Scott and Charity Ahlgrim in memory of Arthur and Arlene Ahlgrim.

What’s Interesting About This Concert

  • Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a British descendant of freed African-American slaves, was greatly inspired by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic The Song of Hiawatha and chose to set the poem to music in what became one of the composer’s most well-known pieces. Coleridge-Taylor’s The Song of Hiawatha became so popular in Britain in the early 20th Century that it rivaled Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah!
  • This concert features Isabel Chen, winner of the 2021 Stanger Competition, in a performance of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s (pronounced de-VOR-zhahk) Violin Concerto. The Dvořák Violin Concerto received its first US performance in Chicago, just down the road at the Auditorium Theatre in 1891.
  • Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” was written while the composer worked and toured the United States in 1893 — it was completed, in fact, in Spillville, Iowa. Inspired by African-American spirituals like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and Native American music, Dvořák commented: “The future music of [the United States] must be founded on what are called Negro melodies… They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them.”

What’s Playing

Coleridge-Taylor: The Song of Hiawatha Overture
Dvořák: Violin Concerto — I. Allegro ma non troppo
Tchaikovsky: Pezzo capriccioso
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)

Who’s Performing

Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Alltop Music Director & Conductor
Isabel Chen violin | 2021 Stanger Competition Winner
Jean Hatmaker cello

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